Alternative History

Tragedy has featured large in Liverpool’s history, much of which brought a sad end to a period of dominance in the English game that spanned nearly 10 years in the 1970s/1980s.

However, it all started a long time ago, when a group of kids played football on a piece of green just outside the City at Calme Downe.  They went to to get a team together, but an argument over a new ground, saw the side split into Everton and Liverpool.  The owner of the ground could not secure the name of that part of Liverpool (Everton) and so they played under the name of the city.  They should have played under the name of Liverpool Scottish, because in their first game, the only player who wasn’t from North of the border was the goalkeeper.  And that was only because Scottish goalkeepers had a reputation even back then !!

An early FA Cup saga developed, when they met Sheffield United in the semi-final.  After a 2-2 draw, they played out a 4-4 stalemate, before the third game was abandoned because of too many fans being in the ground and they kept coming onto the field of play.  This meant that the first half of that match had already gone on for 105 minutes !!

Goalkeeper Cyril Sidlow was an innovator, as he was regarded as the first keeper to throw the ball out to his team-mates, rather than kick it.  Further on in the history of the club, Zimbabwean international Bruce Grobbelaar became the first goalkeeper to throw the ball into the back of his own net !!  In the 1920s, the team had God on their side … well one of his messengers anyway.  The Reverend James Jackson turned out for the side and he was know as “the Parson” to his team-mates, because he had a nose for sniffing out a goal.  Much like Robbie Fowler … who also had a deity based nickname.

Bill Shankly’s management of the club had a big impact, in more ways than one.  His thoughts on the existing kit of red shirts and white shorts was to change it to all red, because he thought it made the players look bigger.  Not something that was necessary for signing giant centre half Ron Yeats, who Shankly said it would take an afternoon to walk around !!  Joining in 1959, he took the club to the First Division championship within six years and went on to win two more Div. 1 titles, two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup.

In 1964, they beat Arsenal 3-2 in the first match on “Match of the Day” on BBC TV.

In 1971, despite having two players with degrees (Steve Heighway and Brian Hall), things got so bad in their youth ranks, that youngsters were invited to enter a competition run by the Liverpool Echo to win a place as a professional at the club.  It was won by Tommy Tynan, who failed to make an appearance for the first team, but went on to have a long career at Plymouth Argyle and Rotherham United.

In 1974, Kevin Keegan became the first Englishman to be sent off at Wembley, when he and Billy Bremner had a fight in the FA Charity Shield match.  They both took their shirts off in disgust … which is exactly what the watching nation felt at seeing their naked torsos.

Shankly’s replacement came from the famous Boot Room, so named because it was where managers and players were taken to be told they were no longer required by the club.  Bob Paisley won 13 trophies including three European Cups, but the only one he failed to take back to Anfield was the FA Cup.  His successor, Joe Fagan won one European Cup, one league championship and the League Cup – all in his first season in charge, but the tragedy when 39 people died in trouble at the Heysel stadium at the European Cup Final in 1985 ended his love affair with the game.  It was left to legend Kenny Dalglish to take over and he went and won the Double in his first season in charge.

Coming after him Souness and Roy Evans found it hard to live up to the success that had gone before, but then in 1989, another disaster, this time at Hillsborough, when 96 fans died, hit Liverpool hard.  The memory of those fans lives being taken lives on today.

And it was Gerard Houllier, who’s job it was to try and bring back the silverware.  He’d done OK with two League Cups, an FA Cup and a UEFA Cup – one of each of them achieved in the same season, but the League eluded him and the money being spent to get there has not been inconsiderable.  Blowing most of it on Emile Heskey probably didn’t help him though !!

So, in came Spaniard Rafael Benitez from Valencia and in an up and down first league season, he managed to take his side past Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final and beat AC Milan on penalties after being 0-3 down at half-time.  It was a great start for Rafa, but what a start to move the team up from in future years !!  While failing to reproduce the same form in the Premier League, their European performances continue to impress with a losing final appearance in 2007 and a semi-final slot in 2008.  Maybe, they are years ahead of their time and are just waiting for a European league to start !!

