"Seldom set foot in your neighbour's house—too much of you, and they will hate you."
With the Manchester Ship Canal completed by 1894, it’s not hard to see why our regional rivalry derives such gravitas.
The development itself took trade and work past Liverpool’s lifeblood—the River Mersey—and directly in to Salford and the city of Manchester.
Those young men who suffered financially used football as a vessel of frustration—as the very vessels of their livelihood sailed past to tip the balance of socio-economic power.
It was U.S. President Harry Truman who said: "Experience has shown how deeply the seeds of war are planted by economic rivalry and social injustice."
And injustice is something both football clubs have shared, with the tragedies of the Munich air crash and the Hillsborough disaster always at the forefront of supporters' minds.
Those fateful days in 1958 and 1989 bookend the rebuilding towards United’s first European Cup in 1968 and the culmination of Liverpool’s two decades of dominance in the '70s and '80s.
Such are the riches we experienced under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson that the last 26 years saw United dominate, relishing in 38 trophies as Liverpool's recovery from their early '90s decline continued to falter.
Parrot well and truly off perch then, the undercurrent of contempt has offered no sign of abating. Long have Liverpool's fans waited to laugh at our failures.
Under new manager David Moyes, we lie way off the pace by our usual high standards, looking up the Premier League table at our North West rivals to the tune of 11 points. The time for bragging rights to change hands, temporarily we hope, could soon be upon us come May.
But a great paradox about the mutual antipathy of United vs. Liverpool is that there are many more parallels to the positive, for which we owe both cities an enormous debt—immeasurable contributions to British culture throughout the 20th century and the progressive attitudes toward modernity that followed a proud industrial era.
To get Biblical again, the book tells us to love our neighbour—and love our enemy, too—because generally, they are the same person.
Well, we’re not going to go quite that far! But we do take that tone of spirit, as our resident comedian Ian Smith serves up the irony-filled rant he does for all the big Premier League clubs on our YouTube show: It’s "100 Reasons To Hate Liverpool!"
Now, don’t take this literally. The video is all very tongue-in-cheek. We think there’s more than enough tension in the tribalism of this famous clash as it is.
So that’s why we thought we’d see if we could bring both sets of fans together to enjoy a spot of light-hearted silliness. It’s working well so far, with those Liverpool fans who sense the satire offering their respect in our comments section.
Wouldn’t it be great if Luis Suarez could take a cue and offer his hand the way of our vice-captain come Sunday at 1.30 pm? Enjoy!