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Discussion in 'Liverpool FC History' started by CCSC_STRIKER20, Feb 5, 2009.
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Date of Birth: 1855
2 SECOND DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIPS 1893-94, 1895-96
1 LANCASHIRE LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP 1892-93
McKenna, although never actually holding the post of manager, took over the mantle from the founder of the club John Houlding and his duties included many of the tasks of a manager.
'Honest' John was one of the greatest driving forces for Liverpool throughout the early years. An Irishman, Tory, Freemason and friend of John Houlding (founder) - who started off as a grocer's errand boy - he would regularly visit Anfield before the split with Everton, and became an avid supporter of the football played there.
In 1892, 'Liverpool Association' were denied entry into the Football League by the F.A. This forced McKenna to guide Liverpool through the ranks of the Lancashire Association. Needing players and needing to prove a point, he turned to Glasgow and the Irish community for his contacts. On September 1st 1892, the day Liverpool were to play their first game on their new ground, the Liverpool Echo reported that, "The old Anfield ground will be occupied by the newly organized club known as 'Liverpool Association', and claim for it that no better game be witnessed on any other plots in the neighborhood". (Everton playing their first game at Goodison park that same evening against Bolton Wanderers). McKenna could not have had a better start to his new career, beating Rotherham Town 7-1.
Due to his trips north of the border, the first team he fielded, had no Englishmen. They were known as the team of 'Mac's', McBride, McQueen, McVean etc., eight in all. Almost a century later, when Liverpool completed their first double, again no Englishmen were fielded.
At the end of the first season, McKenna, also acting as secretary to the club, had written to the F.A. without anyone's knowledge, and requested election to the Football league. This was on the understanding that at least one of two financially stricken clubs, Accrington Stanley or 'Brutal' Bootle, would be stepping out.
McKenna's vision for the club was now apparent. Their first game saw them dispose of 'Boro 2-0 away. McKenna's struggle to make Liverpool the best in the land, found the club again pushing for promotion at the end of their first season. Due to the old test match system, and no automatic promotion, Liverpool found themselves in a play-off situation with last placed Newton Heath (Manchester United), who were comfortably beaten 2-0. First division status at last.
By the time Liverpool were relegated though, in 1895, McKenna was ruling things with W.E. Barclay, who seems to have acted more as Club Secretary. As Liverpool's first Secretary/Manager, he predicted that the club would only be relegated for one year. Liverpool became renowned for this display of fighting spirit, for years to come.
As McKenna's success flourished, so did the club's. He built a new stand for the fans and was a fierce critic of the maximum wage system. The club could quite easily afford to pay their players well and/or a lucrative bonus scheme. Unfortunately, his players had to seek additional employment or quit the game altogether.
In 1913, the Arsenal Chairman accused Liverpool (and 'Honest John') of match fixing. McKenna immediately demanded an inquiry by the F.A. and was later completely exonerated with deep apologies from the Gunners.
Unfortunately for John, later that year, four players were banned from the game for life, by the F.A. for alleged match fixing with Manchester United. This hurt McKenna deeply.
At the end of the war, the four Liverpool players had their sentences generously lifted by the F.A. as reward for their years of fighting. Given McKenna's earlier distress, three of the four players, Sheldon, Purcell and Miller, did actually play for Liverpool again. Miller even got capped for Scotland and after two more seasons at Anfield, got transferred to, of all clubs, Man Utd.
In 1915, McKenna handed over the chairmanship to W.R. Williams, but remained at the helm. By this time, McKenna was a well respected figure in Football, and quite rightly so.
"Honest" John McKenna had served Liverpool Football Club for over 40 years, he died in March of 1936. Like John Houlding, his friend and business partner before him, his coffin was carried through the city by three Liverpool players and three Everton players, a commemorative plaque to him remains in the foyer in Anfield.
The commemorative scroll and casket presented to him after a record 26 years as Football League President resides in the Club Museum.
William E. Barclay
2 SECOND DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIPS 1893-94, 1895-96
1 LANCASHIRE LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP 1892-93
After the defection, Houlding and Barclay were left with a football ground and no team, but together rapidly and successfully created a brand new one - Liverpool Football Club.
Barclay was the actual 'secretary-manager' of Liverpool Football Club during this period and had been involved at Liverpool before John McKenna, who seems to have acted as a 'coach-manager'. The tremendous work achieved by Barclay should not be overlooked, as he was the organisational force that helped create the great 'Team of the Macs' and the early successes of the Club.
A widely respected and well-liked man, Barclay later became a headmaster of the Industrial Schools in Everton Crescent, Liverpool.
Other Clubs as Manager : Oldham Athletic, Stockport County, Manchester City, Walsall
2 LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS 1921/2, 22/3
RUNNERS UP Charity Shield - 1922
David Ashworth was a former referee who later moved into a career in football management. He was apparently a very small man, only about five foot according to some accounts, with a carefully manicured, waxed moustache. He became the first manager of Oldham Athletic Football Club in 1906, moving to manage Stockport County in 1914 and staying with them through the First World War.
