Reds fans glad to be bach

This May bank holiday (Friday 2nd to Monday 5th) the annual pilgrimage to Moenchengladbach by a group of Liverpool supporters takes place. This will be 8th consecutive annual friendship visit by a group representing Liverpool FC  and one that includes taking in a match at Borussia Park, with Mainz providing the opposition to Borussia on Saturday May 3rd. It’s a friendship unique in world football and one which has blossomed over four decades.

When Liverpool and Borussia Moenchengladbach met five times during the 1970s the stakes were high – with the Reds taking the spoils, edging out the Germans 3-2 on aggregate in the final of the UEFA Cup in 1973 and then four years later the European Cup was secured for the first time as Gladbach were beaten 3-1 on a memorable night in Rome. The rivals faced each other again in the semi-finals a year later when Bob Paisley’s side booked their passage to Wembley by overturning a 2-1 deficit with a 3-0 victory at Anfield. But the bond which was forged between the two sets of fans on those glorious European nights has not only stood the test of time but strengthened. Image

It is Kopite and Annual LFC Supporters Moenchengladbach friendship visit organiser Graham Agg, who leads the pilgrimage of Reds fans to Germany. Once more he is expecting it to be a special occasion. He explains how the trips came about; “This friendship goes back to those great games in the 1970s and it really took off after some Borussia fans came to Liverpool in 1991 to present a cheque for 21,000 Deutsch Marks (about £7,000) to the Hillsborough fund. That meant a great deal and in 1992 a group of Borussia fans started coming over to Anfield every year to support us during their league’s winter break. I speak fluent German having lived over there for a few years so when they came over in 2006 I met up with them for a night in town. I was chatting to one of them who said the relationship between the clubs was great but that it was a bit one-sided. They had been coming over here since ‘92 but there wasn’t much coming back the other way. I was a bit embarrassed and decided we needed to do something about it.”

So with the 30th anniversary of the two clubs meeting in the European Cup final in 2007 approaching, the Netherton native took action and 25 reds made the trip across to Germany in 2007. It proved to be an unforgettable experience with the hospitality and friendship shown to the traveling reds second to none.

Graham remembers that first trip fondly ”Just before Gladbach’s final home game a few of us went on the pitch to unveil a special friendship flag to our German friends. Their fans roared and then chanted ‘Liverpool, Liverpool’ before giving a perfect rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. It was very emotional and we decided then to do it every year. We’ve been seven times now and every year it gets bigger and better and the supporters who have joined me on our friendship visits have been superb ambassadors for both Liverpool FC and the city.”

Those attending this May for the first time may well think they are back at Anfield; Graham explains; “Their official supporter’s club house near the stadium has a corner dedicated to Liverpool Football Club. And in the stadium, their corporate hospitality is in the LFC suite which has a framed picture of the Kop from the 70s. It really is remarkable. Both Liverpool and Moenchengladbach are working class cities so I think that’s why the fans identify with each other so much.”
Those on the trip this year can enjoy a guided tour of the impressive 54,000 capacity Borussia Park.  A tour of the pubs/bars in the Moenchengladbach Altstadt (Old Town) and a visit to the Borussia Moenchengladbach “Fanhaus”, the official BMG Supporters Club, where they have a whole corner dedicated to Liverpool Football Club. This is where the official presentations will take place. On match day there will be an all-day LFC/BMG Fan Party in the BMG Fan Haus followed by live music from local German bands. There will also be free time to visit the nearby cities of Cologne or Dusseldorf.

If you are interested in joining Graham and the rest of the crew traveling for the 2014 LFC Supporters Moenchengladbach Friendship visit please contact Graham ASAP on as places are going very fast.


Red All Over The Land -Issue 197

ImageAfter the dramatics of the victories over Arsenal and Fulham in the league, we go into today’s encounter hanging onto coat-tails of the top three. Who would have thought it? Hopefully Sunderland, Stoke or our neighbours down the road caused an upset yesterday to enable us to climb even higher in this crazy league campaign. With Gary Monk’s Swansea side sandwiched between Europa League encounters against Rafas Napoli, today is a great chance to put more points on the board. We faced Swansea in not to dissimilar circumstances last season. As they prepared for the League Cup Final, the reds showed no mercy to run out easy 5-0 winners at Anfield, it was ample revenge for the reds as Swansea defeated the reds on route to their first domestic trophy. Same today please, but can’t be greedy all the time, 1-0 would do! Be just 11 league games left then. Exciting times.