However, wrangling among the cowboy American owners saw Liverpool fall from grave and changes in management from Benitez to Roy Hodgson saw them dwell near the bottom of the table at the start of the 2010-11 season, until the former Fulham boss was deposed and replaced by King Kenny, who guided them back towards the top six and failed, so was out-ed for Swansea City boss Brendan Rodgers, who had to make do with a squad that money had been thrown at but without a lot of thought, which was something some of the purchases suffered with.  Despite mounting a challenge for the title that came closer than they had for a considerable number of years, only scuppered by Steven Gerrard’s slip that let Chelsea through for a goal at Anfield, Rodgers failed to get the team to perform despite the Fenway Sports Group spending lots of money on their moneyball system.  Rodgers had eight games at the start of the 2015-16 season and left after a 1-1 draw at Everton to be replaced by the charismatic Jurgen Klopp.  He left the fans with a grin like the Cheshire Cat he is with wins in the Champions League and the Premier League, which Klopp won at a canter.

Famous Players : – Roger Hunt, Peter Seek, Ian Rush, Gerry Dawdle, Kenny Dalglish, Michael Owen, Howard Gayle, Ian Ross, Al Fresco, Micky Windy, Billy Liddell, Ray Clemence, Torben Piecnik.

Famous Fans : – the late Cilla Black (Singer/entertainer); Jimmy Tarbuck (Comedian); Stan Boardman (Comedian); Esther McVey (Conservative MP and former Morning TV presenter – GMTV); Ian Brodie (Musician – The Lightning Seeds), Graeme Smith (South African cricketer); Melanie Chisholm = Mel C (singer – “Sporty Spice” in the Spice Girls), DJ Spoony (Radio 1 DJ); Phil Redmond (TV producer – “Brookside” [Channel 4]); Alan Bleasdale (TV and film writer – “Boys From The Blackstuff”); Elvis Costello (musician); Chris De Burgh (Singer); Daniel Craig (Actor – James Bond); Michael Howard (MP); John Bishop (Comedian); Paul Sinha (Comedian)

Club Records

Formed 3rd June 1892
Turned Professional 1892 
Became a Limited Company 1892 
Former names
Previous grounds – 
Nickname “The REDS” or “‘POOL”
Club Colours HOME : All Red with white trimAWAY : Shirts – white with red trim
Shorts – Black
Socks – Black
Record Premier League Win 7-0  v  Crystal Palace      Away        19.12.2020
Record Premier League Defeat 1-5  v  Coventry City      Away      19.12.1992
Record Football League Win 10-1  v  Rotherham Town      Div. 2       18.02.1899
9-0    v  Crystal Palace      Div. 1       12.09.1989
Record Football League Defeat 1-9  v Birmingham City        Div.2        11.12.1954
Record Cup Win 11-0  Stromsgodset Drammen        ECWC R1L1      17.09.1974
Record Fee Paid £75 million to Southampton for Virgil van DIJK (1st January 2018)  
Record Fee Received £142 million from Barcelona (Spain) for Philippe COUNTINHO (6th January 2018)
Record Appearances 867 –  Ian CALLAGHAN (1960-78) 
Record League Appearances 640 –  Ian CALLAGHAN (1960-78) 
Record Premier League Appearances 240 –  Steve McMANAMAN (1992-99)
Record League goalscorer  244  Roger HUNT  (1959-69)
Record Premier League goalscorer 106 –  Robbie FOWLER  (1993-99)
Record goalscorer in a Premier League season 32 –  Mohamed SALAH (2017-18) 
Record goalscorer in a season 47 –  Ian RUSH (1983-84) 
Record goalscorer in a League season 41  –  Roger HUNT  (Division 2  1961-62) 
Record all-time goalscorer  346  Ian RUSH  (1980-1987 and 1988-1996)
Most goals in a game 5  –  Andy McGUIGAN  v  Stoke City  (Division 1)  04.01.1902
5  –  John EVANS   v  Bristol Rovers  (Division 2)   15.09.1954
5  –  Ian RUSH  v  Luton Town (Division 1)  29.10.1983
Record Attendance (all-time) 61,905 v Wolverhampton Wanderers
FAC R4        02.02.1952
Record Premier League Attendance 44,702  v  Manchester United  05.05.1999
Record match receipts £604,048   v  Celtic  (UEFA Cup)    30.09.1997
Record total of goals in a Premier League season 101 –  2013-14   38 games
Record Premier League points total 99  –  2019-20   38 games
Record total of goals in a  League season 106  –  Division 2 1895-96    30 games
Record  League points total 3 points for a win : 99 – Premier League  2019-202 points for a win : 68 – Division 1  1978-79
Youngest player Jerome SINCLAIR  16 years and 6 days  v  West Bromwich Albion  26.09.2012
Oldest player Ned DOIG  41 years and 165 days  v  Burton ALbion  01.09.1904
Most Capped player while at club Steven GERRARD  114  (England) 

