Elected to Division Two 1893
1892-1894 f h
1894-1899 a f
1948-1950 c i
1989-1991 e k
1991-1992 e l
The Liverpool Miscellany
By Leo Moynihan
Foreword by Ian Rush
£6.49 £5.99 (with promotional code KITS1)
The club came into existence following a row between the directors of Everton FC and the owner of their Anfield ground, John Houlding. Houlding was a brewer as well as the club's landlord. He insisted that only his beers be sold inside the ground and, as Everton grew in stature he put up their rent from £100 in 1884 to £250 in 1890. On the 12th March, 1892, Everton quit Anfield and three days later, Houlding formed Liverpool FC. Originally the new club played in the blue and white shirts that Everton left behind (Everton changed to ruby red) but by 1894, they had adopted the municipal red and white colours and in 1901, took the city's liver bird emblem as their badge.
With a generous loan of £500 from Houlding, the club's Secretary-Manager, John McKenna brought no fewer than twelve Scots to play for the club, which was known as the "Team of All the Macs." After one season playing in the Lancashire League, Liverpool was elected to the Second Division of the Football League in 1893, winning the championship at the first attempt. A year later they were relegated only to win Division Two once again in 1896.
Having established themselves in the top division, Liverpool won the first of their many League Championships in 1901. In 1904, Liverpool were relegated and then won the Second Division title for the third time in 1905 followed by a second League title in 1906. In 1914, The Reds reached the FA Cup final for the first time but, remarkably, it would be another 50 years before they won this particular trophy. Successive Division One championships followed in 1922 and 1923 followed by a period of relative decline during which Everton were in the ascendent.
In 1947, Liverpool won the League for the fifth time but once again went into decline, dropping into Division Two in 1954. In 1959 the club appointed Bill Shankly as manager. The passionate Scot transformed the club, laying the foundations for a period of unprecedented success and became a legend on Merseyside. After winning Division Two in 1962, his side became League Champions in 1964, won the FA Cup for the first time in 1965 and were again Division One champions in 1966. Shankly introduced the all-red strip that has become synonymous with the club and which was quickly copied by other clubs. Shankly's team won the League title again in 1973 and took the UEFA Cup, their first European honour, the same year. A year later Liverpool won the FA Cup and Shankly announced his retirement.
Shankly's successor was assistant coach, Bob Paisley, the first of a series of appointments from the legendary "boot room" that would ensure a degree of continuity that no other club has emulated. Paisley's achievements eclipsed even Shankly's. In nine years, his sides won six League Championships, three European Cups, three League Cups and one UEFA Cup. In 1979 the club recorded another landmark of sorts by becoming the first League club to feature their sponsor's logo on players' shirts. (In fact Derby County had signed a deal with Saab a year before but the logo never appeared in competitive matches.)
In 1983 Paisley retired, handing over to his assistant, Joe Fagan who led the club to an unprecedented treble of League, European Cup and League Cup in 1984. He would no doubt have gone on to even greater achievements but for the Heysel Stadium disaster. On May 29, 1985, Liverpool were to meet Juventus in the European Cup final: before the game, Liverpool fans rioted, attacking a group of Italian fans. In the chaos, a wall collapsed and 39 Italian supporters were killed. Fagan retired from football and English clubs were banned from European competition as a result.
It now fell to Kenney Dalglish, generally regarded as Liverpool's finest ever player, to take over as player/manager, an unprecedented position for such a major club. Dalglish led the club to the League and FA Cup double in 1986, two more League titles (1988, 1990), and another FA Cup win in 1989. This last win followed the dreadful tragedy at Hillsborough in April 1989 when 96 fans were crushed to death in the FA Cup semi-final. The trauma of this event prompted Dalglish to resign in 1991.
Another former player, Graeme Souness now took over the reins but, despite an FA Cup win in 1992, his period in charge is regarded as the beginning of the relative decline in the fortunes of this great club. Under the management of Gerard Houlier (1998-2004) the Reds regained some of their former glory, picking up another FA Cup (2001) and two more League Cups (1995, 2001) and the UEFA cup (another epic performance with Gary McAlistair scoring from a free kick to end the match on the Golden Goal rule in extra time. The League Championship, however, eluded them. Houlier was replaced by Spaniard Rafael "Rafa" Benitez in 2004. In May 2005 the Reds came from 0-3 behind to defeat AC Milan in the European Champions League Final on penalties in the most dramatic come back ever witnessed in a European final. Twelve months later, the Reds came twice from behind to overcome West Ham on penalties to win one of the finest FA Cup Finals of modern times.
- (a) Liverpool Official Website
- (b) Club Colours (Bob Bickerton)
- (c) Association of Football Statisticians
- (d) Bristol Rovers FC (Images of Sport - Mike Jay)
- (e) Sporting Heroes
- (f) Association of Football Statisticians - provided by Pete Wyatt
- (g) Pete's Picture Palace
- (h) Phil Parker
- (i) Mark Parker
- (j) Nicholas Clark
- (k) True Colours 1 (John Devlin 2005)
- (l) Matt Hudson