In 1920 he was appointed manager of Liverpool and in his first season in charge he guided them to their second successive season in 4th place. Two Derby wins over Everton in the autumn had knocked the stuffing out of the Blues' title challenge, but just two wins in their last 10 games meant that Liverpool failed to maintain their own momentum. They finished 8 points behind the Champions Burnley.
The following season, 1921/22, Ashworth lead Liverpool to their third League Championship. The season started badly with a 3-0 defeat at Sunderland, but after that they only lost one league game, away to Middlesbrough, until the middle of March. However, after that the team began to stutter, losing 4-0 at Oldham. Then, after beating Cardiff 5-1, they lost the away game against the same team 2-0. West Brom came to Anfield and won 2-1 leaving Liverpool with a tricky return visit to the Hawthorns to wrap up the title - they won 4-1 and the title went to Anfield.
Ashworth's Championship side was built around a strong defence with the Irish International Elisha Scott in goal and Ephraim Longworth, Tom Lucas and Don McKinlay sharing the full-back duties. McKinlay also played in a solid half-back line with Tom McNab, Tom Bromilow or Walter Wadsworth. Up front Harry Chambers was top scorer with just 19 goals, supported by Dick Forshaw, who scored 17, and winger Polly Hopkin, famous for the rarity of his goal-scoring.
This same team were well on their way to a second successive Championship the following season, when in February 1923 Ashworth left the table-topping side to return to Oldham, then bottom of the league. No-one has ever satisfactorily explained why Ashworth should decide to make such a bizarre move, although he presumably had some emotional attachment with his first club. It remains a mystery to this day. Oldham ended the season relegated, while Liverpool only won one of their last seven games, but still won the Championship by six points.
Ashworth only stayed with Oldham for about a year before moving to Manchester City, but he resigned in 1925 as the club struggled towards relegation. He next tried his hand in management with Walsall in 1926, but he lasted hardly any time there either, as he left in 1927. He also had a spell as a scout with Blackpool just before the War. He died in 1947, aged 79.
1 LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP 1922-23*
Took over as manager near end of season with Liverpool already top of the League.
Matt McQueen had played 150 times for Liverpool after coming to Anfield in 1892 as one of the original 'Team of the Macs'. He was probably the greatest 'all-rounder' the Club has and will, ever know. In his time at Anfield he played in every single position from 1 to 11, with
49 of his appearances being as a very creditable goalkeeper.
On his retirement as a player he became a referee and in 1918 was appointed a Liverpool director. He then stepped into the managerial hot seat when David Ashworth resigned and kept Liverpool on course for the 1922-23 League Championship.
Whilst on a scouting mission to Sheffield McQueen was involved in a road accident and he lost a leg. His health remained poor finally leading to his retirement in February 1928, although he kept strong links with the club. For many years afterwards he could often be seen sitting outside his no 32 Kemlyn Road house resting his artificial leg and welcoming the Liverpool Supporters as they arrived. His house now forms part of the site of the present Centenary Stand car park.
Apart from securing a valuable Championship title for the Club, he was also responsible for signing the legendary Gordon Hodgson for Liverpool - one of the highlights of the inter-war years at Anfield.
George Patterson's playing career was an undistinguished one spent at Marine FC, where he gained his footballing experience netting seven goals in the 1907-08 season in the Zingari League playing the likes of Brombrough Pool and Halebank Athletic.
He came to Anfield in 1908 and worked first as an assistant to Tom Watson. On Watson's death he became club secretary and then combined this post with the job of manager between 1928 and 1936. His period as manager was undistinguished, despite some fine footballers in an attractive squad - 5th place in the league in 1928-29 being about as good as it got. He eventually resigned as manager because of the strain it was putting on his health although he continued as club secretary and regularly attended matches up to his death in 1955.
Whilst success eluded Patterson, who was lacking the level of experience that a Club like Liverpool deserved, he was a very shrewd dealer in the transfer market, bringing the likes of Matt Busby and Phil Taylor to Anfield.
Other Clubs as Manager : Southampton
1 LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP 1946-47
1 LANCASHIRE SENIOR CUP 1946-47
1 LANCASHIRE COUNTY COMBINATION CHAMPIONSHIP CUP 1946-47
RUNNERS UP FA Cup - 1949-50 (Semi-Finalists - 1946-47)
Other clubs: Player - Bolton Wanderers, Belfast Celtic, West Ham United
As a player George Kay began his career with three appearances for Bolton in 1910/11 before becoming the first Englishman to captain an Irish League club when he skippered Belfast Celtic. He then returned to England in 1919 to become a key part of West Ham United's defence and skippered 'The Hammers' in the famous 'White Horse' FA Cup Final of 1923.
Kay, a deep - even introspective - thinker, joined Liverpool after five years in charge of Southampton and as manager signed the player widely regarded as Liverpool's greatest ever, Billy Liddell. Furthermore he signed a very young Bob Paisley from Bishop Aukland, for which supporters of the club should be eternally grateful. He also stole the legendary Albert Stubbins from Everton who were about to sign the gifted forward.
Kay guided 'The Reds' to a championship in 1946-47, with a unique 'quadruple' achieved with the Liverpool Senior Cup taken in a final against Everton, and two other local cups. Much of his managerial career at Anfield was interrupted by the war and he may have achieved even more if it were not for this debilitating intrusion.