Swans fans don’t need reminding it was the current reds supremo Brendan Rodgers who finally guided them back to the promised land back in 2011, and the captain on that historic day, Gary Monk is now in the opposite dug-out after the rather surprising dismissal of Brian Laudrup. But aside from that there is a special bond between the two clubs – for it was Swansea who provided the opposition at Anfield the day after Bill Shanklys funeral in October 1981.

Managed by one of Shanklys great players, John Toshack, Swansea had climbed from 4th to 1st division in four years. On route he had enlisted the help of European Cup winners, Tommy Smith and Ian Callaghan in what was an unbelievable journey for the Welsh side. On this particular match day, Tosh would pay his own personal tribute to Shanks. During an emotional minute’s silence before the match started; he proudly wore the red shirt of Liverpool with his famous number 10 on the back. Looking back on the game itself, Swansea went two goals in front before a brace from the penalty spot by Terry McDermott levelled the game at 2-2. Terry might find himself a tad lucky to be awarded the second spot-kick. Dai Davies in the Swansea goal took exception to Terry’s second pen by casually flinging McDermott into the net after he levelled. The media would have field day today, have a look on After that game the reds were lying in 13th position, 10 places behind their opponents. Come the end of that season, normal service had been resumed with the reds on top but Swansea finishing a very creditable 6th position in the top flight.

The excellent relationship between the sides grew over the years, Ray Kennedy lining out for the Welsh side and the likes of Jan Molby, who went on to play for and manage the Swans in the mid-1990s, reaching a play-off final at Wembley in 1997 but losing to Northampton Town.

And amongst the playing staff today we have Joe Allen on the red side and injury permitting we welcome back Jonjo Shelvey to Anfield. Jonjo divided opinion amongst the reds fan-base, but was never shy in the challenge, and hey he got up Fergies purple nose as well. Whatever happened to that side he managed anyway?

It’s not too often Everton gets a mention in this publication without some sort of witty punch-line but here goes:

Just a few weeks back Everton Football Club held a ceremony at Anfield Cemetery to rededicate the grave of one Will Cuff. In the role of Everton FC secretary and chairman, Cuff served the club for 60 years, overseeing four league titles and two FA Cups – but he also played a huge role in bringing together Liverpool and Everton after the bitter spilt in 1892.

Speaking at the graveside, author of the book ‘Across the Park’ and football historian, Peter Lupson, said; “You all know that in 1892 there was a terrible split, out of which Liverpool emerged as a separate club. It was a bitter split. It began to slightly thaw by the time John Houlding had died and in 1902 three Everton and three Liverpool players carried his coffin, which was something of a breakthrough.”

But it was the result of Will Cuff’s friendship with a man who had a similar status and stature at Liverpool called John McKenna that enabled the clubs to continue to heal the rift. Lupson explains; “These two men together, through their deep friendship, brought about a unity between Everton and Liverpool that was remarkable when you think about the depth of the split. Within two years of Houlding’s death they’d arranged for joint match programmes to be published from 1904 to 1935 – that’s 1,100 joint match programmes. In 1906 Everton won the FA Cup, knocking out Liverpool in the semi-final 2-0, but when Everton came back with the trophy, McKenna and all the Liverpool directors were at the station to welcome them home and congratulate them. “

When McKenna died in 1936 it was Cuff who led the tributes saying “I think the greatest man in football has gone” he continued “He will live long in the memory of all who had anything to do with the governing of football. Fearless, outspoken, and absolutely honest, he was well named Honest John”. The following year, Cuff unveiled a plaque at Anfield in memory of his friend John McKenna where it is still displayed.

And when Will Cuff died in 1949 his service was conducted by former Liverpool captain Parson Jackson where the Liverpool chairman stated ‘Will Cuff was a man who set a grand example to everyone in football’.

