As we know, Liverpool FC
is one of the greatest football clubs in the world and the most successful team in England in trophy-winning terms. The club fans follow the words of the Liverpool
anthem: 'Never Walks Alone'.
But tlet's talk about the beginnings: Liverpool FC was founded on March 15, 1892 by John Houlding
, the owner of Anfield
. Houlding decided to form his own team after Everton left Anfield in an argument over rent. The original name was to be Everton F.C. but was changed to Liverpool F.C. (after the F.A. refused to recognise the team as Everton). Liverpool were elected to the Football League alongside Woolwich Arsenal two years afterwards.
In 1901 Scottish international Alex Raisbeck was the first Liverpool captain to collect the Football League Championship. Liverpool were league champions again in 1906.
On April 25, 1914, Liverpool made their first appearance in the FA Cup final at Crystal Palace but lost 1-0 to Burnley. In 1922, and again in 1923, captained by England full back Ephraim Longworth, Liverpool earned the league. In 1946-7, the very first season after World War 2, Liverpool were surprise league champions. But after that, ten years of mediocrity marked the club's pace.
Bill Shankly became Liverpool coach in 1959 and over the next 15 years he transformed them into one of the finest club sides in Europe. In fact, for his third season as coach they earned the Second Division championship and were promoted to the top flight where they have remained ever since, never finishing below eighth in the league. In 1964, Liverpool lifted the league championship. They failed to retain the championship trophy the following season but compensation came in the form of a first-ever FA Cup. A year later Liverpool regained their championship crown. By now Shankly was one of the most highly rated managers in the game, and his team contained some of the finest players in England - Roger Hunt, Ian St John and Ron Yeats to name but a few. Liverpool made their first impact on the European match in 1973 with a UEFA Cup triumph, as well as winning another league title that season. They earned the FA Cup again a year later, but Shankly stunned the footballing world soon afterwards by announcing his retirement. The club's players andsupporters tried to persuade him to carry on, and a local factory even threatened to go on strike. Shankly ignored these pleas and joined the club'ssupporters on The Kop as a spectator, while he handed over his managerial duties to Bob Paisley.
Bob Paisley was coach of Liverpool F.C from 1974 until 1983, and during those nine years he became one of the greatest managers ever to take charge of an English club. He earned a total of 21 trophies, including three European Cups and three successive league titles, during his spell as coach and ended his career on a high with the league championship and League Cup double. Under Paisley, a new era of stars emerged. They included Graeme Souness, Ian Rush, Alan Hansen and arguably the greatest player to ever wear Liverpool colours, Kenny Dalglish who is also a Celtic legend.
Veteran coach Joe Fagan moved up to the manager's seat on Paisley's retirement, and his first season at the helm saw Liverpool become the first English club to victory three major trophies in a single season - the league title, the League Cup and the European Cup.
Fagan's second season as coach was his last - and it had a traumatic ending. Having lost to neighbours Everton in the race for the league title, Fagan decided to retire and wanted to go out on a high with the European Cup. The Reds had a rare trophyless season as they lost 1-0 to Juventus in the European Cup Final at Heysel Stadium in Brussels. But the disappointment of the defeat was irrelevant, as 39 spectators - nearly all Juventussupporters - were crushed to death during crowd trouble before the kick off. Some Liverpoolsupporters were later convicted on manslaughter charges relating to the tragedy. The sequel of the tragedy was a 5-year ban on English clubs in European football, while Liverpool had to serve an extra year once all other English clubs were readmitted.
Fagan handed over the reins to forward Kenny Dalglish, who had established himself as a world class player and now wanted to prove himself as a top manager. His first season in charge - 1985-86 - could not have been better, as the Reds fought off competition from Everton, West Ham United and Manchester United to victory the league title. They also beat neighbours Everton 3-1 in the F.A Cup final to become only the third team to victory the league championship/F.A Cup double in the 20th century.
1986-87 was trophyless as Dalglish's men finished league runners-up to Everton and lost to Arsenal in the League Cup final. There were fears that Liverpool's glory days were over when forward Ian Rush was sold to Juventus in a £3.2million deal, but his £750,000 successor John Aldridge silenced the critics by topping the club's goalscoring charts in the 1987-88 season and inspiring the Reds to another championship success - this time achieved with just two defeats all season. New winger John Barnes was credited with the Player of the Year Award. The downside of the season was a shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of Wimbledon in the F.A Cup final. The Reds had by this stage been one of England's strongest sides for more than 20 years. Wimbledon, meanwhile, had been First Division members for just two seasons and had only joined the league 11 years earlier.
Liverpool came close to repeating the double once more in 1988-89. They lifted the F.A Cup with another triumph over Everton in the final, but the league title slipped out of their grasp in the last minute of their last match of the season at home to Arsenal. A last minute goal from Arsenal's Michael Thomas (who later joined Liverpool) gave the league title to the visitors because they had a superior goal difference. But the season was overshadowed by the Hillsborough Stadium tragedy which had struck the club in the F.A Cup semi-final. Hundreds of Liverpoolsupporters were trampled on the terraces at Hillsborough. 94supporters died that day and 95th fan died in hospital from his injuries four days later. A 96th fan died nearly four years later having never regained consciousness.
Ian Rush had rejoined Liverpool after one miserable season with Juventus, and scored twice in the 1989 FA Cup final. He helped them victory their 18th league title in 1989-90, but nobody could have guessed at the time that it would be their last championship success to date. Liverpool have had some glorious moments during the years that followed the 1990 title glory, but life at Anfield has never been the same without the championship trophy in the club's boardroom.
Spaniard Rafael Benítez took over from Houllier, but erratic league form put paid to their Premiership title hopes, in which Liverpool eventually finished fifth. However, the season had a glorious ending at the European Cup final in Istanbul. After eliminating big favourites Juventus in the quarter finals and English rivals Chelsea F.C. in the semis, the Reds met Italian side AC Milan in the final. Liverpool, having trailed 0-3 at half time, scored three goals in an exciting second half forcing extra time and then a penalty shoot out, which Liverpool won.