He has been unfairly overlooked by the awesome achievements of Shankly and his protege Paisley, but in fact he was remarkable and able manager and nearly achieved the prize most desired by the Club, the FA Cup, in 1950 in a close game won ultimately by Arsenal.
He brilliantly planned his assault on the first post-war championship by taking the team on a trip to the USA and Canada, where against mediocre opposition, but with tremendous support, he gave his team time to gel and, very significantly feast on unrationed food in copious quantities. His team, fit, healthy and buoyed by ten wins in ten games managed to stand the strain of a season that only ended in July after a harsh winter delayed fixtures for weeks on end.
Another far from healthy man, Kay died a premature death in 1965. His death prompted Billy Liddell to say: "If ever a man gave his life for a club, George Kay did so for Liverpool."
Ill health had forced George Kay to retire as Liverpool's manager early on in the year and so pave the way for Don Welsh to replace him.
This was not the first time the former Charlton and England inside left had served the club. He guested for the Reds during the war in the 1939/40 season. Although a brief spell, he had been accepted as a Liverpool player just the same.
When Welsh joined from Charlton, he had a big problem. The defence was solid but the attack was ageing. He splashed out - spending more than 50,000 pounds on the likes of Bimpson and A'Court - but could not stop the inevitable slide towards Division Two.
Div 1 1951-52 43 points 11th place 1952-53 36 points 17th place 1953-54 28 points 22nd place
Div 2 1954-55 42 points 11th place 1955-56 48 points 3rd place
In 1954 Don Welsh became the first manager to put Liverpool through relegation for over 50 years. Unfortunately, that day also saw Everton promoted back to Div 1. He had almost accomplished that feat the season before finishing 17th, and only a scrappy win over Chelsea on the last day of the season kept Liverpool up. Liverpool would stay in Div 2 for eight more seasons.
On Christmas Day 1955, Welsh signed Charlton pair Frank Lock and Jonny Evans. As there were no newspapers over the Christmas period, the first the fans knew anything was when the team list was announced over the tannoy on match day.
Liverpool came near to going back up again in 1955-56, but Welsh was dismissed before he could have another go at getting promotion. It was becoming obvious that Liverpool were going nowhere. The following year, after accepting his part of the blame, Welsh was sacked as Liverpool manager. The only Liverpool manager to ever be sacked, he died in 1990, aged 78
1 LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP 1946-47 (as player)
1st team games: 345
1st team goals: 34
International caps: 3 (England)
Other clubs: Bristol Rovers
The ever adaptable Phil Taylor has an unfortunate place in the Anfield history books. As well as being Bill Shankly's predecessor - and thus very much in the background - Taylor is the only Liverpool boss never to manage the team in the top division.
Taylor had signed for Liverpool for £5,000 from Bristol Rovers in March 1936, and later took over the captaincy of the team under Don Welsh. He was a cultured, intelligent and charming man, well liked and respected by his team mates and the fans. His football was thoughtful and creative and he seemed the ideal choice to take charge of the team after the sacking of Don Welsh.
He immediately entered the transfer market and brought in Alan A'Court, Tommy Younger and Ronnie Moran - who became an inspirational captain and started his phenomenal 50 year service to the club - but his teams never achieved the consistency that would enable their promotion back to the top flight. After a rocky start to the 1959-60 season, Taylor resigned in November admitting that "the strain of trying to win promotion has proved too much."
After a superb 23 years at the club a sorrowful Phil Taylor spoke to the Liverpool Daily Post about his decision: "No matter how great has been the disappointment of the Directors at our failure to win our way back to the first division, it has not been greater then mine. I made it my goal. I set my heart on it and strove for it with all the energy I could muster. Such striving has not been enough and now the time has come to hand over to someone else to see if they can do better."
Likeable, honest and charming, Phil Taylor can at least have the satisfaction of knowing that his successor was no less than Bill Shankly, and he DID do better!
Date of Birth: 2.9.13
Birthplace: Glenbuck, Ayrshire
3 LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS 1963-64, 1965-66, 1972-73
2 FA CUPS 1964-65, 1973-74
1 UEFA CUP 1972-73
1 SECOND DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP 1961-62.
3 CHARITY SHIELDS 1964 (shared), 1965 (shared), 1966
RUNNERS UP League Championship - 1968-69, 1973-74 FA Cup- 1970-71 European Cup Winners Cup - 1965-66 Charity Shield - 1971
It's a sobering thought. That a man of such humble origins can become a personality of such overpowering influence in the minds of millions of others. Such power, in misguided hands, can lead to unpalatable scenarios, and the twentieth century has witnessed such tragedy far too often. We must be thankful that Bill Shankly possessed neither the political nous, nor the latent evil of a Hitler or a Stalin.
Born into a family of ten in the Ayrshire mining village of Glenbuck, where conditions were harsh, Shankly was however certainly subjected to the workings of grass roots politics. Keir Hardie, one of the founding members of the Labour party, was chipped from the same Ayrshire coal seams, but for Bill, whilst never losing sight of his humanitarian socialism, football not politics was to be the life's devotion.