It’s refreshing to see clubs honouring their past stalwarts whilst also acknowledging the role of other clubs also. Which brings us to Tom Watson, the first great English manager, Watson won the league title three times with Sunderland and a further two times with Liverpool. To date he is still the longest serving Liverpool manager in the clubs history. In a previous issue we highlighted the embarrassment that Watson now lies in an unmarked grave in Anfield Cemetery. Thankfully both Liverpool and Sunderland intend to mark his achievements. Black Cats historian Rob Mason and Liverpool FC museum curator Stephen Done have been in discussions with various interested parties to agree on the wording and it is hoped the memorial will be in place before the clubs meet on March 10th. However this may change due to possible FA Cup action, so check the clubs website or Red All Over The Land on facebook where we will post up any details of the event.                                                                          

Remembering W.E. Barclay

ImageThis article appears in the latest issue of Red All Over The Land

Just before Christmas Norwegian based Liverpool FC historian, Jonny Stokkeland and local man George Rowlands unveiled a headstone in memory of the man who suggested the name Liverpool FC to John Houlding. That man was W.E. Barclay. Barclay also had the unique distinction of managing both Everton and Liverpool. It was the end of a long journey for Stookeland and Rowlands to finally see the Dublin born Barclay’s name finally displayed in Anfield Cemetery, fittingly in the shadow of both the Anfield Road and Goodison Park stadiums. We at RAOTL wanted to get to know a bit more about Jonny and he kindly answered our questions below.

The Scandinavian support for Liverpool FC is legendary, who were your heroes in red growing up?

Kevin Keegan. No doubt about that!!  And I was so lucky to meet him in Academy in Kirkby, about 5 years ago. A meeting I will never forget!

Your first trip to Liverpool and memories?

August 1992. It was a dream come true to see Anfield – And it was in time to stand on The Kop as well. I was in Istanbul in 2005 and have visited Liverpool 41 times now. I try to visit Liverpool 3-4 times a year. I end up staying for up to two weeks as I continue my research. I will be back in April and May.

Your heavily involved with gathering information of past players/managers – what got you involved in this type of research and how much time do you spend researching?

I was born in 1968 and have been a LFC supporter as long as I can remember. I started collecting information about Liverpool FC and all ex-players in 1980 when the Norwegian Supporters Club was founded. It was not easy to find much information then. All I had was Brian Peads book the first Complete record book which came out in 1986 and then Doug Lammings Who`s Who in 1989. That was a revelation. Then I met Eric Doig, the grandson of the great Liverpool goalkeeper Ned Doig in early 90s and we have been friends since then. He took me to the central library in Liverpool. Nowadays I use most of my time in other libraries in England. Crosby, Birkenhead, Bolton, Stoke, Rochdale, Heywood, Bury, Nelson, Accrington, Burnley, Blackpool, Blackburn, Darwen, Preston, Huddersfield, Sheffield and Birmingham have all been visited. We have also used several weeks in The Football League Museum in Preston + visit Lancashire FA, Lancashire Record Office and Liverpool County FA.2 years ago I went to London and used 1 week in the Collindale Library for my research.

A headstone for W.E. Barclay in Anfield Cemetery has now come to pass; can you tell us the process you had to go through to bring this project to it’s conclusion?

After a lot of talk, me and George Rowlands got It put up when I last visit Liverpool in December. At last Liverpools first secretary (manager) got what he deserved. Very little had been written about him in history books. George found his birth details in Ireland and his sad demise in Liverpool.  He was the forgotten man in clubs history. Image

Have you any more LFC projects lined up in the future?

Well, Sveinung Egeland put together a fantastic PC programme some years ago. We have more than 4800 names and more than 12 000 matches in our archives. We try to find all match facts for all matches played by first team, reserves and junior teams – And we try to follow all players from birth to death, all their clubs and other work. We buy birth and death certificates to get everything as correct as possible.

I met George Rowlands five years ago, and he is an expert on ancestry. He has been of great help. So has Kjell Hanssen with his excellent newspaper archives. And we also have contacts in South Africa, USA, Norway and England.

