With a trophy room
packed to bursting and some of the world’s top players
on its books, Liverpool Football Club [map] is undoubtedly one of the best in the world.
These days the fate of the club’s success lies in
the hands of a squad of players, a manager, coaching staff
and executives. But its creation was down to just one
man, John Houlding, who set out on a
mission to keep football at Anfield –
the ground where the team still plays today.
Initially it was Liverpool’s arch rival’s
Everton who played at Anfield but after a dispute over
rent in 1892 everybody walked out leaving only club chairman
Houlding, who stayed and formed a new club from scratch.
More than 100 years on, no English club can match Liverpool
FC’s roll of honour; League Champions 18 times,
FA Cup winners six times, League Cup winners seven times,
European Cup winners four times and UEFA Cup winners three
The team first won the League Championship in the 1900/1
season despite a dismal start to the campaign. Since then
they’ve never looked back, winning countless more
championships in the years that followed before finally
fulfilling the dream of FA Cup glory in 1965.
And in 1977 Liverpool fans witnessed the greatest night
in its history when the team won the European Cup for
the first time.
Along with trophies came great players including the likes
of Kevin Keegan, Graeme Souness and Alan
Hansen in the 70s, John Barnes and Ian Rush in the 80s, and Steve McManaman and Phil Babb in the 90s. These days it’s the names Steven
Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Danny Murphy,
who the supporters are shouting from the terraces.
In recent times however, the club has had a lot to celebrate at home and abroad after winning the European Cup in spectacular fashion in 2005 and a year later taking home the FA Cup
Behind every great team there is a great manager and Liverpool
has had its fair share of those, including Bob
Paisley, Kenny Dalglish and
the legendary Bill Shankey.
In more recent times it was Gerard Houllier who reaped the success and glory at Anflied, taking the
team into a historic treble winning season in 2000/1.
But in the summer of 2004, Houllier was replaced by Rafael
Benitez and the world now waits with baited breath
to see how many more titles will be heading back to Liverpool
during his reign.
Unfortunately Liverpool FC is now as famous for its tragedies
as it is for its trophies and the memories of England’s
worst football tragedy at Hillsborough are never far from
On 15th April 1989 more than 25,000 Liverpool supporters
travelled to Sheffield to watch the FA Cup semi-final
match with Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough. 96 of them
never returned. They were crushed to death in the Leppings
Lane end just after kick-off, a disaster that changed
football in England, and particularly Liverpool, forever.
The club’s other great disaster came before that
in May 1985 at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels, when Liverpool
were playing Juventus in the European Cup Final. What
should have been a night of triumph turned to tragedy
when 38 Italians and one Belgian were killed when a wall
collapsed on top of them.
Liverpool’s history – from glory to tragedy
– is depicted in the club’s museum at Anfield,
where you can see, among other things, the four European
Cups, the FA Cup, the UEFA Cup, and even Roger Hunt OBE’s 1966 World Cup winners medal. There is also
a 60-seat cinema showing four 10-minute films on the club’s
history and a recreation of the world famous standing
A tour of the stadium also offers you the chance to see
behind the scenes, including the dressing room, the tunnel
and the team dugout. For more information log on to www.liverpoolfc.tv