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The History of Liverpool Football Club

Updated on October 5, 2013

The Original Anfield

Anfield was one of the original venues when the Football League was founded; in the late nineteenth century. However instead of the famous red shirts, it was the blue shirts of Everton who first took to the famous ground; making them the original Liverpool team, but....

Trouble Brews

After a few years, a dispute between their committee and the Club President John Houlding; who also owned the land, began to brew - and brew was quite an appropriate term, because as well as disagreements over the continually increasing rent, the board were not happy at Houlding's plans to have a monopoly on allowing his, and only his, sparkling ales to be sold at the ground.

The arguments turned into a crisis, all of which reached a head in 1892 when Houlding split from the club. Everton as a result would relocate to Goodison Park.

The Reds are Born

Houlding was left with an empty ground and with the help of a few of his closest friends; he proceeded to build a new club from scratch. Plans to name his team by adding the word new to the name of his old club (New Everton) proved an unpopular and unsuccessful decision, and two years later Houlding adopted the name of the city and also the colour of the city - Liverpool football club with their famous red shirts had been born.

Anfield in 1903

Some Success

The first season for the new club proved an extremely successful one, with September 3rd 1892 seeing a very impressive 8-0 win in their very first competitive match against Walton, and that paved the way to a treble; as the Lancashire League, Liverpool District Cup, and a Reserve Cup were all secured.

The next season " The Reds"; as they were already being called, and still are today, joined the Football League in the second division and achieved promotion on their very first attempt. A 10-1 win over Rotherham with three goals scored inside the first eight minutes in 1896 showed the potential of the club and this promise was fulfilled when they won the first division in both 1901 and 1906 tickets were cheap in those days, and stands were easily filled. A first FA Cup Final appearance ended in defeat in 1914.

League Winners

The very early twenties brought two consecutive League Championships, but after that the trophy cabinet stayed empty until after the Second World War, with the Club winning the first division again in 1947. However the fifties brought more heartbreak, with two more FA Cup Final defeats at either end of the decade: the humiliating 2-1 defeat against non-League Worcester City in 1959 including an own goal, and worse still; relegation back to the second division in 1954.

Bill Shankly Quote

The Great Manager

Bill Shankly

One of the greatest managers in the game arrived at the club following that Cup Final defeat in 1959, as Bill Shankly took up the reins. His first act was to release two dozen players as well as convert a boot storage room into a place where he could discuss coaching strategies with his backroom staff; all of whom happened to be very experienced and resourceful. The famous 'boot room' helped transform the fortunes of the team - promotion back to the first division was secured in 1962, with another League win following a couple of years later, and in 1965 the long wait for FA Cup glory was finally ended with a 2-1 victory in the Final against Leeds United. The last couple of years under Shankly's control saw another treble; league and FA Cup victories as well as an UEFA Cup triumph. This saw the start of a clamouring for a Liverpool ticket, which has only increased as the years go by.

Anfield Stadium

Further Managers

Liverpool would also achieve great success under Shankly's successor; Bob Paisley, whose haul of twenty one trophies included their first European Cup as well as another six League titles. The sporting triumphs continued under managers Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish, but their reigns were both overshadowed by disasters that shocked the sporting world. The Heysel Stadium disaster occurred at the 1985 European Cup Final, where concerns about the crumbling stadium and a neutral area for fans, were realised when the British club's supporters clashed with Juventus fans who fled; only for a wall blocking their escape route to collapse, killing thirty-nine people.

The Hand of Friendship Liverpool - Juventus


Four years later, the club travelled to play their FA Cup semi-final at the neutral ground of Hillsborough; where dangerous over-crowding led to a crush that resulted in ninety-six fatalities, as well as injuries to hundreds of other people. It remains the worst stadium-related disaster in British history, and also one of the worst in the history of the sport.

Football was never the same again in England after the Hillsborough disaster and obviously particularly so at Anfield; although an incredibly strong bond between the club and its supporters has emerged since the disaster.

Gerrard lifts the European Cup


The twenty first century has brought with it happier times, such as the appointment of Rafael Benitez as manager in 2004 and the recovery from a 0-3 half-time deficit to win the European Cup Final on penalties against AC Milan in 2005.

Liverpool have won the European Champions League five times: 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, and 2005.

At matches today, fans still remember the 96 who lost their lives at Hillsborough, and have a special flame emblem in their honour.