We signed a long term contract with Liverpool FC a few years ago in which our collection is part of the LFC Official Archives. We get questions from ex-players, families of ex-players and supporters all the time. So I am always a busy man! I can be contacted at if somebody needs any information or maybe can help us.


LFC historians: Eric Doig, George Rowlands, Jonny Stookeland and Kjell Hannsen

Red All Over The Land – Issue 196

ImageOh what a night it was at our last home game – any win against the blue half of the city is to be savoured but a 4-0 drubbing in what was described as the ‘most important derby in 30 years’ was much more than we had hoped for. And it could have been more. At the time of going to press we don’t know the WBA result but let’s hope we are going into today’s first of two games V Arsenal in a week in good nick.

There does seem to be a trend with the reds taking on the Gunners in different competitions so close together. As recent as April 2008, the two clubs clashed three times within a week, a league encounter sandwiched between two Champions league quarter-final ties (remember that competition). It was a trilogy in which Liverpool came out unbeaten. The Champions League tie at the Emirates ended all square. A scorer of many important goals for the reds, Dirk Kuyt cancelled out Adeboyer’s opener thus leaving it all to play for in the second leg the following week. In the meantime the two sides had to play a league encounter the following Saturday morning – Once more it finished level, an impressive Liverpool which included Damien Plessis making his debut took the lead through Peter Crouch with Nicholas Bendtner grabbing a equaliser as thoughts turned to the next game of the trilogy at Anfield – an unforgettable evening.

In a game that ebbed and flowed, the old stadium rocked from start to finish, heck, I didn’t get to sit down and I was in the Anfield Road end, you know it’s special when that happens. All the drama came late in the game, after both sides traded goals in the first half, Fernando Torres looked to have put Liverpool through only for Adebayor to put the Londoners ahead with 6 minutes remaining. We certainly had some roller-coaster times under Rafa and you just knew we could come back, and we did two minutes later. Torres who had tortured the hapless Senderos all night, drew a foul and once more Steven Gerrard saved the day with a faultless spot-kick to put the reds in control even though the game was still in the balance. The crowd could relax just minutes later when Ryan Babel was given the freedom of the Arsenal half to race through and finish the job off. Ring of Fire didn’t stop for ages that night as the reds spilled out onto the surrounding streets dreaming of another tilt at Chelsea in the semi-final of the Champions League. Good times, no, great times.

If we had the upper hand in 2008 it perhaps was a case of revenge for what happened to the redmen two years earlier. This time we were paired against each other in the two domestic cup competitions. The League Cup 5th round tie at Anfield in December was called off due to heavy fog, now it was to be re-fixed just three days after the reds would open their FA Cup defence, also against the Gunners.

The FA Cup clash would be known as ‘Truth Day’, the Reclaim the Kop group organised a mosaic as 12,000 fans in the Kop were given cards to hold up which spelt out the words “The Truth”. It would be a timely reminder to those in power that the fight for justice would not go away. With the mosaic visible while Liverpool supporters chanted “Justice for the 96” for six minutes it was a breath-taking sight that had the desired effect in highlighting once more the long awaited fight for Justice.

The match itself was dominated by the visitors who inspired by Thierry Henry ran out 3-1 winners as both sides locked horns in the League Cup tie three days later. The League Cup match was to be a game to forget for the redmen and one to remember for Arsenal frontman Julio Baptista who netted four times as both sides fielded somewhat understrength teams. A 6-3 reverse was the worst home defeat in 76 years and leaving Anfield that night we were sure we would never see another opposition player score 4 goals against us again, and certainly not an Arsenal player, wishful thinking!


Playing each other three times in a week in 2008 may seem a lot, but back in 1980, the two sides traded blows an incredible five times over a three week period. Both sides had reached the semi-final of the FA Cup and after a scoreless draw at Hillsborough the two met again four days later at Villa Park. No pens in those days. A goal apiece from David Fairclough and Alan Sunderland would not settle the tie – as both sides headed to Anfield for a league clash just a few days later. Predictably enough, the game finished all square with Liverpool remaining in top spot in the race for league honours, just a point ahead of closest rivals Manchester United.

