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Broomy

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Some great memories here so far, cheers to everyone who has contributed so far... Keep those memories coming... Let us know your earliest childhood memories of following Liverpool, whether it be your first Liverpool match at Anfield, memories of the old Spion Kop, a certain match you'll never ever forget, player, or certain childhood family memories you'll never forget, post your memories here! Keep the memories coming, reminisce and share your memories here in this thread!


THE LEGEND OF HEROES

#1 - EMLYN HUGHES



Wembley '74, Molineux '76 and Rome '77.... Emlyn Hughes... Crazy Horse... Legend....

How do you remember Emlyn Hughes in a Liverpool shirt? What match epitomized his grit and determination? What were his strengths/weaknesses? What are your best memories of him as a player? Is it his loyalty and passion towards the club? Those special Goals? The lifting of the European Cups? The beaming smile? How will he be described in generations to come?

In detailed analysis, describe and let us know here how you will always remember Emlyn Hughes during his Liverpool career?
 


Andrew Gray

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My first post on here, but I have been requested to put this game on here.Sorry that it is not the gloryous and happy day that most of the other posts will be:

Liverpool F.C. 0–2 Arsenal F.C. (26 May 1989)


I remember the day as if it were yesterday, except for the majority of the match itself.
We were travelling up from Derby as we did to all games. I had not
missed a Liverpool league match home or away that season up until
Hillsborough, but this was my first home game since the disaster
although I had been to Celtic for the memorial match, Everton away for
the first competitive game, the Semi-final replay at Old Trafford and
the Cup Final itself. It was a strange feeling driving up. We had just
won the FA Cup and were about to secure the double, but we were still
grieving and pretty numb from the evens of the previous weeks which had
involved the losses of family and friends. The talk was about football
and the game but it never crossed any of our minds that we would not
succeed.

Upon arrival at the ground, the first thing I did was
look around me to see if there were any familiar faces missing – thank
God there was not, but there were some single empty seats and you could
not help but imagine the reasons for that. I was at the match, as
usual, with my Dad and my little brother who was only 8 at the time. We
had been at Hillsborough together too. The atmosphere seemed subdued
to me, but I am not sure if that was the reality or whether it was just
my mood. No-one talked about it. I presume that some may have spoken
about it at the West Ham Match or the QPR match, but I just couldn’t
face those games. It is strange that a few years ago, I looked up the
results from that season and could remember every game except one. That
one was against Forest at Anfield after the disaster. I have no
recollection whatsoever of that match being played, all I know is that I
did not go.

When the players came out, The Arsenal team placed
flowers around the ground, but mainly at the Kop end. It was a lovely
gesture, and the Arsenal fans were equally sensitive and supportive. I
will always remember them for that. The game kicked off and I can not
remember anything from the first half except for the goal, which looked
to me like it should not have been allowed because Smith never made
contact from an indirect free kick. It was an important moment to me
because although before the match I had commented that the result was
not important, that was without thinking of the possibility of an
Arsenal 2-0 win. Now, an Arsenal victory was much more of a
possibility, and it was then that I realised just how little I cared –
of course I wanted us to win, but it really was not so important. That
was not the same for those around me though, who were desperate for a
Liverpool victory. Amazing how things affect different people in
different ways.

The next thing I remember about the game was
looking at my watch thinking that we had done it. People have since
mentioned about Barnes having the ball by the corner flag where he
should just have kept possession, but I have no recollection of that,
but it must have been as I looked at my watch. The next thing is a
ricochet of deflections and Thomas was through, chipping the ball over
Brucie. I was upset but only as upset as if someone had not held the
door open for me whilst following them out of a shop. It is so
difficult to explain, and Arsenal fans who have asked me about it have
said that I just didn’t want to admit to them how painful it was, but
that is just so far from the truth. We had just lost the biggest league
game in history in such dramatic circumstances to deprive us of being
the first team to win the double twice, and I just felt pretty much the
same as I had all day. I remember giving a shout for us to get one
back, but there was no real passion in it as there normally was.

The final whistle changed everything. It felt like a massive weight had
been taken off my shoulders because that terrible season was now over. I
would be lying if I said that I felt good, certainly not, not about the
result and definitely not about recent events, but there was a big
sense of relief.

We stayed as did the rest of the crowd to see
Arsenal being awarded with the trophy and clapped them during the lap
of honour. They were worthy champions, but so were we. The reception
from the Arsenal Fans to this was very appreciative, and I think they
sang ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ or ‘Liverpool’ as thanks, I just remember
how fantastic they were that night (and a couple of times since being
fair).

It was a night match and we normally headed straight
home, but instead we stopped at the Jolly Miller on Queens Drive and had
a pint before starting our journey. That is the only time I have been
into that pub, although I have driven past it thousands of times. The
sense of relief was still with me and I was feeling better by the
minute. By the time I got home, the reality had set in, and that
reality was that the nightmare was now over and it was now time to face
up to it and get on with my life. Little did I know at the time what
damage the inquest findings (or more to the point not listening to
essential evidence) and the police cover ups would do to everyone
involved for many years to come. Everybody wants to know about what
really happened that night, when the real question should be what really
happened on the fateful day a few weeks before. The records books
accurately show that Arsenal win the league title in exceptional
circumstances. Neither those record books nor the Statute show how 96
people actually lost their lives, and until it does, the relief I felt
on that night was short lived.”
 

darkvoid

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Liverpool 10 - 1 Oulu Palloseura

(1 October 1980)

Every time I seem souness and Terry Mcdermott from the early 80's I just keep hearing yosser hughes from boys from the blackstuff saying to souness "you look like me"
 

Billy Biskix

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How do you remember Emlyn Hughes in a Liverpool shirt? What match epitomized his grit and determination? What were his strengths/weaknesses? What are your best memories of him as a player? Is it his loyalty and passion towards the club? Those special Goals? The lifting of the European Cups? The beaming smile? How will he be described in generations to come?

In detailed analysis, describe and let us know here how you will always remember Emlyn Hughes during his Liverpool career?
I remember Emlyn Hughes for a lot of reasons. He didn't score many but when he did they were usually spectacular. I remember a game against Ipswich, early seventies, he ran on to a free kick and smashed it in from 30 yards. It was still rising when it hit the roof of the net. And I loved the way he celebrated his goals. Anyone who's ever played football at any level will know that there's no better feeling than scoring a goal. There was nothing nonchalant about Emlyn's celebrations. Soon as it hit the net he was off, arms raised running the length of the field. If I ever scored a goal for Liverpool that's exactly how I'd celebrate.


I remember his enthusiasm. He played like a fan and that's why I liked him. He was always arguing with referees and geeing up his team-mates. He desperately wanted to win. If we lost then I knew he was hurting as much as I was. He wasn't a great player but he was a great competitor; a real leader.

I remember him as Liverpool captain. The one holding up all the trophies when I was a lad. My first FA Cup win, my first European Cup win.

Most of all I remember him as my Mum's favourite footballer. My LFC obsession was all-consuming when I was a kid and everyone in my family got sucked into it, even my mother. She had a massive crush on him. I remember dragging her to her one and only football match when we played Sheffield United just so she could see Emlyn in the flesh. Sadly, like Emlyn, she's no longer with us, so this tribute isn't just for Emlyn, it's for you, Ma.
 

Andrew Gray

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Jun 2, 2015
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This is an excerpt from a book I am writing for my kids. It is certainly a day that I and my whole family remember.

16 March 1988 - Derby County v Liverpool. Baseball Ground, League Div. 1 - Drew 1:1


Liverpool’s game against Derby at the Baseball ground was scheduled to take place on 2nd January, but due to bad weather it was postponed. By luck and coincidence, the game was rescheduled for 16th March 1988 – 18 years to the day before I married my beautiful wife. This was to be Liverpool’s 29th league game of the season and in avoidance of defeat would mean that Liverpool would equal Leeds United’s record of 29 games undefeated since the start of the 1973/74 season.

We were approached by a press photographer that my Dad knew from the Belper News (he always did the photos for the Duffield Squash Club teams) who wanted to do a feature on our family to be included in the match programme. As it transpired, it was only for a front and back cover wrap-around for the original programme – but they had to fill it with something and the feature on our family as Derby based Reds would do perfectly. The Programme also featured future Liverpool Cup Winning Captain, Mark Wright and Derby Assistant Manager Roy McFarland, who as you have read by now was rejected by my Dad’s pub football team; the Standard in Anfield and also travelled to Rome with Dad for the 1977 European Cup Final.

The photographer had booked a photo-shoot at our house at 10:00 on Saturday 5th March. I was annoyed at this because Liverpool were away to QPR and I would have liked to have left before then to have time for a few beers before the match. Dad was telling me not to be so miserable, but I pointed out that the article was to say what loyal supporters we were, and yet it was also endangering my attending a match. By the time the photographer arrived at 10:30, I was beginning to panic as I would miss the train. My annoyance can be seen on the picture itself that was featured in the programme.

