If you were already a football fan in 2005, the Champions League's final is probably one of the few games you will never ever forget. Even if you are not a Liverpool FC fan, you would admit there might have been something more than just football in that game, something that allowed the team to come back from 0-3 deficit in halftime and win the game on penalty kicks, something that is rooted in the club's tradition, virtues and fans. That something makes Liverpool the fascinating club it is.
Liverpool FC was founded in 1892 by John Houlding, who was a member of Everton FC and a friend of Anfield's land property owner. After purchase of the then 20,000-seat stadium, Houlding got into an argument with fellow Everton committee members, who decided to leave Anfield in favor of Goodison Park. Houlding, which was left with a stadium but no team, decided to establish Liverpool. Ever since, Liverpool and Anfield are synonymous, iconic names.
The club won its first title of the old First Division in 1901. It will be 89 long and silverware-rich years until Liverpool will win its last and 18th Premier League title in 1990. With a total of 5 European Cups, 3 UEFA Cups, 3 UEFA Super Cups, 7 FA Cups and 8 League Cups, it is no wonder why Liverpool is considered one of the greatest English and European clubs in the history of football.
1959 was the year in which history, or luck, or both, changed forever. Certainly, the club's destiny. Bill Shankly, a Scottish ex-player who coached in the Scottish league, took over as manager of a club that has been playing in the Second Division since 1954. Joined by assistant coaches Bob Paisely, Joe Fagan and Reuben Bennet, Shankly put Liverpool on a path to glory. When the boot room area was over - Shankly (1959-1974), Paisely (1974-1983) and Fagan (1983-1985) - Liverpool recorded 10 championships, 2 FA Cups, 4 League Cups, 2 UEFA Cups and 4 European cups. The phenomenal success continued into the late 80's under former player and club legend turned manager Kenny Dalglish.
Since the start of the millennium Liverpool found success under Frenchman Gerard Houllier and Spaniard Rafa Benitez, with 2 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, a UEFA Cup and the Champions League victory over AC Milan. However, the Premier League Championship has eluded one of the most decorated clubs in English football.
Liverpool is forever attached to two major tragedies, that changed the course and nature of European and English football: The Heysel Stadium disaster before the start of the European Cup Final in 1985, in which 39 Juventus fans were killed due to overcrowding and clashes between the supporters. As a result, English clubs were banned from European competition for five years The Hillsborough Disaster before an FA Cup semi-final match in 1989, in which 96 Liverpool fans were killed in the stands, the biggest disaster in the history of British football. It took over 20 years for the authorities to clear the Liverpool supporters from any wrong doing. The tragedy resulted in a hardline stance against hooligans and the elimination of standing only stands in England.
Anfield and Liverpool's supporters are well-known worldwide for their passion and atmosphere generated during home matches. It starts with the club's anthem singing of You'll Never Walk Alone when the team goes on the pitch, and remain so until the final whistle. After a two-year construction period, Anfield's new main stand increased stadium's capacity to 54,000 seats, and plans are underway for further construction.
Liverpool's glorious past is filled with legendary players, The list goes on and on, so we'll name just a few: Kenny Dalglish, arguably the club's best ever player (169 goals in 502 appearances), Kevin Keegan (100 goals in 321 appearances), Ian Rush (club record 346 goals in 660 appearances), Robbie Fowler (183 goals in 369 in appearances), Ian Callaghan (club record 857 appearances) and Steven Gerrard (186 goals in 719 appearances).
Due to its rich history, exciting style of play and match day experience, a visit to Anfield is always a unique an unforgettable football experience.
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