The two clubs had a well-deserved break from each other for a whole nine days before their second replay. With the added bonus of playing second division side West Ham in the final, Liverpool were eyeing up a first League and Cup double. In a dramatic finale at Villa Park Kenny Dalglish popped up on 90 minutes to cancel out a first minute strike from the previous year’s cup final hero, Alan Sunderland. Extra-time wouldn’t separate the two and just three days later at the unusual semi-final venue of Highfield Road Coventry, Brian Talbot scored the only goal of the game to send the Gunners into the final against West Ham, a game they lost 1-0. For Liverpool, they only had to wait another two days to pick up the championship once more.

So onwards to the next installment in the history of these great two clubs. I’m sure the majority of the red army that travelled to Bournemouth were counting the cost and praying for a home tie when who else but Arsenal away gets pulled out of the hat. Not only that, it now means two trips to the capital for the reds within a few days with the league clash against Fulham taking place on the 12th Feb. Quite the expense and I’m sure most can’t afford to attend the two games. After the possibility that ticket prices may hit £93, the pressure for common sense was applied by Jay McKenna and the Spirit of Shankly. The game has now been labelled a CAT B game by Arsenal, thus reducing ticket prices to £54, well done to all involved. Still far too much money for any football match, but small steps.

So it’s been a great week at the time of writing. Libpool Libpool top of the league, Libpool top of the league. Well commercial league at any rate. New sponsorship deals with Dunkin’ Donuts, Vauxhall and most recently the Indonesian firm Garuda Airline who will sponsor the clubs training gear. With the teams above dropping points recently, perhaps we can even dream of snatching the 3rd Champions League spot. After today’s game we might well have a better idea on whether it’ll be the Champions League Logo or the Europa League badge that will appear on next seasons kit.

Red All Over Ireland – Issue 195

Sunday afternoon and it’s the FA Cup 4th round draw and we hadn’t even kicked off in the 3rd round yet. But it was quite nerve-wrecking in the public houses around Anfield Road before the Oldham game as Paul Allen juggled with one ball and fellow draw man, Martin Allen, had everyone squinting at the screen with his technicolored waistcoat effort. Paul Allen hasn’t changed much since he ran through on goal in the 1980 Cup final only to be scythed down by that big bully Willie Young of Arsenal – a yellow card! I think every red was a hammer for the day after the 4-game semi-final marathon against the Arsenal. Back to Paul Allens ball juggling skills, surely it’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong and the draw will be declared null and void. Fabrice Muamba called out a wrong number last season. Let’s go back to the Monday midday draw on the radio with the blazers and the velvet bag, now that was tension.

Anyway a lot of big sides and Everton were left in the errrr VESSEL is all I can describe it as and it was looking like a derby or one of the Manchester sides in the next round of the FA Cup. A fellow red beside me just kept saying “I want a trip to the seaside” and WALLAH, out pops AFC Bournemouth or Burton Albion. By the time you read this, we will know whether the panic buying for the bucket and spade was worthwhile. If it is Bournemouth it’s a long trip for the redmen for a 12.45 kick off on the south coast, as usual fans are an afterthought. Look at Coventry City, already in the mire this season having to play their home games at Northampton – get a dream draw at Arsenal – only to have their game taking place on the Friday night, meaning at least 2,000 sky blues won’t be able to travel! Another note on the possible Bournemouth tie is that those of us watching the box will probably have to endure an afternoon watching how Harry Redknapp masterminded Bournemouth’s victory over the then holders ( And Smith must (didn’t) score) Man United. Is it really 30 years! Thankfully QPR are playing on the same day so we will be spared a studio appearance by Harry.

Aston Villa arrive today in a similar position to last season’s visit to Anfield when they ran out comfortable 3-1 winners in what was a forgettable afternoon for the reds. Brendan Rodgers men dropped as low as 12th that afternoon – 13 months on and the redmen are riding high and in real contention for a Champions League place. Hard to believe it’s nearly 5 years since the 5-0 thrashing at Anfield as Rafa’s Liverpool were running Manchester United close at the top of the table. Sadly it wasn’t to be.