When we were finished, Dad took me to the station where I was meeting Andy and Paul and we travelled to London by train to see Barnes score in the 1-0 win. Whilst I was travelling to the Station, Mum was talking to the photographer and slyly asked him if he could arrange for Paul to be Liverpool’s mascot. It was a long shot as being mascot was not as easy as it is now (i.e. you couldn’t pay for it) and the away teams never had a mascot, but it was worth the question as a few days later we received a phone call saying that it had been arranged and Paul was to be mascot for the potential record equalling match. Paul was told on the Tuesday night in time for the game on Wednesday after Mum had bought him the new kit. That same shirt is currently being worn by my 6½ year old son, Michael.

Paul was so excited and told all his friends at school the next day, but none of them believed him. On the day following the game, he was asked to stand up in school assembly and tell his school friends and teachers all about the experience. The Radio Derby commentary had mentioned that the Liverpool mascot was from Derby and some of his friends had been at the match to bear witness including Bigshow and Chris Riggott. Chris would later play for Derby, scoring on his debut and then for Middlesbrough where he scored against Liverpool (but also send Paul Sami Hyypia's short from the game). That programme and match is featured elsewhere.

That 1988 Liverpool team was, for me, the best footballing team that the country had ever seen. John Barnes was simply the best player I ever saw over two season, and were it not for his achilles tendon injury which dulled his acceleration and resulted in having to change his game, he could have been Liverpool’s greatest ever, England’s Greatest ever and on a par with Pele, Maradonna and Messi as the world’s greatest ever.

It was truly the greatest football squad ever with a defence that included 4 from Hansen, Lawrenson, Gillespie, Nicol, Vennison and Ablett protecting the magnificent Bruce Grobbelaar in goal. Alongside Barnes in midfield was McMahon, Whelan and Houghton with Spackman, Mølby, Johnston, Wark and McDonald in reserve. Up front was Peter Beardsley and John Aldridge with support from Paul Walsh, and of course Kenny himself. The pace and quality of football played by this team was second to nothing I had seen before, and only Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona played better football since.

It was no wonder then that the record would be equalled as Liverpool entered the Baseball ground pitch with mascot Paul holding hands with Alan Hansen as they got into the positions for the warm up. Paul did himself proud hitting a couple of accurate passes to Hansen and even back-healed a pass to Craig Johnson and completed a one-two with the great John Barnes – most of which was captured on the Sportsnight coverage of the match. Paul had been told to stick close to Hansen and not to shoot at Grobbelaar, so he never got a chance to score, but needless to say, the whole experience was fantastic and for a 7 year old Paul to meet his heroes was just incredible. At the end of the warm-up and after referee A.W. Ward from London tossed the coin, it was time for Paul to leave the pitch. As he met Mum at the end of the Players Tunnel, Mum told him to stand in front of the Liverpool dug-out for a photo. Kenny Dalglish saw what was happening and moved to put his arm around Paul for a photo pose. For me, it is one of the greatest photos ever taken and was used in the Liverpool Echo 1988 Cup Final special.

Liverpool had conceded only one goal in the previous 16 matches, scoring 33 times, so all was set for a comfortable Reds win against newly promoted and 5th bottom Derby who were only 2 points above 3rd bottom Charlton. Derby had been in the 3rd division only 2 seasons earlier, gaining promotion to Division 2 on a Friday night victory against Rotherham to which I was spectating. The day after, I saw Liverpool beat Everton to secure the double, so whereas Liverpool had re-confirmed its place at the head of footballs elite during that period, Derby had won back to back promotions and were now top flight strugglers having been demolished 4-0 at Anfield earlier in the season – and such was the vast difference in quality, Derby had been lucky to get nil!

Whilst Liverpool dominated the match and could have put the result beyond doubt in the first 10 minutes, they did not go in front until Craig Johnston’s goal after 54 minutes and Derby’s inability to clear the ball. Derby showed resilience and spirit, but their efforts were easily handled by Liverpool’s mighty defence of Nicol, Gillespie, Hansen and former Derby loanee, Gary Ablett.

With McMahon hobbling off in the 49th Minute to be replaced by Mølby, the great Dane assisted Liverpool in continuing dominance for the remainder of the game until 3 minutes before time when an exchange between Derby’s Liverpool born left back, Michael Forsyth and Gary Micklewhite resulted in a late Forsyth equaliser for Derby.

Whilst it was 2 points dropped as far as we were concerned, my over-riding feeling was one of pride. Pride that Liverpool had equalled Leeds’ record, but more so, pride that my brother had been mascot on such a fantastic day, alongside such fantastic players.
 



DEVGRU

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One of the greatest football match's I have ever seen..a hat trick from right back/emergency striker Steve Nicol and John Aldridge...it was one of those day's you don't get to see a right back score a hat trick in a match in 90 minutes..

So brave....and it was a cold cold day.

 

DEVGRU

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If memory serves me correct, this was our first home match of the season vs QPR and we had John Barnes, Barry Venison,John Alridge and Peter Beardsly in the side for their anfield debuts...it was an outstanding match and we dominated from start to finish with classy finishes to boot..and rare goals from that Australian Craig Johnston..

Steve Nicol, mr.versatile played at left back..

It was THE match the world watched and then realized..this was a new Liverpool side the world had never seen...

 



Broomy

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If memory serves me correct, this was our first home match of the season vs QPR and we had John Barnes, Barry Venison,John Alridge and Peter Beardsly in the side for their Anfield debuts... It was an outstanding match and we dominated from start to finish with classy finishes to boot..and rare goals from that Australian Craig Johnston..
John Barnes v QPR - Division 1 (17/10/1987) : Great memory DEVGRU and what a match it was....Wasn't our first home match that season though, we had entertained Oxford, Charlton, Derby and Portsmouth at Anfield before our match against QPR that season...

At the start of the 1987/88 season Liverpool entertained QPR at Anfield, QPR were in great form at the time but it was another majestic Liverpool performance with Liverpool winning 4-0. Barnes who had just joined at the start of the 1987/88 season willl always be remembered on the Kop for this game, that awesome blend of control, pace, strength and skill.

It's the game which will always be remembered for John Barnes 2nd goal of the match (and Liverpool's fourth), a magical goal in front of the Kop etched in the annals of the club forever when he went on a mazy dribble from the halfway line before calmly rolling the ball past David Seaman to send the Anfield faithful home mesmerised.

In the TIA Ex Red series, Ste Speed shared his memories of that special day…. “We won 4-0 that day and Barnes scored two superb goals. His first was a beautiful run into the box and a one two pass before firing past David Seaman. It was his second goal that day that I’ve chosen."

"I still remember the first time I saw this goal on Match of the Day that night. Every time I see this goal I’m transported back to being a kid again and it continues to impress me again and again. Barnes won the ball inside his own half and then went on a fantastic run towards the goal. As he got to the edge of the box he jinked past a couple of defenders before slotting the ball home with perfection in front of The Kop. I believe that it was this performance that made him a true Kop Idol, which he remains to this day.”
 
Last edited:

darkvoid

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I remember Barnes scoring a great header against Watford in a 2-0 which I think was in the fa cup which might have been that season. Don't think it was MOTD so was probably itv's big match
 

Broomy

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#1 - EMLYN HUGHES

Back in 2014, TIA Columnist Ste Speed profiled Emlyn Hughes, one of Liverpool’s most charismatic players...



Written by Ste Speed
http://www.thisisanfield.com/2014/11/emlyn-hughes-gone-forgotten/

For people of my age who grew up in the 1980s, Emlyn Hughes was the guy with the infectious smile, wearing patterned jumpers and hamming it up with Princess Anne on ‘A Question of Sport’. For Liverpool fans of the generation before me, the man known as Crazy Horse is regarded as a true legend and one of the greatest players in the history of the club.

When he first signed for The Reds in February 1967, Bill Shankly was driving him to Liverpool for the first time. They were stopped by the police and Shankly said: “Don’t you know who I’ve got in this car? The captain of England!” Shankly later described Emlyn as “having everything” as a player. Shankly adored Emlyn and the feeling was very much reciprocated.

He certainly wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea though, especially Tommy Smith’s. Their legendary feud went back to when Emlyn was made captain at Smith’s expense. He certainly didn’t help his cause with Smith when he grabbed the microphone during the post European Cup final celebrations in 1977. Emlyn proceeded to sing ‘Liverpool are magic, Everton are tragic’. Smith has since said he believed this caused bad blood with the Everton fans and spoilt the attendance at his testimonial shortly afterwards.

Tommy Smith may have found Emlyn to be big headed and arrogant but I have heard many stories from fans that portray him in an entirely different light. It is well known that when kids would knock at his door, Emlyn would happily chat with them and sign an autograph. I’ve heard he would even invite them in for a cup of tea as well if it was raining.

My friend Jimmy recently told me that when he was 11, he and his mate hitchhiked to see Liverpool play at Burnley. After the match they stuck around and had no idea how to get home. Emlyn saw them and brought them onto the coach with the players. The driver demanded they get off and refused to drive with them on board. Emlyn got into a row with the driver, but he refused to budge and the lads had to get off. Jimmy says he will never forget how he stuck up for them and tried to help out.

