Mark Lawrenson is a former Republic of Ireland international footballer who played as a defender for Liverpool, among others, during the 1970s and 1980s. After a short career as a manager, he has since been a radio, television and internet pundit for the BBC, TV3 and Today FM. Born and raised in England, Lawrenson qualified to play for the Republic of Ireland through his grandfather, Thomas Crotty, who was born in Waterford.
Lawrenson began his television career providing match analysis on HTV West‘s local football coverage, before working as a pundit for the BBC but then left briefly to become a coach specialising in defensive tactics for Kevin Keegan at Newcastle United. However, the position was again short-lived and he returned to media work. He has since become established as a pundit, both on BBCtelevision and radio, often finding himself sitting alongside his former defensive partner, Alan Hansen, and, since the departure from the BBC of Trevor Brooking, he has assumed the main co-commentator on major national and international (FIFA) matches covered by the television network. He appears regularly on Football Focus and Match of the Day.
He is also often a co-commentator on BBC Radio Five Live, often working on the feature matches on Sunday afternoons. He previously worked as a pundit for Ireland’s TV3 between 2001-2007 for mid-week Champions League games alongside Welsh national (FA) team manager and former Liverpool striker, John Toshack. When the Champions League returned to TV3 in 2010 he no longer provided punditry, instead he was replaced by Tony Cascarino and Martin Keown but he moved into the commentary box alongside TV3 commentator Trevor Welch. He works for Irish radio station Today FM on Premiership Live with presenter Michael McMullan in talking about football related topics, predicting scores and stating facts; usually he does this between 2 pm and 3 pm on a Saturday. He also has a column on the BBC website where he gives his views and predictions on the Premier League‘s weekend fixtures.
One of his most memorable moments as a pundit was when he shaved off his trademark moustache after betting on Football Focus that Bolton would be relegated from the Premiership in the 2001–2002 season. He was ultimately proved wrong by Sam Allardyce’s team and kept his word by shaving off the moustache.