Personal memories of games against Villa at Anfield brings me back to our 11th title win in 1979 – a Tuesday night meant listening to the second half commentary on BBC Radio 2. In those days you had no idea what happened in the first 45 minutes – no ceefax or teletext in those days, well not in my house. So I had to endure the torture of the presenter saying “and there’s been some action in the 1st half”. Thankfully Peter Jones or Bryan Butler mentioned a Liverpool player first and you knew we had scored. More than one as it turned out, Alan Kennedy and Kenny Dalglish sending the reds into the break two goals to the good. The second half was a joyous affair, the airwaves transporting the songs from the KOP, who were in fine voice, across the Irish Sea. Terry McDermott killed off any chance of a Villa comeback as the reds reclaimed the championship crown that emerging rivals Nottingham Forest had surprisingly won the previous year.

One year on and Villa were present for another Liverpool coronation. The game took place on a Saturday afternoon, and just two days after Arsenal overcame the reds in the 4th game of their FA Cup semi-final marathon. No sign of weariness however as the reds raced into an early lead. We were then treated to one of the most bizarre Liverpool moments as defender, the late Avi Cohan, sliced the ball into his own net only for him to put the reds 2-1 up with a fine shot at the start of the second half. A memorable afternoon for the Israeli was complete when Johnston added another before Aston Villa defender Noel Blake joined in on the own goal act to send the home fans on their way with a 12th league title in the bag.

As for Aston Villa, well they must have gained some valuable experience from the two title winning displays as they went on to win the biggest prize the following year and followed that up with a memorable European Cup win over Bayern Munich the following May.

Villa has enjoyed title success at the expense of the reds. Brilliantly described in Jonathan Wilsons book Anatomy of Liverpool the climax of the 1899 season was played out at Villa Park. The home side only needing a draw to clinch the title were up against a club that was only in existence for seven years. Former title winning manager at Sunderland, Tom Watson was in charge of the reds as they attempted to win the title for the very first time. However it was to be a day to forget as the home side fired in five goals without reply in the first half to clinch the league title.

It didn’t take too long for the reds to finally claim league glory. Tom Watson masterminding the 1901 side at the expense of his old club Sunderland and in the process starting the love affair with the league championship at Anfield Road.

Would Shankly have survived the football forums?

The reds at home to Cardiff almost 54 years to the day since Bill Shankly was appointed manager of Liverpool Football Club. Not the best of starts for the new boss, a 0-4 reverse at Anfield. Can you imagine the reaction to such a start today. Lets go back in time and fast forward to the present day – it’s doubtful Mr Shankly would have survived in the current climate.


Hunt59: Best of luck to Mr Shankly in his new role as Liverpool FC manager. Let’s hope we start with a victory over the blues from Cardiff.

KemlynRoader: I second that. What a coup for Mr Shankly to obtain total control of first team affairs as well. Unheard off, he must have good methods of persuasion.

Kopite1947: This is a new departure and one I’m not best pleased with – Mr Shankly turned us down once before and we go back cap in hand – No thank you Mr Shankly. The club missed out on the great Liverpool captain, Matt Busby, and we will never live that down.

PhilTaylor1950: With Hickson and Hunt on form I can see no reason whatsoever why Liverpool can’t challenge for a top four finish this season and whilst it may take Mr Shankly a few years to get us promotion and back to where we belong I believe it will be worth it. We have found the right man gentlemen. I can assure you of that.

LiddleBilly: Does anyone know what time the soccertram leaves for Anfield this Saturday?

MoranLB: Soccertram leaves from the Aldelphi every half an hour from 12pm onwards. Don’t think there will be too many at the game this Saturday. Some say they can’t make out the players from the back of the Spion Kop. I said it when they were installed two years ago, Floodlights will not work and won’t attract more spectators to football. And I was right.

DashingDaveH: I hope Mr Shankly will be paying a good deal of attention to the reserve side, we have some very good youngsters with a special mention to young Callaghan who I feel could do a good job for Liverpool FC and could play in the first team until the late 1960’s at least.