Regardless of what some people may have thought of his personality, it can never be disputed that Emlyn was an amazing footballer who played a vital part as captain of the club during one of the most successful periods in its history. He was the first Liverpool captain to lift the European Cup and did it again a year later. He also played a part in arguably the finest defence in Liverpool’s history, when they conceded just 16 goals in 1978/79.

As a player he was all-action, getting stuck in, as well as bringing the ball out into the midfield and making himself available all over the pitch. He had a shot like a cannon and scored some incredible long range goals. He was voted Footballer of the Year in 1977 when he led Liverpool to the league title, European Cup and a defeat in the FA Cup final where they were denied the first ever treble.

Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Emlyn, I always had a lot of time for him and thought he came across on TV as a very likeable fella. I was too young to remember him playing but I have seen lots of footage on videos and DVDs. I appreciate how he was an emotional player who really appeared to feel everything so deeply.

It is impossible not to smile at his joyous reaction in the footage of celebrations after famous victories. For example his fist pumping and cry of “yes” after the title winning game at Wolves in 1976. When he lifted the European Cup in 1977, the BBC commentator, Barry Davies, described the moment as “the smile of the season from Emlyn Hughes, the performance of the season, the trophy of the season”.

I also love watching the footage of his celebration’s after scoring those two goals against Everton. The way he ran around like a man possessed waving his arms over his head is an iconic image of a golden era for Liverpool FC.

Emlyn Hughes, Crazy Horse, gone but will never be forgotten.

Written by Ste Speed (2014)
 

Limiescouse

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That Newcastle game was a sunday wasn't it?
Definitely. We used to get so little live football televised before ITV started doing it in the few years prior to Sky landing the contract. I think this game was in their first year of that contract and so largely why so many of us remember it so vividly.
 

lfc.eddie

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If memory serves me correct, this was our first home match of the season vs QPR and we had John Barnes, Barry Venison,John Alridge and Peter Beardsly in the side for their anfield debuts...it was an outstanding match and we dominated from start to finish with classy finishes to boot..and rare goals from that Australian Craig Johnston.
I think our current team needs to watch games during Kenny's reign in the 80s, and Paisley's too. They press super high up and move the ball quickly. Movement was super fluid. I remember telling my friends John Barnes' legs has its own brain, they seem to move and think independently from his whole body.
 



El_Pistolero

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So many games to choose from but for me it has to be the first game I ever went to age 7/8...I still vividly remember walking up the stairs in the Main Stand and seeing the Anfield pitch for the first time....it took my breath away - my dad had a business meeting with Phil Thompson in the afternoon and managed to blag 3 tickets from him for Ray Clemence's Testimonial match that night and took me and my brother - the first time he taken either of us as he was usually on the Kop somewhere with the lads - I watched the footy whenever it was on (so rarely in those days) and I'd supported Liverpool just because my dad did, but my love affair with this club began in earnest that day...hearing 'You'll Never Walk Alone' made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and I still get that same feeling when it's sung just before kick off today...

14.05.1980 LFC v Anderlecht (6-8) Ray Clemence Testimonial

 

Broomy

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I just received this email and article from lfchistory.net editor Chris Wood titled "A letter from Bill Shankly" for our Day's We'll Remember thread here.... It's a fascinating and enthralling article.... Just to get a tiny insight into Bill Shankly is absolutely amazing.... Thank you again Chris!

Written by Chris Wood

(PART 1)

“It hardly seems possible that it is more than three decades since Bill Shankly died. But the legacy he left us is there for all to see today. Even in times when we are fighting for a Champions’ League place instead of aiming for something better, it probably cannot be argued that if it had not been for Shankly’s intervention Liverpool might still be just a “sleeping giant” looking back on better days. I am not underestimating the role Bob Paisley (and others) played because Bob was around throughout Bill’s reign. But Bill was the catalyst the club needed at the time, the man who lit the blue touch-paper and watched it burn into something special. Even today people talk about Shankly in revered tones. A new generation has grown up since Shanks passed away but everyone knows and recognises the role he played in building Liverpool up to become the “bastion of invincibility” that was one of his most famous quotes.

Shankly stories have become legendary. Maybe some are true and maybe some are not. But if you were ever fortunate enough to be in his presence (and most of us as mere supporters could not be), his infectious enthusiasm and passion for the game was a memory that stayed with you long after any meeting was over. But what also stayed with you was his honesty and his humility and those are qualities that unfortunately not all of today’s top managers can claim to possess.

Today’s pampered professionals with their over-inflated wallets and egos don’t know how lucky they are. They climb off luxury coaches and into luxury cars and rarely have to organise the football part of their own lives. But in the late-60’s and early-70’s it was quite common for the players to be seen on the same trains as the supporters, not going to the game of course but certainly on their way home. If Liverpool had been playing at places like Southampton or Ipswich, the official party would usually travel on a scheduled train into London, where a coach would be waiting to drive them on to Euston for the final leg of their journey. I remember one such journey back into London from East Anglia when a group of us were having an argument about a goal Liverpool had scored a while back. Although I wouldn’t have had the nerve to do it myself, one of us opened the door to the compartment where Shanks was sitting with the rest of the backroom staff and asked “Excuse me, Bill … you know that goal so-and-so scored (I can’t remember now the game or the player involved), did the cross come from the right or the left ?”. And the answer came back immediately without pause for thought.

Paying attention to detail was one of the great things about Liverpool’s success, If you look after the little things, the big things sometimes look after themselves. I have lost count of the number of times I have read a book written by a Liverpool player in which he incorrectly described an incident or a goal. Sometimes they even got the bloody match wrong. One of Tommy Smith’s books referred to a European match against opponents Liverpool had never even met ! But I suppose to them it was just “another day in the office”. Supporters are more likely to remember incidents than players perhaps ? But if you had asked Shankly about any game Liverpool had played while he was in charge, I think there’s a fair chance he would have remembered everything that needed remembering !

A group of us travelled up by minibus to spend a couple of hours at Melwood in the summer of 1971. The appointment had been kindly arranged by Tom Saunders, the Youth Development Officer for the club at that time. Usually Melwood was pretty accessible in those days if you made an appointment first. There certainly wasn’t the secrecy that seems to be attached to it these days. The team was busy preparing for the new season. It was an important time. The great team of the mid-60’s had been broken up and several new players had arrived to make names for themselves like Ray Clemence, Larry Lloyd & John Toshack. There was also a further addition, a young man who had recently been bought from Scunthorpe United and that man of course was Kevin Keegan. As the players took a break from their training, Bill Shankly spotted our little group standing on the sidelines and made straight for us. I think he always loved being the centre of attention but certainly not in an arrogant or conceited way. Wasn’t it Paisley who once said that Bill used to wear shoes with steel tips so that everyone could hear him walking down the corridor ?!


He stayed and chatted with us for several minutes. He signed autographs, posed for photographs and answered questions. But there was one question he wouldn’t be drawn on. For all our curiosity about the new arrival from little Scunthorpe, he wouldn’t say a word. Our curiosity was genuine but none of us really knew how good this player might be. Bill did though … and that’s why he wouldn’t talk about him. He knew talent when he saw it and he knew what Keegan had to offer and what an impact he would make. But he wasn’t prepared to discuss it with us. I think I’m right in saying that Keegan never played a reserve match for Liverpool. He just went straight into the first team when the season opened against Nottingham Forest a few weeks later, scored a goal, made a nuisance of himself and never looked back. I don’t know whether Shankly ever saw Keegan play before he signed for Liverpool. I suspect not because Bill wrote in his autobiography “everybody on our training and coaching staff saw him play” which perhaps suggests that he himself had not ? I think that side of things was left to his scouts and backroom staff. A high-profile manager would have attracted attention by going to a lower division game. But Andy Beattie, who had been a team-mate of Shankly’s at Preston and was working as a part-time scout for Liverpool, never stopped talking about him. Other clubs became interested until Bill knew he had to make his move. He later described the £35,000 fee as “robbery with violence” and he wasn’t far wrong !

At the end of Keegan’s first season at Anfield, Liverpool were chasing the championship. A wonderful run of 13 wins and a single draw had seen them move into a very strong position as the season neared its close. But defeat in the penultimate league match at Derby left things wide open again with Derby, Leeds & Liverpool still in with a chance of taking the title. Many supporters who remember the pain of losing the last match against Arsenal in 1989 probably don’t know that the same opponents cost us the championship in 1972 as well. Only a year after depriving us of the cup, Arsenal stood in our way of the title as well. Two days after losing to Leeds in the F.A. cup final, they faced us at Highbury. On the same night Leeds were at Wolverhampton. A Leeds victory would have given them the Double but good news came through in the second half and the chant from the visiting fans of “Leeds are losing” got through to the players. Liverpool upped the tempo. Only a victory would do. With three minutes left, John Toshack put the ball in the net and we all went wild. But the goal was disallowed for offside.