Like 49 of his fellow villagers straddling the latter part of the 19th and the early years of the 20th century, Shankly became a professional footballer. Football in Glenbuck was the elixir of life, a blessed relief from the toil of the mineshaft. In 1932 he signed forms with Carlisle United and, within a year, had moved onwards and upwards to Deepdale, home of Preston North End. A distinguished playing career at wing-half that brought 7 caps for Scotland was cruelly interrupted by war in 1939. When the 1946-47 season kick-started organised professional football again in England, Shankly was 33 and rapidly coming to the end of his playing days. He decided quite simply that he would become the greatest football manager of all time.
However, by the time the chairman of Liverpool, T.V. Williams appointed Shankly manager of the club in December 1959, Bill had been a manager for over a decade with precious little in the way of success. He had started his managerial career at the club which had given him his chance in professional football 17 years earlier, Carlisle United. A roller coaster trip of northern clubs took him to subsequent spells at the helms of Grimsby, Workington and finally Huddersfield, where he granted a debut to an upcoming 16 year old called Dennis Law. Disappointingly, Shankly appeared prone to falling foul of the boardroom at each of these clubs as he never felt they gave the same commitment to team affairs as he did. He had walked out on Carlisle, and Grimsby citing a lack of financial commitment on the part of the directors and often felt exasperated by people who simply didn't share his passion for the game. It was Shankly's own commitment and enthusiasm that had first intrigued T.V. Williams years earlier when Bill had been interviewed for the vacant Liverpool job in 1951. Back then, it was felt he wasn't a big enough name for the club, and somewhat lacking in experience, but this time Williams knew instinctively that Shankly and Liverpool were right for each other.
It's hard to understate the ordinariness of Liverpool's position in 1959. Languishing in the old second division, with a crumbling stadium, poor training facilities and a large unwieldy playing staff, the challenge facing Shankly was enormous. He dispensed with the services of 24 members of the playing staff. Liverpool's, and his, good fortune, was that in Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan, and Reuben Bennett, the club had an experienced and resourceful backroom staff. He wasn't about to dispense with them. The addition of Shankly was the catalyst they needed to grow and blossom into their natural roles at the club. Slowly at first, and then with a gathering pace, Shankly and his backroom team turned Liverpool around. The legendary 'Boot-Room' was born. The Anfield crowd sensed the change. Gates regularly topped 40,000 and promotion was quickly gained back to the first division. Shankly had rebuilt the club around two key players he brought in, both Scotsmen - Ron Yeats and Ian St John. The Reds romped away with the Second Division title in 1961-62, finishing 8 points clear of their nearest rivals and amassing a stunning - in days of two points for a win - 62 points and scoring 99 goals in the process.
The supremacy of Everton in the city of Liverpool was the first target for Shankly now that he had got the club back into the top flight and in season 63-64, Everton handed over the league championship trophy to their neighbours as Liverpool clinched their 6th title. Battle was joined, and between them, Liverpool and Everton did as much the Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers to put Liverpool on the world map in those fab years of the mid 1960s.
The training ground at Melwood, in a terrible state in 1959, was transformed into a top class training facility. Shankly introduced the five-a-side games that so defined his football thinking. Pass and move, keep it simple, a creed taken from the daily matches played by the miners of Glenbuck all those years ago. He introduced a new routine whereby the players would meet and change for training at Anfield and then board the team bus for the short trip to Melwood. After training, they would all bus back to Anfield together to shower and change and perhaps get a bite to eat. This way Shankly ensured all his players had warmed down correctly and he would keep his players free from injury. Indeed, in the 1965-66 season, Liverpool finished as champions using just 14 players and two of those only played a handful of games.
The first F.A. Cup win in 1965 was followed by magical European exploits across the continent as Liverpool established a passing style that became the envy of the watching football world. Amidst all this, stood Shankly, orchestrating events at Anfield, at one with the fans. He was perfectly in tune with the Kopites, knowing and understanding how they felt about football and the pride a successful team gave them. And always, he would remain in touch with his working class roots. His would tell anyone who cared to listen that his lads played to a socialist ethic. If a player was having a poor game Shankly would expect a team mate to cover for him and bail him out like you would do for a neighbour or a colleague down the mine. All for the greater good of the team. The fans on the Kop understood the simple philosophy.
The decline of the great 60s team saw the birth of Shankly's second great Liverpool side. Out went Hunt, St.John, Yeats and Lawrence, and in came Keegan, Heighway, Lloyd and Clemence. Success followed success. A first European trophy in 1973 ( the UEFA cup ) was won in tandem with the club's 8th league title. In 1974, the F.A. Cup came back to Anfield after a breathtaking Wembley performance against a hapless Newcastle United. Then came the shock resignation, on a July day in that summer of '74. Shankly was 60, and wanted to spend time with his wife Ness and their family. That he left the club in such capable hands speaks volumes for the man. The bootroom staff, now joined by ex-players Ronnie Moran and Roy Evans, got behind new manager Bob Paisley and the club went on to even greater glories in the years that followed.