StubbornStubbins: Anyone going to Charlton for the Boxing Day Fixture?

Balmerlegend: Well I would like to travel but would we make it back in time for the return fixture on the 28th? Maybe we could ask Mr Shankly for a lift back ha ha

20man: Please pray that Danny Malloy is playing this Saturday afternoon. He’s now scored three own goals against us whilst playing for Cardiff. I predict a revenge 3-2 win for the reds this Saturday.


(Liverpool FC 0 Cardiff City 4)

Hunt59: If Mr Shankly doesn’t know what a tough job he has on his hands he does now. But he’ll get it right.

KemlynRoader: Cardiff got the start they needed, jolly good team they are as well. Up to third now.

Kopite1947: I told you giving a manager sole responsibility for the job would lead to problems.  I gave the director’s box a piece of my mind at the final whistle

PhilTaylor1950: Hickson and Hunt never got a sniff from Sullivan and Baker who were in top form. Mr Shankly will have a good look at the youngsters I hope and build a team for a promotion push next season.

MoranLB: Danny Malloy didn’t even get on the score-sheet. I was at the back of the Spion Kop, I could barely see with the poor lighting and cigarette smoke. But at least I was warm. Back again for Charlton.

StubbornStubbins: Young Jones played ever so well on his debut – with Callaghan playing well for the reserves this team may look very different in the new year when Mr Shankly gets a good look at them on the training pitch.

Balmerlegend: I like the way Mr Shankly speaks, he has the common touch he said afterwards “Naturally I’m disappointed but it’s just as well that I’ve seen the team give an off-form display in my first match. I’ve learned quite a few things this way,” Seems a honest man.

20man: I had Danny Malloy down to score a o.g. on my coupon – only hope we have of getting promotion is winning the pools. Maybe John Moores will come across to this side of Stanley Park and invest in the reds.


(Liverpool FC 0 Cardiff City 4)

Luis7: Keystone cop defending, this has been a woeful performance.

stevielegend: I can’t believe the board has given this man full control over team affairs. This is a fcuking joke.

5times: What a loada shite. New players required Shankly, and no money, we are doomed.

KD: Absolutely pathetic, while Moran was our best player there seems to be no communication at the back when he plays, Allen was good on his debut and Hunt is terribly overrated and never looks arsed. Good luck Shankly.

Lucas09: Fooking joke, we’ve nothing in midfield – Hunt is ok up front but we never looked like doing anything. Nothing but two wins from our two games against Charlton now.

GlenJ: That is up there with the worst Liverpool performances I have ever seen and I was at the 5-1 home defeat to The Arsenal seven years ago – even at this early stage Shankly needs to look at himself in the mirror. The team selection was all over the place. The communication between Morris and Campbell was awful. That midfield needs some major surgery. Fcuking shit

RafaB: It was a really bad result we know that, but how we perform next game against Charlton will tell us a lot more about the team and the new manager. Embarrassing result.

RobbieF: Show me somebody who thinks Jimmy Melia should be in the team and I’ll show you an idiot. Send Dave Hickson back across the park as well, useless.

Ronnie5: Take a photo of the league table because unless Mr Williams invests heavily we won’t be challenging for promotion this or next season. Mr Shankly must be wondering what he has got himself into here. We are on the way to no-where.

Rush9: We need to win our next two against Charlton IMHO. And hope that Sheffield Utd and Cardiff drop more. At least Everton are having a shit season as well. As for Mr Shankly – he’ll be lucky to last the season with this performance, talks a lot, but nothing to show for it.


Finally Bursting That League Cup Bubble

Red All Over The Land  – Issue 193 – @dmoenlfc

Today we have West Ham United as visitors and hopefully after the Hull and Norwich games in the past week we are still in amongst the top four places. Hard to imagine that it’s only 5 years since we drew 0-0 at home to the hammers to go top of the league– it wasn’t enough to please all in L4 that evening with sporadic boos ringing around the ground at the final whistle at the ‘disastrous’ outcome. A lot has happened since then of course and what we would give to be heading to the summit after today’s encounter.