As the final whistle went, there are two clear memories that remain. One is of Alan Ball jumping up and down in front of the players’ tunnel ‘celebrating’ the fact that Liverpool hadn’t won the League; the other was my own reaction. In much the same way as that little Leeds fan reacted after their recent relegation, I was inconsolable. If we had won and Leeds had won, there would have been no tears. But Leeds lost. We were so close to the big prize. Late though it was when I got home, I sat down and wrote a letter to our manager. I just needed to get the defeat out of my system somehow. I told him how proud I was to support Liverpool and how proud I was of the effort his players had put in and how desperate I felt that we had just missed out. That game took place on the 8th of May. I posted my letter the next morning and the reply I got was dated the 10th. So on the same day he received my letter, at the end of a long and hard season, this kind and humble man sat down in front of the battered old typewriter that is now permanently on display in the museum behind the Kop … and wrote to me. Can you imagine how special that made me feel ?

This is what he said :

Dear Chris, Received your letter regarding the end to the present season, and of course the efforts of the team, thanks for same. We are pleased that we did well in London as we know that we have so many supporters who are so loyal. It was tragic that we were so near to the big prize, and in the end got nothing. However, knowing that we made people like yourself proud, is great. Yours sincerely, Bill Shankly, Manager

It’s strange when you look back sometimes. If we had won at Highbury on that fateful night, we would have been playing in the European cup. If we had been playing in the European cup, we couldn’t have won the UEFA cup a year later ! And I know that league and European double in 1973 meant so much to the supporters as well as the players and their manager because we had waited a long time since our last major success in 1966. Shanks described his 3rd title in 1973 as his most satisfying because it had been done with a new team. But I know that winning the UEFA cup meant a lot to him as well because it put Liverpool’s name on a European trophy for the first time. He would have one last crack at the European cup, one that ultimately ended in disappointment but one that gave me another special Shankly memory.

I travelled over to Luxembourg with a friend to watch our first round tie against the minnows of Jeunesse d’Esch. You didn’t have to a member of some silly travel club then. You didn’t have to fill in endless forms about how you were going and when. You just went ! But we didn’t have tickets and in a tiny stadium that might have been a problem. But we located the hotel where the players were staying and arrived in the reception and waited for the players to return from their morning training session. Just as he had done at Melwood in 1971, Bill walked over as soon as he saw us with his arm outstretched. “Hello boys, how are you ? I see Everton lost last night”. And they had too, in some meaningless Anglo-Scottish tournament against one of the Dundee clubs I think. But he knew … and he wanted to make sure that we knew as well ! I never felt comfortable asking for comps but if you’re a long way from home and worried about not getting in, sometimes you just have to do it. Bill assured us that if we still hadn’t got tickets by the time the coach arrived at the stadium, he would make sure we were sorted out. As luck would have it, later in the day we met two Englishmen who were working in Luxembourg and who kindly fixed us up, so we didn’t need to take Shanks up on his kind offer. But we still appreciated his gesture a lot.​

Written by Chris Wood
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Broomy

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Written by Chris Wood

(PART 2)

A year later on a day that shocked the football world, Bill Shankly suddenly and dramatically announced his retirement. But such was his huge personality, it became clear that it wasn’t going to be an easy parting. He continued to go to Melwood for a while, which was within walking distance of his home. I am sure it was with great sadness that he wrote in his book that he “felt there was some resentment”. He stopped going to Melwood and he stopped watching home matches from the Directors’ Box at Anfield. But he still went and watched from other parts of the stadium, mostly from the Main Stand but one day he kept a promise he had made to go on the Kop. I remember the day well. We were playing Coventry. The crowd was well below capacity and the game was nothing special, a 1-1 draw. But midway through the first half from my seat in what was then the Kemlyn Road stand I became aware of a commotion going on towards the Main Stand side of the Kop. We were all bemused about what was going on but then a chant of “Shankly, Shankly” broke out and it all became clear. He had just turned up, paid to go in like anyone else and stood as anonymously as he could (which is a misnomer if ever I heard one !) and watched the game from there.
Other comments in his book make it clear how hurt he was by the distance that appeared between himself and his former employers. Maybe there was fault on both sides, I don’t know. But it can’t have been an easy situation to deal with. But the sadness he felt is made very clear by comments like “I would have loved to be invited to away matches, but I waited and waited until I got tired of waiting”. Two years after he retired, Liverpool again reached the UEFA cup final. He was invited to travel as the club’s guest but the gesture came “too late for my peace of mind”. He was also put in a different hotel to the one used by the official party and found that “quite insulting”. I’m not surprised.

Whatever differences there were between the club and its former manager, they certainly weren’t shared by the supporters. To us he was still the King that he had always been. After he had retired, the London Branch of the Supporters’ Club on whose committee I was then serving wanted to give him a retirement gift. He seemed embarrassed to be asked at all but said he would like a simple radio. The presentation took place after a home game in the Autumn on 1974 and was held in The Vines public house (sometimes called the Big House), which was being run at that time by ex-boxer Alan Rudkin. It was packed but Shanks was in his element. Many of the stories told about him are probably apocryphal but one I can testify to is of a young lad who was making his first visit to Liverpool. This was the day and the occasion it happened. I heard the “What’s it like to be in Heaven ?” comment myself.


Two years after he retired, “Shankly by Bill Shankly” was published. It was an enthralling read. I dearly wanted to get my copy signed by the great man. I would never have had the nerve to do anything about it on my own but somewhere in his book he had said that supporters sometimes just turned up at his house. With the support of a colleague from work who wasn’t really interested in football but was Scottish (so at least that was a start !), we made our plans. We both worked for the Railway and at that time the Adelphi Hotel was run by British Transport Hotels, one of the Railway’s subsidiary companies. So that’s where we stayed one night before Liverpool played at home to Bristol City. The following morning we took the bus out to West Derby and around mid-day I walked very nervously up his drive and knocked on the door. A few seconds later the door opened and there he was. Now if he had just signed the book and shut the door, I would still have been the happiest man in the world. But he didn’t do that. He invited us in. He had never seen us before but he invited us in. Can you imagine any man in a similar position doing that ? Can you imagine any man in a similar position living in a modest semi-detached house, the house he continued to live in until his death and where his lovely wife Nessie continued to live until hers ? No, neither can I. He invited us into his back room, introduced us to Nessie as if we were long-lost relatives and sensing our nervousness quickly put us at ease.

At his request Nessie got us something to eat and then we just sat down and talked … or rather he talked and we listened ! It wasn’t that we didn’t have questions to ask because I am sure we did but we hadn’t expected to get so far so we hadn’t prepared anything. But Bill was a great orator. That was why the Press loved him so much. And I guess that was why we the supporters loved him so much too because he never let us down and he always told us the way things were.

He had a lunchtime radio programme after his retirement that had been recorded earlier in the week. His special guest that day was Denis Law and as he sat and listened to the recording he enthused about Law the player and Law the man. He sat in modest surroundings with mementos and trophies in cabinets around the room but not in an ostentatious way. He had deserved them anyway so why shouldn’t be show them off ?! I suppose we were there an hour, maybe a bit more. We lost track of time because it was such an extraordinary experience. But then there was another knock on the door and it was one of his daughters with two of his grandchildren. We knew we had to make a move but there was never any suggestion from him that it was time to go just because someone else had arrived. But we knew it wouldn’t be right to stay after his family had arrived. In any case we had a match to see ! Bill had already signed my book and he shook hands with us for one final time as he showed us to the front door. We walked down that drive in a daze. I don’t think either of us could believe what had just happened. And yet I know from what I have read and heard that we weren’t the only supporters who were granted the same privilege. Bill Shankly was often described as “A Man of the People”. I knew that already but that day he proved it to me beyond any doubt.

I last saw Bill Shankly in Paris in 1981. The hotel I was staying in was just across the road from the one Liverpool’s official party was using for the European cup final. Remembering what he had written about the trip to Bruges in 1976, I was pleased to see that this time he hadn’t been shunted off somewhere else. I didn’t bother him because as you can imagine it was bedlam in the reception after the game ! But Bill & Bob Paisley were just standing quietly in a corner of the reception chatting to each other. I still have that vivid picture in my mind because nobody could have dreamed that before the end of the year Bill would be gone. He just seemed indestructible, immortal even. That summer I commissioned a special tie with the three European cups on underneath a Liver Bird and the dates of those three successes. They were just for friends really and it was a very small ‘run’, only 4 or 5 dozen, done incidentally by a company run by Dave Mackay, the old Tottenham favourite. We sent a few of those ties out to special Liverpool people we felt deserved them. I remember being delighted to see Bob Paisley wearing his when the tv cameras covered our game at West Ham that Autumn, on the 26th of September 1981 to be exact. Bill Shankly was on that complimentary list as well … but the letter asking him to accept one was never sent. Shortly after that game at West Ham, Bill suffered the heart attack from which he subsequently died a day later. I had been playing football and heard the news that he had been taken to hospital on my car radio. But the next morning’s bulletin told us the news we had all dreaded hearing.

I was never a friend of Bill Shankly, expect in the way we all were. But I was lucky enough to meet him and feel the genuine warmth of his nature. I will never forget how special he made me feel by writing to me all those years ago or how wonderful his hospitality was when I turned up unannounced at his home. As today’s managers live in their penthouses and mansions surrounded by security, I like to think that if Bill had been manager today he would never have changed the way he lived or the way he treated people. I know beyond any doubt that not only was Bill Shankly a great manager … he was also a great man.”

