Liverpool FC: Top 10 Moments in Reds History
In the proud 119-year history of Liverpool FC, the club have won the league title on 18 occasions, the FA Cup seven times, the League Cup seven times, the European Cup five times and the UEFA Cup three times. If my math is to be relied upon, that's a total of 40 great moments for the Reds.
But is a good moment, and what makes the top 10 moments in Reds history?
Passion, pride and commitment. These are the core values of LFC, and it's these values that have made it possible for the Reds to be so successful when it comes to winning trophies. But when it really shows, is when the boys are staring at the face of defeat, and they come back all guns blazing.
This slideshow will highlight those moments, and also those that weren't on the pitch, to make the club what it is today.
So without further ado, here are the top 10 moments in reds history.
December 1, 1959: The Man from Glenbuck Arrives
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
On December 1, 1959, the great Bill Shankly arrived in Liverpool on a cold winter's day to find a side that were facing one of the worst periods in the club's proud history, having spent a whole five years in the Second Division and most recently suffering an embarrassing defeat to non-league outfit Worcester City. The Reds were in turmoil not only on the pitch but also off it, and the Scot arrived to find shabby training facilities and a crumbling stadium.
But he turned it around, establishing the famous Anfield Boot Room, building team confidence and ensuring the club became a powerhouse in English football. In a 15-year spell at Anfield, Shankly delivered three First Division league titles, two FA Cups, one UEFA Cup, four FA Charity Shields and one Second Division league title.
As well as a wealth of trophies, Shanks also left Liverpool fans with many fine quotes, some of which are listed below:
"Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that."
"The socialism I believe in is not really politics. It is a way of living. It is humanity. I believe the only way to live and to be truly successful is by collective effort, with everyone working for each other, everyone helping each other, and everyone having a share of the rewards at the end of the day. That might be asking a lot, but it's the way I see football and the way I see life."
"There's only two teams in the whole of Liverpool: Liverpool and Liverpool Reserves."
May 25, 1977: The European Adventure of a Lifetime
On May 25, 1977, tens of thousands of Liverpool fans flocked to Rome to watch their beloved Reds take the stage in their first ever European Cup final. Taking on Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bob Paisley and his men had enjoyed a positive campaign, winning the league title but narrowly missing out on the treble.
In front of a crowd of 57,000, the Reds took an early lead, only to have it cancelled out by a Mönchengladbach goal early on in the second half. Later on, a Tommy Smith and Phil Neal double halfway through the second half ensured that the club were the champions of Europe for the first time in their history.
Jubilant scenes followed, with delighted Liverpool fans partying long in to the night, but it was just a sign of things to come—7 European Cup finals appearances and five titles.
May 30, 1984: European Champions for the Fourth Time
On May 30, 1984, Liverpool supporters once again travelled to Rome, this time to see the club competing for the fourth European crown. In the days leading up to the match, reports filtering out of Rome were not about the game itself, but rather the violence taking place off the pitch. But when the 70,000 supporters took their seats in the Stadio Olimpico, they were treated to an absolute cracker of a match.
With the game tied at one goal apiece after extra time, the Merseysiders came out 4-2 victors on penalties, not before Bruce Grobbelaar's had the chance to unleash his now-famous "spaghetti legs" antics.
May 10, 1986: Sealing the Double at Wembley
On May 10, 1986, Liverpool sealed the double with a win over neighbors Everton in the FA Cup Final. Just a week after the Reds had secured the league title and the Toffees had finished in second, goals from Craig Johnston and Ian Rush cancelled out a first-half effort from Gary Lineker to give Liverpool a convincing 3-1 victory.
The game went down in history as being the first to feature a team without any English footballers in the starting lineup.
May 20, 1989: Abide with Me
On May 20, 1989, Liverpool fans watched their men do them proud, winning another Merseyside derby FA Cup Final just weeks after the Hillsborough stadium disaster.