Recent activity between the two clubs have centered on transfer deals; in the opposing squad we have ex reds in Stewart Downing, Joe Cole and the unlikely to feature Andy Carroll. Sadly none of the three set the world alight during their stay at Anfield, although Andy Carroll will be fondly remembered for his goal in the Merseyside FA Cup semi-final. If any of the lads are reading this, maybe you could tell that goalkeeper Jaaskelainen that the KOP applauds every visiting goalkeeper that comes to Anfield.

The reds have fared much better in recent transfer activity between the clubs, Javier Mascherano and Youssi Beneyoun arriving in 2007 with a large degree of success. Go back a further 14 years and we had a man who would write himself into the Anfield history books, Julian Dicks. It was a deal the Boleyn Ground occupants couldn’t turn down, the hammers getting in two pretty decent players in Mike Marsh and David Burrows for Dicks. He wouldn’t last long at Anfield, signed by Graham Souness to add more aggression to the back line; he would last just a year at Anfield. Souness’s replacement, Roy Evans, didn’t fancy the player and amid concerns over his fitness he was eventually shipped back to West Ham, who must have been delighted with the overall outcome of the deal. Still, in his brief sojourn he would become the answer to a common Liverpool FC quiz question. Who was the last Liverpool player to score in front of the standing KOP? None other than the Terminator himself, netting a 75th minute penalty on Grand National day 1994. The reds lost their last two home games to nil against Newcastle and Norwich respectively.

We have also went head-to-head with West Ham on three occasions with silverware at stake, yes I’m counting the Charity Shield game of 1980, hey I was 8 and it meant everything to me at the time and the 90,000 plus in attendance as well. A Terry Mac strike proving to be the only score of the game. Both sides would meet again in two cup finals, the much written about Gerrard FA Cup final of 2006 and the 1981 League Cup final, which also had its fair share of talking points and was to be Liverpool’s first triumph in the competition.

West Ham had won the FA Cup in 1980 as a second division side with a rare Brooking header overcoming hot favourites Arsenal. The following season they easily won promotion to the top table once more and with it another cup final appearance against a Liverpool side who were on the way to winning a third European Cup later in the spring.

As per the norm when Clive Thomas was in charge – controversy was never far away. A Sammy Lee ‘goal’ in the first half was ruled out for offside before Lee was once again in the action late on in extra-time. This time the Liverpool man was felled in the area after a crunching Alvin Martin challenge and as the hammers defence rushed out leaving Lee lying prostate in the area and in an offside position – Alan Kennedy simply rifled the ball past Phil Parkes. GOAL-NO GOAL? Thomas ignored the lines-man’s flag and gave the goal and with it surely a first Liverpool FC League Cup triumph. Not to be, to West Hams credit they piled forward. Ray Clemence pulled off a magnificent save from a Ray Stewart free-kick and from the resulting corner; Bootle born Alvin Martins headed goal wards, only for it to be punched off the line by Terry McDermott, a sending off offence today. Ray Stewart didn’t miss many penno’s and he sent Clemence the wrong way as both sides headed for an April Fool date replay at Villa Park. As they carried their tired limps off the sapping Wembley surface, I’m sure Alan Kennedy was cursing his luck, he was within seconds of scoring what would have been a cup winning goal. His time would come later that year in Paris and again in Rome three years later.

The replay was a much more open affair and it was the second division side that opened the scoring when Paul Goddard nodded in after five minutes. But the east-end joy was short-lived, within 30 minutes Liverpool had scored the goals that would take the cup to Anfield for the first time. Kenny Dalglish brilliantly hooking home a volley before an Alan Hansen header with the help of Billy Bonds knee won the day for the reds who were playing in their change strip of white shirts and black shorts. Simple strip back then, a classic – probably never to be seen again without some sort of zig-zag design to spoil it.

We did like that cup didn’t we, maybe it was the taste of milk the victors enjoyed afterwards, although stories emulating from that period would suggest most of the team were impartial to the black stuff than the white. We liked it so much that we decided to keep it for four years on the bounce before Clive Allen haunted us on Halloween night 1985. It wasn’t a bad return of silverware for a cup we hadn’t won at all up to 1981.