Written by Chris Wood

Many thanks again to lfchistory.net editor Chris Wood for sending me the above article and memories.... Read Chris' full collection of articles over on lfchistory.net here http://www.lfchistory.net/Articles/BySeries/2
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ptt

2020, head of the table.
Joined
Oct 11, 2007
Messages
14,754
The Days Before TV and the Internet


I’ve been ruminating on this one for several weeks. Somebody recently poked me with a brush ;) and started me thinking of this post. It’s not about my childhood memories of Anfield, my family love of Liverpool or my knowledge of the city. It’s about a growing lad doing everything he could to enjoy the amazing new love in his life. As previously mentioned, I’m a Liverpool fan by accident. I went down the Liverpool leg of the trousers of time whereas I could have gone Blue, Gunner or worse, Manc...... When I got to high school, the banter started to come out. This was where we learnt to argue and joust about football (and so much more). We started to debate, criticise and generally take the piss out of each other’s footballing allegiances.

Some kids had sports mad mums, match going uncles or football crazy brothers who took them to the match. I had a dad who loved the radio. Not and never anything to do with sport but always the radio. Radio 4 at tea time, the Archers on the weekend and endless nonsense (to my ears at the time) through day and night. But I vividly remember him saying to me one day when I was talking about football “If you like it so much, why don’t you listen to it?” Now please remember, this was in the days before social media, streaming was something you did with a net in a river and the only football on TV was Chris Waddle’s penalty and the FA cup final. To know about Liverpool’s games, you read the newspaper the day after or went to the match.

So, picture the scene. A young PTT (13 ish) with an assembly of hand made radios (radio mad dad = technically rather proficient son) waiting up to listen to a rather important game. As it happened, one of the most important games of the last 30 years. The crowning joke was that it was actually on TV but there was no chance of me watching it in a one TV house! The match? Arsenal, last game of the 88-89 season. I listened to my first match in wrapped angst knowing that we could lose but by no more than one. The rest, as they say, is history with Michael Thomas etching his name into English football’s pantheon of big match performers. I remember being so engrossed in the game, mesmerised by the abilities of the commentators to convey the game, the subtle nuances, the tactical appraisals and the (at times) rather un-bbc language. How times change. But I realised that come Monday morning, I knew as much about the game as those who had been to the game. I could discuss the match, talk about players performances and be a real part of the “in” crowd.

So the years flowed by with me seemingly having the inside track on all the games. Every morning after a win, I’d know who played well and who missed the sitters. Not because I’d been stood on the Kop but because I’d discovered commentary on the radio. I’ll never forget listening to Beardsley’s hatrick against United in 1990. Coming into school the next day was one of those amazing moments. 4-0 against our biggest rivals and I could tell everybody all about it. Brilliant memories of a fabulous team.

My top 2 radio matches though are easy. The first was what is still considered to be one of the greatest PL games ever. Liverpool 4 Newcastle 3 on the 3rd April 1996. As tight and tense a game as you could ever want to listen to. I was shouting the house down when Collymore scored the winner, much to my parent’s annoyance. I didn’t care though, I’d been there (vicariously) for the best match of my life.

So to the game. The match. The one that’s not just seared into my brain, it has a small apartment in the corner, occasionally hosts parties and sometimes makes my hair stand on end just for a laugh when life gets quiet. See my love of the radio and its presenters has now completely overwhelmed my footballing appreciation. In an ideal world, I’ll have the match on the TV, commentary on the radio (TMS lovers will understand) and a little banter on the internet to boot. But this night was a very special one. Turkey was the venue. One match to enthral us all, one match to bind us, one match to unite us all and in the Ataturk, grind them. Didn’t quite go to plan though as you’ll all remember. But the great thing was that whilst I was watching the game with a group of friends, I had 5 live on the radio in an earpiece. By then, listening to the game was a good as watching the game and certainly more important. The radio commentary was direct from the stadium whereas the video signal we were watching was about 10 seconds behind. So I was cast into dispare 3 times utterly on my own as I heard the goals go in. Was a weird feeling knowing that crushing disappointment was about to hit the pub before it actually did.

Come the second half though, I rather had the better of things. You all remember the game so I won’t describe it again here. But imagine having the goals just that little bit sooner? Leaping up and celebrating like a berk before the corner’s taken. Screaming like a banshee before Smicer eyes up the goal. Passing out through excitement as Xabi’s penalty eventually goes in. The crowning glory though, the icing on the cake, the absolute zenith was the shootout. I remember going over to the pool table infront of the screen and crouching behind it. Club was packed with people watching the same screen. When the moment finally arrived, I could keep it in no longer and leapt up onto the table shouting and screaming like the world was ending. The look of realisation on the faces of the fans as we won will linger with me for ever.

I’ll still always listen to the game for preference, like I’d rather listen to cricket than watch it in silence. It’s like reading a book, your mind paints the pictures that the commentators describe far more vividly than the film can show. So I implore you all, try experiencing a match or two through your ears and savour so many more days that you’ll always remember.
 



Dane

NEXT!
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Great thread as usual from Broomy.
He recently messaged me and included this post of mine from years ago, which he must have saved, and asked me to paste it in here.
Thinking about that day still brings a smile.


Arsenal 1 - 2 Liverpool

Game date: Saturday 15 August 1987
Stadium: Highbury
Competition: 1st Division
Attendance: 54,703
Manager: Kenny Dalglish

Team: Grobelaar, Gillespie, Venison, Nicol, Whelan, Hansen, Beardsley, Aldridge, Johnston, Barnes, McMahon.
Goals: Aldridge (9), Nicol (88).

After many years of following Liverpool from afar, catching glimpses from the very limited TV coverage in Scotland, I finally got the chance to see them in the flesh after I joined the Army, stationed near Reading. Working as a recruit instructor, I became aquainted to one of the recruits who to this day I only know by the name of "Scouse".

I bumped into Scouse on the morning of the 15th August 1987 whilst walking through camp. "How's it going Scouse, what are you up to?" I asked. "I'm off to Highbury, fancy it?" was the reply.

So off we went to Reading train station to make our way to London. Already buzzing as we got on the train, a group of Americans were just getting off and offered us the table full of beer they had left, this day was just getting better by the minute. Arriving at Highbury, with the free beer taking full effect, we proceeded to try and get into Highbury. Now, without tickets this was going to prove difficult.

After spending the first 45 minutes fruitlessly trying to gain access to the ground, I decided to try and dupe a particularly young looking WPC by quickly flashing my Army ID card in the hope we might gain access through a now open main gate. Imagine our drunken delerium when she waved us through straight into a stand full of Arsenal fans. As it was standing in those days, it didn't take long for us to become separated, and I proceeded to concentrate on finding my new mate.

After a short while, with the game going on in the background, I managed to catch sight of him. Excellent I thought, now to attract his attention.

Only one problem, his only known name to me was "Scouse". F**k it I thought, I'd had a few and was feeling brave so started shouting out to him. Finally getting his attention, and with several Gooners giving us verbals, we snaked our way towards the stand with the Liverpool fans in.

We somehow managed to climb in amongst the Liverpool fans with a bit of help, and settled down to watch the final few minutes. With the scores even at 1-1 after John Aldridge had opened the scoring in the 9th minute. The game was looking like finishing level until with only 2 minutes remaining, Stevie Nicol rose to bullet a header firmly into the back of the Arsenal net. I was ecstatic. The game finished 2-1 in our favour, and at the final whistle we made our way to the nearest boozer to celebrate the day, ending up having a good skinful with some of the local Gooners.

So there you have it, my first time at a Liverpool match, an historic one at that as Barnes and Beardsley both made their debuts!. More to be remembered for the day out really, as I only actually got to see about 15 minutes of football, but still very memorable.
 

cardiffpete

TIA Reserve Team
Joined
Apr 14, 2009
Messages
3,625
Great thread as usual from Broomy.
He recently messaged me and included this post of mine from years ago, which he must have saved, and asked me to paste it in here.
Thinking about that day still brings a smile.


Arsenal 1 - 2 Liverpool

Game date: Saturday 15 August 1987
Stadium: Highbury
Competition: 1st Division
Attendance: 54,703
Manager: Kenny Dalglish

Team: Grobelaar, Gillespie, Venison, Nicol, Whelan, Hansen, Beardsley, Aldridge, Johnston, Barnes, McMahon.
Goals: Aldridge (9), Nicol (88).

After many years of following Liverpool from afar, catching glimpses from the very limited TV coverage in Scotland, I finally got the chance to see them in the flesh after I joined the Army, stationed near Reading. Working as a recruit instructor, I became aquainted to one of the recruits who to this day I only know by the name of "Scouse".

I bumped into Scouse on the morning of the 15th August 1987 whilst walking through camp. "How's it going Scouse, what are you up to?" I asked. "I'm off to Highbury, fancy it?" was the reply.

So off we went to Reading train station to make our way to London. Already buzzing as we got on the train, a group of Americans were just getting off and offered us the table full of beer they had left, this day was just getting better by the minute. Arriving at Highbury, with the free beer taking full effect, we proceeded to try and get into Highbury. Now, without tickets this was going to prove difficult.

