Liverpool’s Golden Years

27/04/17

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As Kitbag.com gets ready to welcome Liverpool’s new 125th anniversary kit, we thought we’d take a timely look back at ten of the club’s most memorable and decorated years to date.

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1892     In the beginning, when we were winning…

Formed out of the dispute which saw Everton leave Anfield for Goodison Park, the first ever Liverpool match at Anfield was in September 1892, with the hosts 7-1 friendly winners over Rotherham Town. Interestingly, the Liverpool team that took to the field that day was comprised completely of Scotsmen; foreshadowing the close connections the club would forge with the Celtic nations. Only 200 spectators watched the subsequent Lancashire League opener with High Walton, but attendances (and fortunes) at Anfield would quickly escalate.

1901     Kings of England

The first full season of the 20th century belonged to the upstart Liverpool club, who having won promotion from the Lancashire League and progressed through to Division One of the Football League, became champions of English football for the very first time. Under the able guidance of manager Tom Watson, the Reds would end their 1900-01 First Division campaign two points clear of former champions Sunderland; the same club with whom Watson had previously scooped a hat-trick of top flight titles. The Reds’ account had been opened.

1923     MacQueen’s coronation

After reclaiming their crown one year earlier, 1923 saw Liverpool retain the Division One title for the first time. Once again, their success would come at Sunderland’s expense, who were handed a crushing 5-1 defeat for their trouble along the way. Preston North End, Arsenal and city rivals Everton would also be beaten heavily at Anfield that season. Even the departure of manager David Ashworth in February for relegation-bound Oldham Athletic would fail to rock the boat, as new boss Matt MacQueen (a former Reds player) steered them home to glory.

1947     Post-war victories

With competitive football resuming to widespread popularity in the aftermath of World War II, 1947 saw Liverpool become England’s inaugural post-war champions, pipping fierce rivals Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers to the title by a single point. Inspired by forwards Jack Balmer and Albert Stubbins (who would later appear on the iconic album cover of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band), Liverpool would win seven of their final eight fixtures, including vital victories over United at Anfield and Wolves on the season’s last day.

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1966     The red album

As Beatlemania took the city and the world by storm, Liverpool FC made their mark on the swinging Sixties with a memorable run of success mid-decade. Having beaten United to another title in 1964 and claimed their first FA Cup the following spring, 1966 saw Liverpool add a European final to their haul of domestic silverware. Storming to the title by a 15-point margin, the Reds beat Celtic to reach the Cup Winners’ Cup Final and though opponents Dortmund would prevail in extra-time, continental glory would not elude Liverpool for long.

1973     Gosh, it’s Tosh

1973 saw Liverpool land that first ever European trophy, beating Borussia Mönchengladbach by three goals to two in the two-legged aggregate final. Under the leadership of iconic manager Bill Shankly, the 1973 squad helped Liverpool end a seven-year trophy drought, underlined further by their recapturing of the coveted First Division championship. Leading the way in the league, John Toshack and Kevin Keegan would contribute 26 goals between them, while goalkeeper Ray Clemence and skipper Tommy Smith oversaw the division’s tightest defence.

1977      Champions of Europe

In an era of landmark accomplishments, Liverpool’s 1977 might have been their finest year yet, as Bob Paisley’s Reds paired back-to-back titles for the first time since the 1920s with European football’s ultimate club prize. Pipping northern foes Manchester City to secure their tenth First Division championship, almost 100,000 spectators saw Liverpool and United contest the FA Cup Final in May, before the Reds beat Mönchengladbach (again) at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico lift the European Cup, four days later. Liverpool were champions of Europe.

Soccer - European Cup - Final - Liverpool v Borussia Monchengladbach

1984     A Rush and a push and the land is ours

While Orwell’s literary masterpiece may have envisioned a dystopian wasteland, 1984 proved to be another golden year for Liverpool Football Club, as the rampant Reds laid claim to an unprecedented First Division, League Cup and European Cup treble. With backroom boy Joe Fagan at the helm, Liverpool’s title-winning campaign saw striker Ian Rush score as many league goals on his own as the club conceded all season. Cup final wins over Everton in a replay and Roma on penalties would only bolster an already-brimming Anfield trophy cabinet.

1984 European Cup Final

2001     An Anfield odyssey

After a disappointing 1990s, Liverpool’s new century brought with it new optimism, as seasoned professionals Gary McAllister, Markus Babbel and Jari Litmanen linked up with Anfield mainstays Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard to form a formidable squad under Rafael Benetez. Clinching the League Cup in February 2001 and overturning Arsenal to win the first FA Cup Final in Cardiff, a 5-4 victory over Alaves in May’s UEFA Cup Final proved a fitting finale, as Liverpool ended a memorable campaign unbeaten in ten.

2005     The greatest comeback?

While the Premier League trophy has proven ever-elusive, Liverpool defied the odds to go one step better in 2005, winning the UEFA Champions League in unforgettable fashion. Having already ousted Monaco, Juventus, Chelsea and others en route to Istanbul, the Reds fell 3-0 down to Milan; only for second half efforts from Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso to bring them roaring back into contention. One penalty shoot-out later and history was made again. Liverpool’s legendary legacy had added another classic chapter. AC

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Celebrate Liverpool’s 125th anniversary with the club’s commemorative 2017-18 home kit, available to pre-order from Kitbag.com today. Click here for our full range of sizes.

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