Five Times European Champions

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The Hillsborough Flame
The Hillsborough Flame

The 96 who lost their lives at Hillsborough

You'll Never Walk Alone

  • John Alfred Anderson (62)
  • Colin Mark Ashcroft (19)
  • James Gary Aspinall (18)
  • Kester Roger Marcus Ball (16)
  • Gerard Bernard Patrick Baron (67)
  • Simon Bell (17)
  • Barry Sidney Bennett (26)
  • David John Benson (22)
  • David William Birtle (22)
  • Tony Bland (22)
  • Paul David Brady (21)
  • Andrew Mark Brookes (26)
  • Carl Brown (18)
  • David Steven Brown (25)
  • Henry Thomas Burke (47)
  • Peter Andrew Burkett (24)
  • Paul William Carlile (19)
  • Raymond Thomas Chapman (50)
  • Gary Christopher Church (19)
  • Joseph Clark (29)
  • Paul Clark (18)
  • Gary Collins (22)
  • Stephen Paul Copoc (20)
  • Tracey Elizabeth Cox (23)
  • James Philip Delaney (19)
  • Christopher Barry Devonside (18)
  • Christopher Edwards (29)
  • Vincent Michael Fitzsimmons (34)
  • Thomas Steven Fox (21)
  • Jon-Paul Gilhooley (10)
  • Barry Glover (27)
  • Ian Thomas Glover (20)
  • Derrick George Godwin (24)
  • Roy Harry Hamilton (34)
  • Philip Hammond (14)
  • Eric Hankin (33)
  • Gary Harrison (27)
  • Stephen Francis Harrison (31)
  • Peter Andrew Harrison (15)
  • David Hawley (39)
  • James Robert Hennessy (29)
  • Paul Anthony Hewitson (26)
  • Carl Darren Hewitt (17)
  • Nicholas Michael Hewitt (16)
  • Sarah Louise Hicks (19)
  • Victoria Jane Hicks (15)
  • Gordon Rodney Horn (20)
  • Arthur Horrocks (41)
  • Thomas Howard (39)
  • Thomas Anthony Howard (14)
  • Eric George Hughes (42)
  • Alan Johnston (29)
  • Christine Anne Jones (27)
  • Gary Philip Jones (18)
  • Richard Jones (25)
  • Nicholas Peter Joynes (27)
  • Anthony Peter Kelly (29)
  • Michael David Kelly (38)
  • Carl David Lewis (18)
  • David William Mather (19)
  • Brian Christopher Mathews (38)
  • Francis Joseph McAllister (27)
  • John McBrien (18)
  • Marian Hazel McCabe (21)
  • Joseph Daniel McCarthy (21)
  • Peter McDonnell (21)
  • Alan McGlone (28)
  • Keith McGrath (17)
  • Paul Brian Murray (14)
  • Lee Nicol (14)
  • Stephen Francis O'Neill (17)
  • Jonathon Owens (18)
  • William Roy Pemberton (23)
  • Carl William Rimmer (21)
  • David George Rimmer (38)
  • Graham John Roberts (24)
  • Steven Joseph Robinson (17)
  • Henry Charles Rogers (17)
  • Colin Andrew Hugh William Sefton (23)
  • Inger Shah (38)
  • Paula Ann Smith (26)
  • Adam Edward Spearritt (14)
  • Philip John Steele (15)
  • David Leonard Thomas (23)
  • Patrick John Thompson (35)
  • Peter Reuben Thompson (30)
  • Stuart Paul William Thompson (17)
  • Peter Francis Tootle (21)
  • Christopher James Traynor (26)
  • Martin Kevin Traynor (16)
  • Kevin Tyrrell (15)
  • Colin Wafer (19)
  • Ian David Whelan (19)
  • Martin Kenneth Wild (29)
  • Kevin Daniel Williams (15)
  • Graham John Wright (17)

Rest in Peace


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    • whatswhatnow profile image

      whatswhatnow 4 years ago from Spain

      Thanks or taking the time to read and comment.

    • Jafar Alie profile image

      Jafar Ali 4 years ago from Malappuram, Kerala, India

      That is why they call Liverpool "History"! This season looks promising though, at least they can make it into the Champions League with the striking partnership of Sturridge and Suarez. Great hub! (y)

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 4 years ago from Nottingham UK

      What about Heysel and it's effect on keeping English teams out of the European cup for many years?

    • FootyPundit13 profile image

      FootyPundit13 4 years ago from London

      Great hub! Liverpool has such a fantastic history and a beautiful tribute at the end to the 96.