After spending the first 45 minutes fruitlessly trying to gain access to the ground, I decided to try and dupe a particularly young looking WPC by quickly flashing my Army ID card in the hope we might gain access through a now open main gate. Imagine our drunken delerium when she waved us through straight into a stand full of Arsenal fans. As it was standing in those days, it didn't take long for us to become separated, and I proceeded to concentrate on finding my new mate.

After a short while, with the game going on in the background, I managed to catch sight of him. Excellent I thought, now to attract his attention.

Only one problem, his only known name to me was "Scouse". F**k it I thought, I'd had a few and was feeling brave so started shouting out to him. Finally getting his attention, and with several Gooners giving us verbals, we snaked our way towards the stand with the Liverpool fans in.

We somehow managed to climb in amongst the Liverpool fans with a bit of help, and settled down to watch the final few minutes. With the scores even at 1-1 after John Aldridge had opened the scoring in the 9th minute. The game was looking like finishing level until with only 2 minutes remaining, Stevie Nicol rose to bullet a header firmly into the back of the Arsenal net. I was ecstatic. The game finished 2-1 in our favour, and at the final whistle we made our way to the nearest boozer to celebrate the day, ending up having a good skinful with some of the local Gooners.

So there you have it, my first time at a Liverpool match, an historic one at that as Barnes and Beardsley both made their debuts!. More to be remembered for the day out really, as I only actually got to see about 15 minutes of football, but still very memorable.
Ha! That game!

The Kop (and Anfield too) was closed off that season (drainage stuff) for a small while and it was just word-of-mouth stuff being spread around ...from those of us coming back from the away games, as well as the Echo reports. The hype and the wait was simply unsustainable, to just watch that team play at Anfield. From the very first game to the last that season, it would be football played at a level that had maybe never been seen before and certainly had never seen before in England. Just breathtaking stuff from the off. Even the old-farts, who were spoilt rotten by LFC for a decade (and more) of success upon success just couldn't comprehend just how good that team was, as everything instantly clicked into place.

When LFC finally showed up at Anfield against Oxford, the Kop was locked-out a full hour before kick-off (and that never happened and thousands were locked-out then) ....and we should have scored 10 goals that day, such was the quality of football on show. It never stopped either. We could (and we should) have easily scored about 50 more goals that season, but a lot of the time it was a small squad and job done and the handbrakes being applied to kill the game. We finished the season on automatic pilot too, with the League long since won ...so the actual results really didn't always reflect the performance levels and the often utter class on show.

That team could have easily had 6,7,8 goals in at least half the games played though (and still defend well enough to keep a clean sheet) and a small regret is that they never fully wanted these types of scorelines. No other regrets though.
 

darkvoid

Tiocfaidh ár lá
Joined
Sep 21, 2014
Messages
2,829
Great thread as usual from Broomy.
He recently messaged me and included this post of mine from years ago, which he must have saved, and asked me to paste it in here.
Thinking about that day still brings a smile.


Arsenal 1 - 2 Liverpool

Game date: Saturday 15 August 1987
Stadium: Highbury
Competition: 1st Division
Attendance: 54,703
Manager: Kenny Dalglish

Team: Grobelaar, Gillespie, Venison, Nicol, Whelan, Hansen, Beardsley, Aldridge, Johnston, Barnes, McMahon.
Goals: Aldridge (9), Nicol (88).

After many years of following Liverpool from afar, catching glimpses from the very limited TV coverage in Scotland, I finally got the chance to see them in the flesh after I joined the Army, stationed near Reading. Working as a recruit instructor, I became aquainted to one of the recruits who to this day I only know by the name of "Scouse".

I bumped into Scouse on the morning of the 15th August 1987 whilst walking through camp. "How's it going Scouse, what are you up to?" I asked. "I'm off to Highbury, fancy it?" was the reply.

So off we went to Reading train station to make our way to London. Already buzzing as we got on the train, a group of Americans were just getting off and offered us the table full of beer they had left, this day was just getting better by the minute. Arriving at Highbury, with the free beer taking full effect, we proceeded to try and get into Highbury. Now, without tickets this was going to prove difficult.

After spending the first 45 minutes fruitlessly trying to gain access to the ground, I decided to try and dupe a particularly young looking WPC by quickly flashing my Army ID card in the hope we might gain access through a now open main gate. Imagine our drunken delerium when she waved us through straight into a stand full of Arsenal fans. As it was standing in those days, it didn't take long for us to become separated, and I proceeded to concentrate on finding my new mate.

After a short while, with the game going on in the background, I managed to catch sight of him. Excellent I thought, now to attract his attention.

Only one problem, his only known name to me was "Scouse". F**k it I thought, I'd had a few and was feeling brave so started shouting out to him. Finally getting his attention, and with several Gooners giving us verbals, we snaked our way towards the stand with the Liverpool fans in.

We somehow managed to climb in amongst the Liverpool fans with a bit of help, and settled down to watch the final few minutes. With the scores even at 1-1 after John Aldridge had opened the scoring in the 9th minute. The game was looking like finishing level until with only 2 minutes remaining, Stevie Nicol rose to bullet a header firmly into the back of the Arsenal net. I was ecstatic. The game finished 2-1 in our favour, and at the final whistle we made our way to the nearest boozer to celebrate the day, ending up having a good skinful with some of the local Gooners.

So there you have it, my first time at a Liverpool match, an historic one at that as Barnes and Beardsley both made their debuts!. More to be remembered for the day out really, as I only actually got to see about 15 minutes of football, but still very memorable.
My arsenal supporting uncle brought me to this game. Had to sit in the north bank stifling my glee when we scored the winner
 

Broomy

TIA's Redkopi
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Jul 7, 2007
Messages
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Great memories lads, in what was our opening game of the 1987/88 season, I remember it being a scorching hot day, then our two new signings, Peter Beardsley, our new record transfer from Newcastle for £1.9 million and also John Barnes. They both made a perfect start to their Liverpool careers when they combined for John Aldridge to head home and Liverpool's first goal of the match...

But who'll ever forget that remarkable, strangest long-range header from Steve Nicol with just two minutes remaining to give us that 2-1 opening day victory over Arsenal. Here's the full ITV highlights from Highbury of the 1987/88 opening day match between Arsenal and Liverpool...

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Billy Biskix

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Graeme Souness - LFC Manager (1991/1994)

There have been a few games down the years that have left me with a sense of hopelessness about the immediate future of LFC. Most recently it was Stoke 6 Liverpool 1 on the 24th May 2015. Before that it was Liverpool 0 Wolves 1 on the 29th December 2010 in the last few days of Roy Hodgson's reign. But the first time I ever had that feeling was on 19th December 1992 and this was after I had already been supporting the club for more than 20 years. On that day we lost 5 - 1 away at Coventry City and the Liverpool manager was Graeme Souness.

Kenny's resignation had come as a total shock. Back then there was no internet chatter or Twitter 'ITK's to give you an inkling that something might be about to happen. So I came home from work, switched on the TV and Kenny was gone. It didn't make any sense at the time although subsequently it all made perfect sense. Hillsborough had taken its toll on Kenny and that combined with the pressure of keeping Liverpool at the top had just been too much for him.

There wasn't an obvious replacement. Ronnie Moran stepped up as caretaker manager whilst a successor was found but wasn't interested in doing the job on a permanent basis. For the first time since Shankly it looked as though we might be recruiting from outside the club and the man I wanted, and most fans wanted, was Graeme Souness.

I didn't much like Souness the man, but I knew he was passionate about the club and a winner. He'd been a great captain for us and was ferociously competitive. He'd already proved himself as a manager at Glasgow Rangers, where he had wrestled dominance of Scottish football away from Celtic. He'd spent a lot of money but he'd also shown a real ruthlessness in achieving success, breaking taboos such as signing a Roman Catholic to the club. It was a sign of how hungry Souness was for success. He didn't care about what people thought. He just wanted to win.

When Souness took over at Liverpool it was clear that a shake-up was needed. We were still playing great attacking football with plenty of flair but we'd developed a vulnerability in defence. At the end of the previous season under Kenny we'd lost the FA Cup semi-final 4-3 to Crystal Palace, a team that earlier in the season we'd beaten 9-0 at Anfield. In Kenny's final game as manager we had lost the lead four times in a 4-4 draw with Everton and under Ronnie Moran we'd scraped a 5-4 win against Leeds after being 4-0 up. So Souness had work to do to recreate the air of invincibility that we'd had for much of the previous 20 years. Teams knew they could now get at us, home and away.

Liverpool still had an outside chance of winning the title when Souness became manager despite our schizophrenic form under Ronnie Moran. It all ended at Stamford Bridge when after coming back from two goals down against Chelsea we lost 4-2. The match was significant not just because it reinforced the view that we were now becoming a soft touch. It also gave us the first glimpse of Souness's utter ruthlessness when he took off Kenny's final signing, Jimmy Carter, after bringing him on earlier in the game as a substitute.

