Tag Archives: History

50th Anniversary: You’ll Never Walk Alone meets Jamhuri Day

12 Dec


Carlo Ancelotti was also in the Atarturk stadium that night in May 2005, in his role as the AC Milan coach. What impact did the defiance of Liverpool fans have on him? In August 2012 he was asked which club has the best fans. “In my opinion Liverpool fans, when they sing a song they… I don’t know in English, but your skin is…””(he fluttered his fingers up and down his arm to explain).

Oscar Hammerstein wrote the lyrics and Richard Rodgers composed the music for ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ in 1945, in their Broadway musical, ‘Carousel’. In terms of its emotional impact and iconic status, one BBC programme ranked the song alongside the Christmas carol ‘Silent Night’ and the hymn ‘Abide With Me.’ Legendary composer Irving Berlin said that the song had the same effect on him as the Psalm 23.

The version we know rather better, by Gerry and the Pacemakers, first appeared in the charts on 12 October 1963, @ No. 22.  Thereafter it rose steadily upwards:

  • 19 Oct @ 7
  • 26 Oct @ 2
  • 2, 9, 16 and 23 Nov @ 1

While debatable, the week of 19 October onward – the day we beat WBA 1-0 at Anfield – might just be the first time the song was played as part of pre-match entertainment at Anfield. However it’s probably more likely to have been the home game against Leicester City on 02 November 1963 (a 1-0 defeat!), given that it reached No.1 that day. Or it could have been Fulham on 16 November (a 2-0 win) or Burnley on 30 November (another 2-0 win) arrived at Anfield. What’s certain is that we won the league in YNWA’s first season, ahead of the Man Utd of Best, Law and Charlton, with Everton third.

However, this story from Redandwhitekop alleges that fans didn’t start singing the song until 27 April 1963, when a certain Gerry Flaherty sang ‘When you walk through a storm’ during a thunderstorm during an FA Cup semi final at Hillsborough (another 1-0 defeat by Leicester), which would mean that our famous anthem was born at the same ground at the same stage of the same competition as our saddest day occurred.

Kenya at 50

Kenyan Liverpool fans should easily connect with the song as their country also turns 50 this year. Exactly two months after You’ll Never Walk Alone was released, the country became a Commonwealth realm on 12 December of the same year, with Her Majesty the Queen [Elizabeth] as Head of State. On 12 December 1964 Kenya became an independent republic.

You’ll Never Walk Alone!

Credit: The Tomkins Times, You’ll Never Walk Alone’s 50th Anniversary.’ Original story appeared on 29 August 2012 | http://tomkinstimes.com/2013/10/youll-never-walk-alones-50th-anniversary/ | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenya | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenya#Independence

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HISTORY: Why the spirit of the Boot Room lives

6 Sep

HISTORY: Why the Spirit of the Boot Room Lives

“…not clever enough” | Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish on why he wouldn’t enter the original Boot Room as a player

…But going back to the Boot Room, it’s amazing how so much intrigue and mystique surrounds what was basically an old broom cupboard. To look at, it was nothing special. It measured about eight feet square and there was nothing remarkable about it apart from the people who used it.

Inside, there was a table and a cupboard, some old photographs on the wall, a rack where the boots would hang and a few crates to sit on. That was it! The likes of myself, Joe, Ronnie and Roy would be in there every day as part of our daily routine. It was our office, so to speak, and the place where we’d meet to discuss every aspect of life at the club.

The boss of the time would very rarely come in, they had their own proper office, but after a match the visiting manager and his assistant would often be invited in for a drink. From the conversations that went on in there we’d glean all manner of useful information that invariably helped the team in its quest for success.

Word spread about the Boot Room. Suddenly there was this aura about it and people still talk about it today. To be honest, at the time, we never gave it a second thought. It was just a place where we went about our business and did our work. But looking back it was a special time to be part of the club and for that I am eternally grateful to the late Tom Saunders…

Additional References: http://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/media-watch/benitez-would-have-fitted-in-well-in-the-boot-room | http://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/latest-news/i-ll-bring-boot-room-back

Story first appeared in the official Liverpool FC site on 24 November 2005 

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How Bill Shankly changed Anfield

6 Sep
Source: liverpoolfc.com

Source: liverpoolfc.com

“We were strong on psychology – we even had a plaque that was put over the tunnel that takes the players from the dressing rooms to the pitch,” said Shankly.

“Our maintenance foreman, Bert Johnson, had it painted, with letters on a red background: This is Anfield. It was a form of intimidation.”

When Shankly arrived at Anfield in December 1959, he found the stadium in pretty much the same state as the club’s training ground, Melwood – it was falling to pieces.

The place was an eyesore and when Shankly asked the groundsman about his watering equipment, the reply came: “We don’t have equipment, because there is no water.”

So one of the first things the Scot put in place was to shell out the £3,000 that would install adequate watering facilities, but he knew the ground was neither big enough nor good enough for the public of Liverpool.

Stephen Done, Liverpool FC’s museum curator, explained: “Anfield was in a very bad way. Shankly even called the place a pigsty and he was quite clear: he thought the place was shocking. So he immediately started the first proper rebuilding process since 1906.

