When you think of the biggest clubs in world football Liverpool Football Club is one that immediately springs to mind. “The Reds” as they are known to fans and opposing supporters alike, are one of the few teams never to be relegated from the Premier League after it was established for the 1992-93 season. Fierce rivals of both Manchester United and Everton, Liverpool is one of the best supported and most valuable football clubs in the world.
When Was Liverpool FC Founded? Liverpool Football Club was founded way back on June 3, 1892, by a man named John Houlding. They play their games at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool in the Northwest of England and they are one of the most successful English clubs in both domestic and European competition.
One of the big draws of Liverpool is its fan base. The Reds have supporters clubs in over 50 countries and the Kop stand at Anfield is one of the best places in the world to watch a football game. It is very easy to be swept up hearing almost 55,000 people belting out a rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” just before kickoff on a big domestic or European night.
The rivalry between Everton and Liverpool – two teams that play across a park from each other – is legendary. That rivalry began right at the formation of the club and out of a dispute between the Everton committee and land owner Houlding. Everton was founded in 1878 and Houlding owned the land at Anfield that the Toffees played on. A dispute over the land saw a breakup between the parties and Houding – who had an enclosed stadium and suddenly no tenant – founded his own club which was known as Everton Athletic. The team became Liverpool FC after the Football Association refused to recognize them as Everton.
One interesting quirk about the first Liverpool team was that it included no English players. The match was a pre-season friendly against Rotherham Town that Liverpool won 7-1. The Reds’ team that day was comprised entirely of Scottish players that manager John McKenna had recruited on a scouting trip north of the border. The “team of Macs” as they were known won the Lancashire League in their first season before joining the Football League Second Division for the 1983-84 campaign. Liverpool kept up a successful Scottish pipeline until well into the 1990s.
70s and 80s Success
Liverpool was not always the successful juggernaut it is today. While there were some successful spells in the early years, it was on appointment of a manager midway through the 1959-60 season that changed the clubs fortunes for the better. Liverpool were relegated to the second tier of English football after the 1953-54 season. Chairman T. V. Williams was unhappy with the direction of the club and approached Huddersfield Town manager Bill Shankly about the job. Shankly, another Scotsman, didn’t like the lack of ambition he felt with The Terriers and took on one of the biggest jobs in world football at a time where it needed a complete rebuild.
Releasing 24 players at the end of the first season, Shankly raided team both in England and Scotland to build his squad. Backed by money from the boardroom, Shankly spent the 60s and early 70s rebuilding and then bringing stability to Liverpool. There were league titles along the way, but it was the 1975-76 season – one year after assistant Bob Paisley took over from Shankly to continue his work – that the trophies piled in. Between 1975-76 and 1989-90, Liverpool won an astonishing 10 of the 15 league titles available. They never went more than a season without winning the league and in that same time frame they also won four European Cups (Champions League), four League Cups (EFL Cup), two FA Cups, and one URefa Cup (Europa League). It was a decade and a half of pure dominance.
Unfortunately it is hard to look at the history of Liverpool without mentioning a couple of disasters that the club – and their fans specifically – were involved in. The first was the Heysel Stadium disaster. At a time where English hooliganism was at its height, Liverpool fans breached a fence separating them from Juventus fans at the 1985 European Cup final. The weight of people caused a retaining wall to collapse and 39 people died. English clubs were banned from participating in Europe for five-years in the aftermath.
The second disaster was the Hillsborough disaster. The 1985-86 FA Cup semi-final in Sheffield saw a crowd surge that saw fans crushed against perimeter fencing meant to keep them off of the pitch. The resulting loss of life sparked wide ranging changes in English football – all-seater stadiums rather than traditional stands being one of the most major – in a bid to prevent further avoidable tragedies of this type.
Return to the top
Liverpool is the most successful British club in international competition as the 2021-22 season with 14 trophies including six European Cups/Champions Leagues. It did, however, take Liverpool 20 years from 18998-90 through to 2019-20 to claim their first championship of the Premier League era.
The club rebuilt itself again after some lean years in the 1990s and early 200s. They did this by making shrewd foreign signings to go along with a core of English (and often local) talent including the likes of Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, and Michael Owen. It was, however, the appointment of German manager Jurgen Klopp and his Gegenpressing style of football that pushed The Reds back to the top.
It helps to have world class strikers in the likes of Sadio Mane and Mo Salah – along with arguably the best center back in world football in Virgil van Dijk – but it takes a manager to fit those pieces into a tactical system and allow them to excel. Klopp was the perfect manager at the perfect time for Liverpool and their style of play and sustained success is help inspire a whole new generation of fans to Never Walk Alone.