Most fans expected Souness to try to spend his way out of trouble and he didn't disappoint. He brought in Dean Saunders, a Kevin Keegan-esque striker and Mark Wright, a solid centre-back, both from Derby County for just over £5 million. He raided his old club to bring in Mark Walters, a flying winger, and then Michael Thomas, scorer of one of the most famous goals against Liverpool, arrived to shore up the midfield.

It didn't work, though. The inconsistency that had begun to appear under Kenny was now a permanent feature of our performances. None of Souness's signings really shone. We were still vulnerable defensively. We were plagued by injuries, widely attributed to Souness's new, exhausting training regimes.

We limped to 6th in the league, the first time in 11 years that we had finished outside of the top two. We suffered the first of several humiliations under Souness when we were knocked out of the League Cup by Peterborough, then in the third tier of English football. Salvation came in the FA Cup where we had a series of fortunate wins that saw us progress to the semi-finals. We took on second division Portsmouth and were one down in extra time with just minutes to go when Ronnie Whelan converted the rebound after John Barnes (who'd barely featured that season through injury) had hit the post from a free-kick. Souness sunk to his knees with relief. Defeat would have been a disaster.

We went on to win the FA Cup that year beating Sunderland in a one-sided final. Souness had met his minimum requirement, a trophy, and most of us were prepared to give him more time. No one believed it was going to be easy although already doubts were setting in.


Souness had spent big but he had also made some controversial transfers out. Steve McMahon had seen better days and his departure was no great surprise but selling Peter Beardsley for £1 million, to Everton of all clubs, was a bizarre decision. Steve Staunton, who would later be re-signed by Liverpool, was a promising full-back, who he sold to Aston Villa. Usually news that your manager was due to undergo heart by-pass surgery would have elicited sympathy from the fans but not when the story had been sold by Souness to The S*n newspaper, subject of a boycott on Merseyside following their coverage of Hillsborough. This was Souness's biggest mistake. Not particularly likeable in the first place, we all now had a reason to actively dislike him and it changed the way he was perceived forever.

For his second season, Souness spent big on Paul Stewart, a midfielder from Spurs. Ray Houghton, one of the few remaining from the class of 87-88, was sold to Aston Villa. By now players like Torben Piechnik and Istvan Kozma were arriving at Anfield. Complete unknowns. It was becoming hard to determine any kind of coherent strategy behind the transfers and just a few weeks into the new season, Souness sold his most expensive signing and one of his many high-profile flops, Dean Saunders to Aston Villa (who else?). A few days later Saunders scored twice as Villa beat us 4-2.

By now it was becoming clear that the wheels were really coming off. We avoided a humiliating home defeat in the League Cup against Chesterfield by coming back from three goals down to get a 4-4 draw in front of just 12,000 at Anfield. Just before Christmas we went to Highfield Road, home of Coventry City, who hadn't won a game for three months. Until this point I still had a vague hope that at some point things might improve under Souness. After all, we were Liverpool. We didn't belong in the bottom half of the league. Surely it was just a matter of time. This was the day, though, when all hope was extinguished and I was forced to accept reality. We lost 5-1. An abject performance. Run ragged by one of the poorest sides in the League. This was a team that was barely recognisable as a Liverpool side, a mix of failed transfers, raw youngsters and players who were past their best.

The league season continued in the usual haphazard way that we'd come to expect under Souness. Ian Rush found his shooting boots in the second half of the season and his goals pushed us up the table. There was to be no FA Cup salvation that season as we crashed out to Bolton, beaten 2-0 at Anfield.

By the time of the last game of the season against Spurs speculation was rife that Souness's job was under threat. It wasn't a surprise. We didn't sack managers back then but it seemed there was no choice. We had fallen so far and so fast under Souness. His transfers had been disastrous, both in and out. Injuries had wrecked the squad and it was rumoured that he had fallen out with several senior players. There were emergency board meetings at which Souness's future was discussed in the run up to the Spurs game and when he didn't even turn up it seemed inevitable that he was about to leave. It may have been coincidental but we produced our best performance of the season that day, thrashing Spurs 6-2. An indication that all was not lost and that maybe the manager's absence had helped us play with a renewed sense of freedom and belief.

We finished 6th again. Another miserable season, made even worse by Manchester United winning the title after a 26 year wait. Now it was just a question of who might replace Souness. There were further board meetings and even board resignations but still we waited for official confirmation that he was gone. Finally, a statement was released by the club, but it wasn't the one that we were all expecting. Souness was staying. It seemed like a mistake at the time and that was exactly how it turned out.

Expectations were very low going into the 93/94 season. Souness had been allowed to carry on spending. Nigel Clough came in from Nottingham Forest and he at least fitted the traditional Liverpool mould, but when Neil Ruddock and Julian Dicks turned up at Anfield it was a clear sign that the plot had well and truly been lost. These were 'hardmen'. Players who were in the Souness mould but without the ability or intelligence to go with it.

The season started promisingly enough. We won four of our first five league games but then failed to score in our next five, picking up just a single point in the process. The season quickly fell away and by the time Manchester United came to Anfield in January we were well out of the running for the title and were reduced to hoping we could make it more difficult for them to win the league again themselves. By now we were getting used to plumbing new depths under Souness and twenty minutes into the game we were 3-0 down. This was the ultimate humiliation, played off the park by our greatest rivals at Anfield. Incredibly, we fought back. Two goals from Nigel Clough and a late headed equaliser from Neil Ruddock saved the day in a memorable game. The joy of poking United in the eye was short-lived and later that month the end arrived for Souness following a home defeat to Bristol City in the FA Cup.

Souness's tenure as manager was a complete disaster. The fact that it coincided with United's revival makes it a pivotal period in our recent history. I've always thought that Souness did as much damage to Liverpool on the pitch as Hicks and Gillett did off it. Certainly it took many years to recover and some might suggest we never really have. To put it in perspective, in the 20 years before Souness became manager we had only finished outside the top two in the league on one occasion. Under Souness we had finished 6th twice, flirting with relegation in the process.

Souness's mitigation may be that Kenny had not followed the blueprint set by Shankly and Paisley of ruthlessly dismantling and then rebuilding winning sides. It was fair to say that Kenny had allowed the great team of the late eighties to grow old together and that he had ignored the defensive failings that were gradually being exploited by other teams, but Souness had been given enough time and certainly enough money to put things right. He had only succeeded in making things much worse.

There was no doubting his passion. I knew he wanted us to succeed, but he was too confrontational, made too many changes too quickly and his transfer record was abysmal. By far his biggest mistake though was selling his story to The S*n newspaper. It was a crass error and broke the trust between the fans and the manager. From that point on the fans were, at best, indifferent to Souness and many were content to see him fail. It could not have helped his relationship with some of the senior players either, many of whom had lived through Hillsborough.

The one positive aspect of the Souness years was his reliance on young players. A combination of injuries, failed transfers and fall-outs with the senior players in the squad meant that Souness was forced to turn to youth. By the time he left we had a core of young players who were establishing themselves as first team regulars.

David James had recovered from a shaky start and was now our first-choice keeper. Rob Jones, at £300,000 easily Souness's most effective signing, was emerging as one of the best full-backs in the country. Jamie Redknapp, bought by Kenny, was now a regular fixture in midfield. With John Barnes largely spent as an attacking force, Steve McManaman had stepped up to become our main creative spark and Robbie Fowler, at just 17, was leading the line. It was these players that formed the nucleus of the team that saw us gradually recover under Souness's successor, Roy Evans, but our domination of English football was well and truly at an end .
 



The Flying Pig

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Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
262
Stoke 6 Liverpool 1. A goldfish remembers............

My golden era of watching Liverpool live was the Sixties and Seventies, when I was a teenager and a young man. Then marriage, kids, career,
relocation and Graham Souness came along to spoil it.

I am not good at recalling specific details of football matches. Especially games from over 50 years ago. Its usually a case of vague mental
snapshots and odd impressions, sometimes even smells or an intangible happy warm feeling if it was a game we won.

If it was a match of any consequence I can usually recall the result, but don't always get the score right. My memory often confuses events from
several games into one match.
Unfortunately I can't even blame my age. It has pretty much always been that way. I am some sort of football goldfish.

Bizarrely I can nearly always recall the match day weather accurately.

A snowy, midweek, midwinters night against Cologne and men in tights !
A happy sunny summers evening at Wembley against Bruges.
A miserable sunny Wembley Saturday afternoon when Macari bounced the winner in off Jimmy Greenhoff.


Anyway, after the recent 6-1 embarrassment against Stoke a pundit mentioned that it was our worst defeat since Spurs beat us 7-2 over
50 years ago.

Well, that stirred a vague memory but strangely for such a hammering it wasn't a totally unhappy memory, but I couldn't remember why.

So I had to look it up....
Then it all started to come back. ( This is when the picture goes all wobbly in old black and white movies and the strange music starts.)


It was Easter 1963, Good Friday and I was 13.

Good Friday was a big deal back then, people went to church, the shops all shut, Sunday pub hours and double sombre and solemn.
The good news was that it meant a day off from annoying the neighbours touting for “Bob a Job”, which in those more innocent times was how
Boy Scouts used to spend their Easter school holidays.