There is no doubt that Paisley's era as manager was more fruitful than Shankly's in terms of trophies won. Also, it seems fair to speculate that much of what Shankly achieved would not have been possible without Bob Paisley's calm influence and knowledge of the game. But it is equally likely that without the driving force and sheer charisma of Shankly, Liverpool's spell in the doldrums in the 1950s would have reached long into the 60s and perhaps even further and Bob Paisley may never have become manager at all. That the club contrived to bring them together at all in those dark post war days, the fans will be forever grateful.
The city of Liverpool was shocked when Bill Shankly died unexpectedly in September 1981 after suffering a heart attack. His good friend Sir Matt Busby was so upset when he heard the news that he couldn't even answer the telephone that morning. In the years following his resignation, to the disbelief of the fans, relations between him and the club he so loved had become somewhat strained. There was no such problem on the terraces. In the first game at Anfield following his funeral, a huge banner was unfurled on the Kop which read 'Shankly Lives Forever'. Perhaps the differences between Keir Hardie and Bill Shankly were only slight after all. Both had achieved immortality through their brand of socialism. One through the ballot box, the other through the turnstile.
His spirit lives on at Anfield to this day, where a statue to the great man stands before his beloved Kop and the Shankly Gates bear the immortal words "You'll never walk alone". Certainly Shankly never walked alone and he is revered by all Liverpool supporters to this day.
This was no better demonstrated than on 18th December 1999 when the 40th anniversary of Shankly's arrival at Anfield was celebrated in a manner that took the breath away. Nearly the whole of the 1965 and 1974 F A Cup winning teams reassembled to view the exhibition commemorating Shankly and then paraded onto the pitch, where they stood in silence as two bagpipers played "Amazing Grace".
12,000 voices on the Kop gently sang the word 'Shankly' to the tune as they held up a mosaic bearing his face and the Saltire. The version of "You'll Never Walk Alone" that followed rivaled any previously heard before. His spirit and his legend is clearly set to live on well into the new Millennium.
Date of Birth: 23.1.19
Birthplace: Hetton-le-Hole, Co Durham
6 LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS 1975-76, 1976-77, 1978-79, 1979-80, 1981-82, 1982-83
3 EUROPEAN CUPS 1976-77, 1977-78, 1980-81
3 LEAGUE CUPS 1980-81, 1981-82, 1982-83
1 UEFA CUP 1975-76
1 EUROPEAN SUPER CUP 1976-77
5 CHARITY SHIELDS 1974, 1976, 1977 (shared), 1980, 1982
6 MANAGER OF THE YEAR AWARDS 1975-76, 1976-77, 1978-79, 1979-80, 1981-82, 1982-83
RUNNERS UP League Championship - 1974-75, 1977-78 FA Cup - 1976-77 League Cup - 1977-78 European Super Cup - 1978 World Club Championship - 1981
HONOURS AS PLAYER
1 LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP 1946-47
1 FA CUP 1949-50*
1 LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP 1983-84
1 LEAGUE CUP 1983-84
1 EUROPEAN CUP 1983-84
RUNNERS UP League Championship - 1984-85 European Cup - 1984-85 European Super Cup - 1985 World Club Championship - 1984 Charity Shield - 1984
Another one to come through the Anfield ranks, Fagan is unique in the history of the club as the first Reds manager to achieve a treble of major honours, and indeed he was the first manager in British football to claim this astounding trophy haul - now sharing the distinction with Sir Alex Ferguson, who has been publicly recognised for his efforts, and of course Gerard Houllier whilst the modest and unassuming Joe Fagan has been unfairly over-looked in subsequent years by the footballing press and fraternity.
Fagan was appointed as Paisley's number two upon the retirement of Shankly and was always a quiet and effective worker in the 'bootroom'. However whilst he had the enormous experience of working under Shankly and Paisley, there was no doubt that he had to make serious managerial decisions immediately upon taking over - he could not simply take on Paisley's side and hope it would continue to win trophies: The inspirational Souness had left to join Sampdoria and Sammy Lee had become a shadow of the player he once was.
It was clear that astute transfer moves were needs and Fagan was up to the task. Kevin MacDonald and Jim Beglin, who all did their respective jobs with distinction were brought in as well the then unfamiliar face of Danish player Jan Molby. Molby went on to become a Kop hero and a cultured player of rare quality and it is testament to Fagan's years of accumulated experience that he could see the enormous potential in Molby.
The improvements clearly worked - never before has a manager so comprehensively announced his arrival upon the First Division - In his first season in charge The Reds won the League, European Cup and the League Cup. Furthermore they were finalists in the World Club Championship. "They were so efficient, it was chilling!" This was Fagan's own response after watching his team play with a cool, calculating efficiency, every part functioning in balance and harmony, every player working for the collective results. There is little doubt that if history had not intervened, Joe Fagan could have gone on to win honours for many more seasons.
However as it was Fagan retired at the end of that second season as a direct result of the terrible tragedy of Heysel. After securing a place in a fifth European Cup final, and with a side tipped by all but the Juventus fans to win, he had every reason to be optimistic. But after the appalling crowd violence and the meaningless deaths of Italian supporters in the crumbling and inadequate Heysel Stadium in Brussels, he retired.
If ever Shankly's quip about football being more important than life and death had ceased to be funny, it was now. Fagan was deeply upset by the events of that night and he went immediately retirement and has retained a low profile since.