“Post 1906, a roof had been put on the Kop in 1927, but that was it. Nothing else had happened apart from the floodlights being put in place in 1957.

“The designs that were set in place in 1906 basically laid the foundations for the Kop and the new stadium. So you can imagine it was probably looking a bit dated and decrepit.”

The Kemlyn Road stand, which is now called the Centenary Stand, was demolished after Shankly’s side won promotion to the top flight at the end of the 1961-62 season…


“Shankly didn’t touch the Kop,” said Done. “He knew it was excellent for its purpose. So otherwise, what Shankly set in place served Liverpool up until Lord Justice Taylor’s report in 1994.

“He was the instigator of all that work – he demanded that it was done. You can imagine the boardroom battles Shankly undertook to get them to try and spend that money…| How Bill Shankly changed Anfield

Story first appeared in the official Liverpool FC site on 06 September 2013

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How Bill Shankly changed the Fans

5 Sep

Source: liverpoolfootballblog.com

…Shankly arrives and he can spot quite early on that there is this amazing, potentially highly-vocal and animated bunch of people, who all pile into Anfield every other week without fail to support the side.

“The numbers didn’t drop during the wilderness years. The people still came. They were loyal, but they needed something to give them a lift. And I think it says everything that he understood that once you have the fans on side, everything else will follow.

“Shankly knew that if the fans loved him and the team, they would support them throughout. But while anyone can do the standing on the side of the pitch and blow the kisses to the crowd while holding the badge, Shankly was genuine.”

In the years that followed Shankly’s retirement in 1974, that genuineness soon became apparent as letters penned by the great man to fans slowly began to surface.

“These were letters that would never go on the internet, that weren’t going to be read by anybody else, but were just going to sit in someone’s wallet for the whole of their lives and be treasured – that’s genuine,” said Stephen. “And his letters are astounding…” | How Bill Shankly changed the Fans

Story first appeared in the official Liverpool FC site on 05 September 2013

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How Bill Shankly Changed the Team

4 Sep

Liverpool FCs first ever FA Cup triumph in 1965. Source: http://www.sports.ru

…The Scot knew exactly the type of player who would help reignite Liverpool. And his first port of call was Denis Law, who he knew inside out from their time at Huddersfield.

Law, who went on to become a Manchester United legend, might have helped kick-start the Anfield dynasty had the board not turned down Shankly’s request to try and sign him. As it was, in March 1960, Law signed for Manchester City for a British record fee of £65,000.

Shankly turned his focus to Jack Charlton, Bobby’s brother, but was unable to prise the centre-half away from relegation-threatened Leeds…


…Two years later, in 1964, they were league champions.

This was a time when the great Tottenham team of the early 1960s was in full swing and Manchester United, with the likes of George Best, Bobby Charlton and Law, were the team of individuals, who enthralled the nation.

But they couldn’t match the ethic Shankly instilled in his side; that of all of one and one for all.

His was a hard team to beat and they played good, quick football. They had talented players, but they were so subsumed to the identity of Shankly that they were more of a collective unit.

In 1965, they won the FA Cup for the first time in Liverpool’s history. In the very same year, they could have very easily have been the first British team to win the European Cup, but for a second leg from hell against Italian giants Inter Milan in the semi-finals…| How Bill Shankly Changed the Team

Story first appeared in the official Liverpool FC site on 04 September 2013

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How Bill Shankly Changed Training

4 Sep
L-R: Bob Paisley and Bill Shankly

L-R: Bob Paisley and Bill Shankly. Source: lfcpicturestore.tv

…from the day Shankly arrived at Liverpool, training at Melwood was planned scrupulously -– and endless road-running was not on the agenda.

Every last act was considered and everything was mapped out on intricate, tabulated sheets, which would be circulated around his members of staff.

“Everything we do here is for a purpose,” Shankly would warn his players. “It has been tried and tested and it is so simple that anybody can understand it. But if you think it is so simple that it is not worth doing, then you are wrong. The simple things are the ones that count.”

Slowly but surely, Shankly made sure his methods and messages permeated the club and the squad…| How Bill Shankly Changed Training

Story first appeared in the official Liverpool FC site on 03 September 2013

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How Bill Shankly Changed Melwood

2 Sep

Source: liverpoolfc.com

…Back in the reception, the European Cup stands proudly, enshrined in a gleaming glass box, with a quote from Rafael Benitez stencilled underneath. It reads: “To me, being part of Europe’s elite is central to this club’s ethos.”

But when Bill Shankly arrived at a dilapidated Melwood training ground in late 1959, Liverpool hadn’t the faintest concept of what it meant to play in Europe – never mind expect a place at its top table as some form of birthright.

“It was a sorry wilderness,” wrote Shankly in his autobiography ‘My Story’.

“One pitch looked as if a couple of bombs had been dropped on it. ‘The Germans were over here, were they?’ I asked…| How Bill Shankly changed Melwood


Source: liverpoolfc.com

Story first appeared in the official Liverpool FC site on 02 September 2013

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