Playing football matches on the Sabbath was still unthinkable in the sixties but by some odd quirk Good Friday was traditionally always a match day.

Easter like Christmas was a time of reverse fixtures and often produced contrasting and freakish results.
That Easter we were due to play Spurs at home on Good Friday and at White Hart Lane on the Easter Monday.

In between, on the Saturday, we were to play Manchester United !
Now, United were no big deal at the time. They finished that season only a couple of points above relegation.

This was also long before live TV coverage. So the middle classes and women, with few exceptions , had not yet discovered football.
It was not the beautiful game and no one sang Nessum Dorma.

Football was 95% the game of the working man. Supporters physically went to the matches to watch their local team. Sons followed fathers.
It was tribal. Nobody chose a team to support. It was the luck of the draw. For good or bad you were born to it.

So LFC and Utd “fans” were not sharing cyberspace, nor the same pubs or workplaces and playgrounds in Slough, Basingstoke, Beijing and Boston.
Apart from exiles, LFC supporters lived in Liverpool and Manchester Utd supporters lived in Manchester and never the twain ….

Plastics and match day tourists were still in the future.
Flat caps,Woodbines and lifting your lad over the turnstile, was still the order of the day.

So, there was no bitter rivalry with Manchester United . They were only of note to Liverpool supporters because Matt Busby used to be Liverpool's captain.

That Easter Spurs was the big game. This was Bill Nicholson's double winning team. Danny Blanchflower, Dave McKay, Cliff Jones and
Jimmy Greaves.
In 1963 Spurs were Barcelona.

LFC had just returned to the top division after a decade in the wilderness of the Second Division.
Even though it was Easter, and late in the season, this was going to be our first real test.

The gates were locked long before three o'clock. All ticket games were virtually unheard off. Get there early or risk getting locked out.


A new phenomenon for football crowds, begun at Anfield around that time, was singing and chanting. Until then football crowds only sang at
Wembley with the help of waved Daily Express Song Sheets.

The anonymous Anfield announcer ( this was so long ago, it was even before George ) played “Merseysound” hits, another new phenomenon, and the
crowd sang along like it was Cardiff Arms Park, but not YNWA, that was for next year !

I was on the Kop with my Dad. Standing next to us was a man with a bullet wound scar in his neck wearing an old army black beret, a belted
gaberdine mac, a collar and tie and eating boiled eggs. A remembered smell, as promised.


For an hour or two we sang and we tumbled up and down the terraces of the Kop, shifting considerable distances but we kept ending up squashed
against the man with the limitless supply of boiled eggs.

The Kick Off came. The exhausting tumbling and tottering intensified with every corner and goal mouth scramble.

At half time the Kop was glum ! We were 0-2 down, Cliff Jones and Terry Dyson apparently, but I don't remember.

Half time scores from around the country were announced, programmes were read, Woodbines lit, Echos rolled and the Kop turned into thousands of mini waterfalls.

Second half we scored 5 !!!! Jimmy Melia scored two. I always felt sorry for Jimmy Melia because the crowd never liked him.
I later lost all sympathy after I saw him run on the pitch in those white shoes in the 1983 Brighton Cup Final.

Full Time, the Kop was delirious and gleefully sang “Hunts better than Greaves Eey Ay Addio Hunts better than Greaves”.
But I am sure many of them really believed it
Hunt hadn't scored that day and neither had Greaves.

Since our promotion that year Hunt had become a rival to Greaves for Walter Winterbottom's England team.
The London press regarded Hunt as a workhorse and Greaves as an artist.
The Kop thought Greaves was a goal hanger.

However it all ended well, if controversially, when Hunt was picked in preference to Greaves for the 1966 World Cup winning squad by Alf Ramsey.


Anyway back to Good Friday 1963 and three games in four days.
My Dad and I went home down Arkles Lane happy. We had passed the test. 5-2 !

Next day we beat United 1-0 . Ho Hum ! No one was that bothered.

On Easter Monday Spurs beat us 7-2. But after Good Friday we still felt as though we had passed the test.

Hunt scored 2 but Jimmy Greaves scored 4.

We finished eighth in the League in 1963 but we had glimpsed what great things were in our future !

Spurs finished second that year to Everton, but did manage to win the European Cup Winners Cup, beating Atletico Madrid 5-1.
It was the first ever European British success.

Greaves got another two that night .

Its a funny old game, Saint !
 

Broomy

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Goals from the Vault

Goals We've Probably Forgotten.....

Aston Villa 4 - 2 Liverpool
Saturday 19 September 1992
Villa Park
Premier League


MARK WALTERS

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Broomy

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Here's another article I just received in my email account for inclusion in our Days we'll Remember thread... Having followed Liverpool for over 60 years, Liverpool supporter John Baile tells his story of meeting Bob Paisley and the players before the 1981 European Cup Final in Paris....

Written by John Baile

I had the good fortune to be working in Versailles for the two weeks before the 1981 European Cup Final. I was a regular match goer but tickets were hard to get on Merseyside and I was charged with finding some for myself and my mates. I was asking everybody - but without success.

Three days before the game, the head of our company out there told me that the Football League of Paris had some, so I phoned - and they did! I got the train straight in and picked up three.

I was working with some Americans and we were staying in the Versailles Trianon Palace Hotel. The night before, we were in the lobby and one of the Americans said, "Looks like some of your football fans are here...". I looked round and it wasn’t fans - it was the whole team that was staying there! The players were shuffling around in small groups - Ray Clemence, Phil Neal, David Johnson...

Bob Paisley, in his slippers and tatty cardy, was wandering around, trying to keep an eye on the players... Bob was always known for wandering around in his slippers.

Many years later, when I was living in Kazakhstan, I was asked to do an article for the Official Club Website on fans living abroad. I mentioned this episode. It was edited too enthusiastically and misinterpreted as meeting Bob Paisley in his pyjamas.

I got the chance to shake his hand and have a few words. The journalists, of course, were in the bar.

I don’t remember a lot about the evening itself. The tickets were great, though, and were right in the middle of the Liverpool end. I do remember Laurie Cunningham getting through at the far end and chipping one that just sailed over the bar. Then there was the goal a few minutes from time. We had almost exactly the same view that you get on television of Alan Kennedy's winner, from behind the goal.

I returned to the hotel with thoughts of post-match celebrations like Rome 1977. But the team had moved on and were celebrating somewhere else.

Written by John Baile (2015)
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MViper

TIA New Signing
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
109
First of all, let me introduce myself a bit. I'm coming from Slovenia (36 yrs old), you know that very small country on Balkans. I live in a small town near capital where handball is more or less tradition. Football was never really popular here. Well somehow it was 30+ years ago when Olimpija Ljubljana was decent football club. Now it's seriously messed up although Mandaric recent acquisition of the club is giving us local fans some small ray of hope. In the past decade or so decent sports from Ljubljana were basketball and hockey (Olimpija is traditional brand around here, football, hockey, basketball, swimming.. everything is branded under Olimpija), so a lot of people (a lot of gloryhunters though) "converted" from football to those two sports. And to be honest, city of Maribor (biggest rival) is much more football oriented city than Ljubljana.

The thing is, I was eagely watching Formula 1 and from time to time football during ninetees and then around 2002 some rich guy acquired FC Olimpija and due to my impressions of World Cup 1998 I was watching club closely. That lasted couple of years. After that all went to shit due to enormous debts and the owners who left the club in ruins and went out of football for good. Olimpija was gone. And new Olimpija was born on ruins of old f... ups.

Before that, as I said was watching World Cup 1998 and was mightly impressed with Michael Owen. So much I started following him as much as it was possible during that era of no or poor internet connections. We also had poor sports schemes, so Premierleague was rarely on telly. Champions League was almost the only football related thing and of course our Slovenian league which was more or less shit to be honest.

But in 2002-2003 everything changed. Some TV station started with PL games and I was watching LFC because of Owen from time to time. I've became ever more interested when LFC played with Olimpija. It was 1-1 in Ljubljana. Still remember that high foot Hyppia sent to Handanagic's eye. That bloke went to hospital immidiately and was never the same again. Reminds me of Mohammed Sissoko. Olimpija then scored and after that Owen equalised. I was confused. Cheering for both teams is pretty weird feeling. :) I was happy and sad at the same time from 2nd leg from Anfield.

After that season in spring 2004 Rafa came and Owen's transfer to Real Madrid was a big story around here (most people here were Madrid fans at the time). So I've became even more interested in LFC. And after 2004/2005 season and miracle in Istanbul I've became hooked to LFC and football. Everyday I'm more and more in love with club and football. So much that I'm trying to find some books for coaching and tactics for beginners (any recommendations?) to see and learn about details more and more.

My second love is motorsports. F1, WEC, WTCC, DTM, motoGP and so on.. But football is taking more and more of my free time. My big wish is to visit Anfield someday, but due to my condition (spinal muscular distrophy) it's a bit hard and complicated project.
 
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Broomy

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Days we'll Remember



"Many of our older players are only remembered because of fans like you telling tales and stories and passing them on to the younger generation...."
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