He did the club a great service, and must therefore always be thanked for it.
Fagan continued to help out - often showing up at Melwood to offer his advice to Roy Evans, who was always happy to listen.
He died after a long illness in July 2001 at the age of 80.
Date of Birth: 04-03-1951
Debut : 13th August 1977 v Manchester United (N) Charity Shield: Drew 0-0
1st team games: 515
1st team goals: 172
Other Clubs Playing: Celtic
Other Clubs Management: Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United, Celtic
International caps while with Liverpool: 54
Honours with Liverpool
First Division Championship: 1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1985/86 (player/manager), 1987/88 (player/manager) & 1989/90 (player/manager), FA Cup 1986 (player/manager), 1989 (manager), Charity Shield 1977 (shared), 1979, 1980, 1982, 1986 (shared), European Super Cup 1977, Screen Sport Super Cup 1986 (player/manager) European Cup 1978, 1981 & 1984
There can only ever be one King and the man who's earned the right to take his place on the Anfield throne is the one and only Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish. Regarded by the majority of Liverpudlians as the club's greatest ever player, his all round stunning brilliance has been deemed to have shaken the Kop more than anyone else.
When he joined the club in August 1977 it was hard to see how Liverpool could top their first European Cup triumph of the previous season but with the highly influential Dalglish in the team the next 13 years were to bring a succession of untold riches.
Unlike many Liverpool signings of this era, Dalglish was already a household name when he made the switch from Parkhead to Anfield. His deeds in the green and white hoops of Celtic had made him one of the most sought after figures in the British game and it required a record £440,000 fee to secure his services.
The Scotland international was brought in to replace the recently departed Kop idol Kevin Keegan, who'd moved to Hamburg earlier that summer. If any player could step into Keegan's illustrious boots it was Dalglish and fears some Liverpudlians may have harboured over their new purchase were quickly laid to rest.
Dalglish found the back of the net within seven minutes of his league debut for the Reds, against Middlesbrough at Ayresome Park, and followed that up by hitting the target again on his first appearance in front of the Kop three days later as Newcastle were beaten 2-0.
He slipped seamlessly into the Paisley's all-conquering red machine and achieved the seemingly impossible by helping them move up another gear or two. The new King of the Kop crowned his first season at Anfield by topping the club's goalscoring charts and chipped in with the only goal of the 1978 European Cup Final against FC Bruges at Wembley . a delicate dink over the keeper that was quite simply perfection personified.
His superb ball control was complemented by a world-class footballing brain. He may never have been the fastest in terms of pace but if speed of thought had been an Olympic event Dalglish would have been a record gold medal holder.
Plying his trade south of the border mean his talents were given greater exposure but, never one to seek the limelight, he was loathe to take credit for his heroic actions and remained typically modest despite his increasing superstar status.
In 1979, his supreme individual ability was recognised by the football writer's of England who voted the canny Scot their Football of the Year. It was a fully deserved reward for a player whose every touch had Kopites purring with delight.
A selfless team player who brought others into play, he was an on-pitch visionary who could spot an opening that the naked eye of most would never see. David Johnson, in the late S eventies, was the first grateful recipient of this but it was Kenny's strike partnership with Ian Rush that was to fire the Reds to greater glory during the eighties.
With Rush taking over the mantle of chief goalscorer, Dalglish became the undisputed creator supreme and if assists were recorded back then, he'd have been the first name on everyone's Fantasy Football teamsheet.
In the real world he was a priceless commodity and the role he played in the club's ongoing success was vital. A double footballer of the year in 1983, he was without doubt the finest British-born player of his generation and rightly spoken about in the same tone as such world renowned stars from this era like of Maradona, Zico, Platini and Rummenigge.
With the ball at his feet he was a pure genius and of the 172 goals, he himself scored, it's hard to recall one that wasn't a classic. From the aforementioned European Cup winner, to sublime curlers at Highbury, Portman Road and Goodison, a mazy dribble through the Man United defence at Maine Road, a stretching volley in the League Cup f inal replay versus West Ham at Villa Park and title clinchers against Tottenham and Chelsea. There are countless more memorable strikes and everyone will have their own particular favourite.
The one common denominator in all the goals he netted was the famous Kenny celebration; a quick turn, arms aloft and a beaming smile that would have lit up even the murkiest night sky over the Mersey.
The adulation showered on him by the Kop could be described as hero-worship at its most fanatical. He was loved at Anfield like no player before and the feeling was mutual. His name was the first the fans would sing and many a bed sheet was converted into a homemade banner paying homage to him.
In the aftermath of the Heysel Stadium disaster he was a surprising but popular appointment as player/manager and fears that his new role would result in him spending more time on the touchline and less on the pitch were initially unfounded.
It was on his return to the side during the run-in to the momentous 85/86 campaign that Liverpool embarked on an unbeaten run that would see them clinch a coveted League and FA Cup double and how fitting it was that Dalglish 'the player' scored the goal that secured the title.
Gradually, but inevitably, his appearances became less and less over the next few years as he concentrated more on the managerial aspects of his dual role but there was still the odd flashes of brilliance to revel in as the master sought to teach his apprentices.
