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Liverpool FC

Liverpool Football Club – Some History

Ground: Anfield
Capacity: 45,276
Manager: Kenny Dalglish

Anfield was one of the football leagues original grounds back in 1888 and on 8 September 1888 it was not Liverpool but rivals Everton who played the first league match at Anfield. In fact the early success at Anfield was all about Everton but John Houlding was responsible for plotting the eviction of Everton from Anfield and creating a new team called Liverpool Football Club.

Football in Liverpool was largely as a result of a brewer and local council member John Houlding who founded Everton and then later Liverpool Football Club. On 12 March 1892 Houlding and Everton officially parted ways and a few days later on 15 March 1892 a new club was formed called Liverpool.

Having tried many different ways to steal the Everton name for the new club and being knocked back each time he stayed with the name Liverpool. In 1894 the colour red (the colour of the city) was used for the kit and in 1901 the famous Liverbird was adopted to form their badge.

Many of the ex Everton backroom staff joined Houlding at the new club including a dynamic and well respected man Johm McKenna. He went on to be the director of Anfield for some 30 years and even stepped in as club chairman on two occasions. He was a big name in football generally due to his love for the game and his work ethic. This led to a spell as the president of the Football League in 1910 and then in 1928 he became the Vice-President of the FA.

The early players for Liverpool were mostly recruited from across the border in Scotland and the club earned the nickname ‘The team of all the Macs’ due to the majority of surnames starting with Mc and Mac.

Initially Liverpool had to play in the Lancashire League as they were turned down from entering the Football League. Their first match as Liverpool FC was against Rotherham in a friendly. However Everton now playing at Goodison Park also had a match on the same day and it was this that started the main rivalry between the clubs. Liverpool won the match convincingly by 7-1 but they lost the battle of the crowds only pulling in a handful of people while Everton managed a crowd of some 10,000.

Next up was their first match in the Lancashire League against Higher Walton and the crowd was once again small. Liverpool was off and running with an 8-0 win. A significant moment was that captain McVean won the toss and chose to kick towards the Anfield Road end. This has since been a tradition with most Liverpool captains.

Liverpool was a force to be reckoned with and easily won the Lancashire League as well as the Liverpool District Cup. Having secured a treble in their first season they were allowed to play in the Football League the following season.

Their first match in the Football League was played in less than ideal conditions and the pitch left a lot to be desired. They played against Middlesbrough Ironopolis and the 2,000 spectators were treated to a great exhibition of football. Liverpool emerged as the winners thanks to second half goals by Joe McQue and Malcolm McVean. Amazingly Liverpool won the league in their very first season and gained promotion to the First Division to play against the best teams in the country.

They went down the following year but regained promotion the year after that.

It was 1896 and now time to build Liverpool in to one of the best teams in the country so Geordie lad, Tom Watson was assigned (by way of a financial offer he couldn’t refuse) having already led a Sunderland team from the depths of obscurity to winning the league.

Tom helped gain Liverpool’s first league title in 1901 although they were relegated three years later only to storm straight back up with consecutive league titles. In 1915 World War One broke out and football did not resume until 1919 by which time Watson had sadly passed away.

1922 saw Liverpool achieve a third league title and along the way they recorded the biggest win of their season with a 5-1 thrashing of Cardiff in front of 50,000 fans.

Even back in those days managers changing sides half way through a season was still going on and that is exactly what happened to Liverpool in 1923 when manager David Ashworth made a dubious decision to return to Oldham Athletic even though Liverpool were on the verge of retaining the title. Despite the unexpected upset Liverpool went on to take the title again.

1928 saw the birth of one of the most formidable stands in the country. Already known as one of the most vocal stands in the league the expansion of the Spion Kop held 30,000 loud ‘scousers’ cheering on their team. The Kop was to become the most well known stand in the world and of course one of the most daunting to visiting teams.

Fast forward to 1946 and another record for Liverpool but this time it was the amount they shelled out on a player. In those days £12,500 was a lot of money and that is how much it took to lure Albert Stubbins from Newcastle United. The signing (based on a toss of a coin as to whether it would be Liverpool or Everton he signed for) proved a good investment as his partnership with Jack Balmer helped win yet another title. It was also the year that saw a player called Bob Paisley play his first game for the club.

The year was now 1959 and the date 1 December. Why is this date etched into every Liverpool supporters mind? It is the very day that Bill Shankly became the new Liverpool manager. Having slumped to the second division Liverpool was unable to secure a promotion back to the top flight, until Shankly arrived that is. He was to remain the Liverpool manager until 1974 and guided them through one of their most successful eras as a club.

In 1961 Shankly signed a young Scottish player called Ian St John who quickly became a favourite with the fans having scored a hat trick on his debut against local rivals Everton. That season saw them promoted back to the first division and so started a remarkable phase for Liverpool with St John and Roger Hunt at the spear head.

1964 saw the return to championship ways helped by more Liverpool legends Peter Thompson, Ian Callaghan, Chris Lawler and Tommy Smith. It was also the year that saw Liverpool head over to Europe for their first competition. Along with it came a change of kit. It is still not clear whether Shanks or St John came up with the idea but the team were to play all in red to appear more intimidating to their opponents – and it seemed to work.

Having guided Liverpool to the heights of football glory 12 July 1974 was a day the football world was left stunned. At a press conference thought to be for the new record signing Alan Kennedy the club announced that Bill Shankly had decided to retire from league football. Fans, players and staff were left distraught. Who could possibly replicate such success? Bob Paisley was appointed manager 26 July 1974.

Having been the number two to Shankly and content to work in the shadows he was reluctantly thrown in to the hot seat. His worries about achieving the same success however were unfounded as he was to go on to become the most successful manager in English history. He was now in charge of some the Europe’s finest players in Kevin Keegan, John Toshack, Ray Celemence, Phil Thompson and Emlyn Hughes. New signings were brought in and they were to prove some of the best signings in the league with the likes of Jimmy case, Steve Heighway and Trevor McDermott.

Liverpool continued to romp through their opponents and along with it title after title and lots of silverware were added to the clubs history and trophy. Anfield became an even more formidable ground and they went on to have one of the best and currently never rivalled unbeaten home runs in football history

10 August 1977 was another notable event at Anfield when a Scotsman called Kenny Dalglish was signed from Celtic. During his career as a player he turned out for Liverpool on 515 occasions and scored 172 goals.

Later Kenny Dalglish went on to manage the club and led then to much success but just like Shankly he resigned to the shock of the world a few years after taking up the position.

A new era was on the cards and former Liverpool favourite Souness managed the club while on the pitch Ian Rush was netting goals left, right and centre. Rush finally left the club in 1996 having scored 346 goals in 660 appearances.

The following years again saw some magnificent players don the red shirt of Liverpool like Steve McManaman, Michael Owen and more recently Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez.

A summary of Liverpool FC honours include;

League Champions in 1900-01, 1905-06, 1921-22, 1922-23, 1946-47, 1963-64, 1965-66, 1972-73, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1978-79, 1979-80, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1985-86, 1987-88, 1989-90

European Cup Winners in; 1976-77, 1977-78, 1980-81, 1983-84, 2004-05

FA Cup Winners in; 1964-65, 1973-74, 1985-86, 1988-89, 1991-92, 2000-01, 2005-06

League Cup Winners in 1980-81, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1994-95, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2011-2012

UEFA Cup Winners in 1972-73, 1975-76, 2000-01

Disclaimer: Victor Chandler, trading as BetVictor, is licensed by the Government of Gibraltar.

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