Stadium details

Address :  Anfield Road, Liverpool L4 0TH

Capacity :  53,394

Away Allocation : 
Pitch size :  101m x  68m   (110.5
yards x 74.4 yards)

Official website :


Premier League Champions 2019-20
Premier League Runners-up 2001-02, 2008-09, 2013-14, 2018-19
Division One Champions 1900-01, 1905-06, 1921-22, 1922-23, 1946-47, 1963-64, 1965-66, 1972-73, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1978-79, 1979-80, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1985-86, 1987-88, 1989-90 
Division One Runners-up 1898-99, 1909-10, 1968-69, 1973-74, 1974-75, 1977-78, 1984-85, 1986-87, 1988-89, 1990-91
Division Two Champions 1893-94, 1895-96, 1904-05, 1961-62
FA Cup Winners 1965, 1974, 1986, 1989, 1992, 2001, 2006
FA Cup Finalists 1914, 1950, 1971, 1977, 1988, 1996, 2012
League Cup Winners 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1995, 2001, 2003, 2012
League Cup Finalists 1978, 1987, 2005, 2016
League Super Cup Winners 1986
European Cup Winners 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005
European Cup Finalists 1985, 2007, 2018
European Cup Winners Cup Finalists 1966
UEFA Cup/Europa League Winners 1973, 1976, 2001
UEFA Cup Runners-up 2016
SportScreen Super Cup Winners 1986
European Super Cup Winners 1977, 2001, 2005, 2019
European Super Cup Runners-up 1978, 1984
World Club Championship Winners 2019
World Club Championship Runners-up 1981, 1984, 2005
FA Charity Shield Winners 1964 (shared), 1965 (shared), 1966, 1974, 1976, 1977 (shared), 1979, 1980, 1982, 1988, 1989, 1990 (shared), 2001, 2006



W.E. BARCLAY/John McKENNA 15th February 1892 – 16th August 1896
Tom WATSON 17th August 1896 – 6th May 1915
David ASHWORTH 18th December 1919 – 12th February 1923
Matt McQUEEN 13th February 1923 – 15th February 1928
George PATTERSON 7th March 1928 – 6th August 1936
George KAY 6th August 1936 – January 1951
Don WELSH 23rd March 1951- 4th May 1956
Phil TAYLOR May 1956 – 17th November 1959
Bill SHANKLY 1st December 1959 – 12th July 1974
Bob PAISLEY 26th August 1974 – 1st July 1983
Joe FAGAN 2nd July 1983 – 29th May 1985
Kenny DALGLISH 30th May 1985 – 21st February 1991
Ronnnie MORAN 21st February 1991 – 1994
Graeme SOUNESS 16th April 1991 – 28th January 1994
Roy EVANS 31st January 1994 – 16th July 1998
Roy EVANS & Gerard HOULLIER 16th July 1998 – 12th November 1998
Gerard HOULLIER 16th July 1998 – 24th May 2004
Rafael BENITEZ 16th June 2004 – 3rd June 2010
Roy HODGSON 1st July 2010 – 8th January 2011
Kenny DALGLISH 8th January 2011 – 16th Mary 2012
Brendan RODGERS 1st June 2012 – 4th October 2015
Jurgen KLOPP 8th October 2015 – 


League Record

Elected to Division Two 1893
Division Two (second tier) 1893-1894
Division One (first tier) 1894-1895
Division Two (second tier) 1895-1896
Division One (first tier) 1896-1904
Division Two (second tier) 1904-1905
Division One (first tier) 1905-1954
Division Two (second tier) 1954-1962
Division One (first tier) 1962-1992
Premier League (first tier) 1992-