What Dalglish went on to achieve as Liverpool manager cemented his legendary status but he did more than enough during his playing career to be rightfully hailed as the greatest player in Liverpool history.
Long live the undisputed King of the Kop!
Date of Birth: 6-5-1953
Debut : 14th January 1978 v West Bromwich Albion (A) Football League Division One: won 1-0
1st team games: 358
1st team goals: 56
Other clubs: Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough, Sampdoria, Rangers (player/manager then manager), Galatasaray (manager), Southampton (manager), Torino (manager), Benfica (manager), Blackburn Rovers (manager)
International caps while with Liverpool: 37
Honours with Liverpool
First Division Championship 1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1982/83 & 1983/84, FA Cup 1992 (manager), League/Milk Cup 1981, 1982, 1983 & 1984, European Cup 1978, 1981 & 1984, Charity Shield 1979, 1980 & 1982
In six successful seasons as a Liverpool player Graeme Souness was at the heart of Liverpool's triumphs. Memorably described as "a bear of a player with the delicacy of a violinist" he was a high-octane blend of amazing strength and bewitching subtlety.
One of Bob Paisley's majestic trio of Scottish captures, with Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen, he cost £352,000 from Middlesbrough in January 1978 . Five months later he supplied the pass at Wembley for his room-mate Dalglish to score the goal that beat Bruges to retain the European Cup. In general during his Anfield career the Scotland captain responded brilliantly to Paisley's demand to curb his explosive temperament and he became a midfielder of immense stature.
He moved to Italian football in 1984 but returned to the UK as player/manager with Glasgow Rangers, leading them to the Scottish championship. Following the surprise resignation of Kenny Dalglish he seemed the obvious successor and enthusiastically took up the task of building a new Liverpool team.
However his time as manager at the club has become synonymous with mistakes, ill-judged media representation, poor transfer decisions and falling standards on the pitch. Mature reflection by Souness and the Club shows that in fact his mangership was not without success and his failures were not totally of his own making. Liverpool won the FA Cup in 1992 and this was despite life-threatening heart surgery in the days prior to Souness gingerly leading out his players.
Souness sadly, marred this triumph by poorly timed publicity in the Sun newspaper. He explained the story himself in 1999, in an interview with Garth Crooks: "Because the game went to penalties, the paper missed the deadline. That picture [of Souness with his future bride] ended up in the newspaper on the Wednesday - the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. I should have resigned then, looking back.
"I will forever be sorry it happened. It was out of my control. I was in hospital having an operation which, as it turned out, was life threatening. It was a foolish mistake, but when somebody tells you at 37 that you are going to have open heart surgery and that you might die, how would you react? I reacted in a way which I'll regret for the rest of my life. I'm sorry to the people on Merseyside whom I offended and I shall eternally be sorry".
In other respects as Souness himself reflected in December 1999 "in the right place at the wrong time". He explains: "What has happened since has gone to prove that I was not to blame for all the ills...my problem was that I tried to change it too quickly." He admits that he was shocked to the core by a change in the attitude amongst his squad and that this led to rapid hiring and firing as he sought to remove players who despite ability, offended this dedicated professional: "I found the change of mood in the dressing room both startling and alarming. How could standards have slipped so badly? I could not accept the lack of determination and fire in their bodies to win games for Liverpool".
Whilst this was a sentiment shared by all Reds fans, his choices of replacement was at times woefully poor, with Paul Stewart and Torben Piechnik standing as testimony to this fact. The removal of the 'Boot Room' under Souness is often quoted as one of his great mistakes - in actual fact it was a proposal planned by the directors at the time of Dalglish and was not a Souness decision.
All the training and behind-the-scenes work had been, and continued to be, managed by Ronnie Moran. No changes were made to a system that had worked for years. The conversion of a small boot store to a press room has become a symbol of the frustration of the fans, whereas it played no actual part in the under-achievement of this period.
Souness is an intelligent, articulate and highly motivated man, he was an awesome captain for the club and gave his all to the job as manager. Sadly his memory is still tarnished, but perhaps in time his faults will be forgiven and his valuable F A Cup win given the appreciation it is deserved.
Date of Birth: 4/10/48
Birthplace: Bootle, Merseyside
1 LEAGUE CUP 1994-95
RUNNERS UP: FA Cup - 1995-96
Roy Evans' love affair with Liverpool began at the age of seven when he attended his first game at Anfield. As he grew older he went on to play at left-back for England schoolboys in 1963 before joining Liverpool as an apprentice two years later.
He made his full debut in 1969, playing 3 games in the 1969/70 season, and played occasionally at left-back for Liverpool during the seasons 1969/70 to 1973/74, but following Shankly's shock resignation in 1974 Bob Paisley persuaded him, at the age of 25, to direct his talents into coaching, and he became the youngest member of the famous 'Boot Room'. John Smith, the Chairman at the time, predicted: "We have not made an appointment for the present but for the future. One day Roy Evans will be our manager." Appointed Reserve Team Coach, Roy won the Central League Championship in his first season, 1975, and went on to win it seven times in nine years, before Joe Fagan took over as manager from the retiring Paisley, and appointed him to the senior coaching staff, where he played a part in Liverpool's great triumphs under Fagan, including the Treble of 1983/84, and subsequently under Dalglish, including the Double of 1985/86.
