Liverpool great Heighway retires at 75 as Carragher leads tributes to mentor to Reds stars

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Liverpool favourite Steve Heighway has called time on his Reds career at the age of 75, with Jamie Carragher hailing him as "a huge influence".

Former winger Heighway has spent 25 years working at the club's academy, across two spells, and Liverpool announced he has decided to retire.

Heighway played for Liverpool from 1970 to 1981, winning a string of league titles and two European Cups with the Reds, while scoring 76 goals in 475 games.

His youth coaching role proved hugely significant too, with Heighway helping to nurture talents such as Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen and Carragher.

He was head of youth development from 1989 to 2007 before initially retiring, but Heighway returned to the club as a full-time consultant in 2015, after being invited back by academy boss Alex Inglethorpe.

That saw him work closely with Inglethorpe with a view to bringing through youngsters capable of challenging for places in Jurgen Klopp's first-team squad.

Carragher, who made 737 appearances for Liverpool, was quick to thank Heighway on Thursday.

He wrote on Twitter: "What a contribution from Steve Heighway @LFC as a player who won Leagues & European cups.

"Then heading up an academy that produced McManaman, Fowler, Owen, Gerrard……amongst a few others!

"A huge influence on me as a young player and still to this day. Thank you Steve."

Inglethorpe told Liverpool's website: "Steve has decided it is the right time to retire from his coaching role at the club."

He described Heighway overseeing "the development of some of the most iconic players to have played for Liverpool Football Club".