In what was an extremely emotional game for both the Reds and the Blues, the action on the field was one of Wembley's most dramatic, but off it, beautiful renditions of "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "Abide With Me" touched the nation's hearts.
Fan John Mik captured it perfectly in this comment on the game:
"All I can say is never in any country but England did two teams appear in a stadium with flags of two colours shoulder to shoulder side by side watch a match! Everton and Liverpool! Cousins in a match, brothers and sisters in their own house! Don't ever think that an Everton fan did not lose a brother at Hillsborough!"
April 3, 1996: The Match of the Decade
On April 3, 1996, Anfield witnessed the Premier League's official Match of the Decade, as Liverpool had their say on the title race with a 4-3 win over Newcastle. After Robbie Fowler got the Reds off to a flying start, the game went back and forth until Stan Collymore's last-minute effort gave the Merseysider's the three points in what was described as "breathtaking, breakneck pace for the entire 90 minutes."
In the end, United went on to win the title with Newcastle in second. Meanwhile, Liverpool made up the top three, finishing seven points behind Newcastle.
May 16, 2001: The Treble in the Bag
On May 16, 2001, Liverpool travelled to Germany to wrap up the treble in what turned out to be yet another jaw dropping final, this time against Alavés. After four minutes, Markus Babbel gave the Merseysiders the lead—one that was extended just minutes later when Stevie G finished off a great passage of play.
After goals to both Liverpool and Alavés, the match was all but over at 3-1 at halftime. But it wasn't to be. A Javi Moreno double sent the game level. After an amazing comeback, there was still a twist in the tail, and Liverpool went in front once again at 76 minutes, only to have it cancelled out by a last-minute Alavés goal.
And so it went to extra time, where both sides once again scored to make it 4-4. Headed for penalties, Delfí Geli headed in to his own net to hand Liverpool the 2001 UEFA Cup.
May 25, 2005: The Final of the Century
What can I say? This has to be the most unforgettable night in the history of European football. The video says it all.
May 13, 2006: The Comeback That Defied Belief
On May 13, 2006, the Reds went in search of their seventh FA Cup triumph, as they took on West Ham at the Millennium Stadium. In front of a screaming crowd of 71,000, the Reds got off to a terrible start when Jamie Carragher cleared a West Ham cross in to his own net after 21 minutes. Just a few minutes later, the Hammers doubled there lead when Pepe Reina fumbled the ball right in to the path of Dean Ashton.
Liverpool replyed quickly, though, with Djibril Cissé unleashing a deadly volley at 32 minutes to make it 2-1. And minutes after halftime, Steven Gerrard equalized for Liverpool, a goal that was then later cancelled out by a Paul Konchesky fluke.
In the final minutes of the game, Gerrard came up with one of the most unbelievable goals of his career, scoring a spectacular equalizer after 90 minutes. The game went to extra time, and then penalties where the Reds won 3-1, thanks to the great goalkeeping of Pepe Reina.
January 8, 2011: The Return of the King
After all the magical moments we've seen in and around Liverpool, we may have just seen one of the most important ones.
As Karl Matchett rightly pointed out yesterday, since Kenny Dalglish arrived as caretaker manager on 8 January, 2011 he has transformed the Reds dramatically—taking them from being a side up for relegation to one now challenging for the league title. Of course, credit must also go to the new owners, Damien Comolli, Steve Clarke and the players. But as Jamie Carragher says here, King Kenny has brought the club together as one:
"The players and the supporters are all together. It wasn't like that at the start of the season, unfortunately for Roy. But I think Kenny coming in has galvanised the support behind the team again and obviously his record as a manager in the past is fantastic. He's one of the top managers around. He's won four championships."
And this could be the key to success at Anfield, as John Toshack said:
“I don't like champagne, I don't smoke cigars, I haven't any real jewellery at all, apart from the 8 pieces of gold I picked up at Anfield, the most important relationship at a football club is not between the manager and the chairman, but the players and the fans.”