After Dalglish had stunned everyone by resigning in 1991, Graeme Souness was brought in as manager. Evans was appointed Souness's assistant in 1993. Roy eventually became the Liverpool Manager in 1993/94 following the departure of Graeme Souness, and quickly returned a calming influence to the Club - chairman David Moores described him as: "The last of the Shankly lads". Evans was popular choice, and gave a great boost to the Club.
However he too struggled with worryingly lack-lustre displays from his players and the abysmal F A Cup appearance in 1996 against Manchester United and their ill-advised Armani suits, led to the damaging 'Spice Boy' tag being applied to his leading players.
This was a defining moment in retrospect as an F A Cup win would have given Evans an invaluable lift. As it was, despite winning the League Cup in 1994/95 and never finishing below 4th in the League after the season when he first took over, Roy was unable to deliver another cup or the League Championship which the Club and its fans demanded.
His transfer deals were only qualified successes, but his support and development of the likes of Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman and Michael Owen in particular, stand as proof that he knew how to develop local talent. Evans to his credit reacted positively to the unusual decision to bring in a joint manager - Gérard Houllier - to share the burden at the start of the 1998/99 season, and they did their best to make the partnership work.
The arrangement, however, was not a success, and Roy and the Club decided by mutual agreement that he would leave, making the sad announcement on 12th November 1998.
Former Clubs as Staff : Le Touquet, Arras, Noeux-les-Mines, Lens, Paris St Germain
Date of Birth : 03/10/1947
Birthplace : Therouanne
Joined : 1998
Though born in Therouanne, France, Gerard Houllier OBE has a long history of supporting Liverpool. It started in September 1969, when he was teaching at Alsop school in Walton. He stood on the Kop and watched the Reds defeat Dundalk 10-0.
In July 1998, Houllier returned to the city when he was appointed joint manager of the Reds alongside Roy Evans.
Gerard began his managerial career in 1973 as player-coach with Le Touquet. Spells at Arras and Noeux Les Mines followed before he managed Lens for three years and then guided Paris St.Germain to the French title in 1986.
Gerard then became Technical Director and assistant to the French national team, before becoming National Coach himself until 1994. He also coached the French team who won the European Under-18 Championship in 1996, and took the U-20s to the quarter-finals of the World Championships the following year. He also played an instrumental role in France winning the World Cup in 1998.
His managerial talents were much sought after during the summer of 1998 and Liverpool had to move swiftly to secure his services. At first Houllier was joint manager with Roy Evans but when that didn't work, Evans left the club in November 1998.
Houllier assumed sole control and in the summer of 1999 he launched an extensive programme of team rebuilding.
Success followed and in February 2001 he guided the Reds to a first trophy in six years, his first as the Reds won the Worthington Cup. He followed that by leading the Reds to the historic treble and five trophies in 2001, including the FA Cup, UEFA Cup, UEFA Super Cup and Charity Shield.
He had major heart surgery in October 2001 but returned to managerial duties in March 2002 against Roma at Anfield, as the team finished second in the Barclays Premiership in 2001/02 and reached the quarter-final of the Champions League.
Houllier led the team to another Worthington Cup success before he was awarded the prestigious OBE in 2003.
The folllowing season he guided the Reds to Champions League qualification but saw his six-year tenure as Anfield chief curtailed on 24 May 2004.
Former Clubs as Staff : Valladolid, Osasuna, Extremadura, Tenerife, Valencia
Former Clubs as Player : Real Madrid, Parla, Linares.
Date of Birth : 16/04/1960
Birthplace : Madrid
Joined : 2004
Honours as Staff : Champions League 2005, FA Cup 2006
Rafa Benitez arrived at Anfield as successor to Gerard Houllier in the summer of 2004.
Four years into his reign and he's already well on the way to being regarded as one of the club's greatest ever managers after leading the Reds to two major trophies in his first two seasons - an achievement unmatched by any of his predecessors.
The Spaniard was born in Madrid in April 1960. His playing days were spent largely in the Spanish lower leagues, though he did enjoy a spell at the mighty Real. Unfortunately, he never made a senior appearance for his home-town club.
Coaching was always a big attraction for Benitez and he took control of Real Madrid's youth team in 1986.
His managerial career proper began at Valladolid in 1995. Stints at Osasuna, Extremadura and Tenerife followed before a remarkable success story with Valencia.
In just three years at the Mestalla, Benitez managed to break the stranglehold Real Madrid and Barcelona had on Spanish football, winning two La Liga titles and a UEFA Cup to boot.
How do you follow this? Well, you become the first Spaniard to manage in the English top flight and win the Champions League within a year.
The dramatic victory over AC Milan in Istanbul was followed three months later by the UEFA Super Cup.
Benitez's second season on Merseyside saw the Anfield trophy room welcome another FA Cup, this time after a penalty shoot-out victory over West Ham in Cardiff.
He reaffirmed his commitment to the Reds by signing a new four-year deal in June 2006 despite widely publicised interest from abroad.
Benitez again led the club to the Champions League final in May 2007, though this time it was Milan who prevailed.
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