Since its founding in 1892, Liverpool Football Club has been synonymous with fame and glory. Internationally, Liverpool is the most successful British club of all time, with plenty of European titles on its track record. The famous football teams in the world, with more than 200 fan clubs in at least 50 different countries. However, their remarkable history will forever be plagued by two of the worst stadium disasters of all time: Heysel and Hillsboro.
Liverpool FC History
After Everton moved to Goodison Park in 1892, then club President John Holding suddenly found himself with the rights to Anfield and no team to play for. A practical man holding fast decided to circumvent this problem by forming his club – Liverpool (not to be confused with the Liverpool Ramblers, founded ten years ago).
Having become a member of the Football League in 1893, the team was promoted to the 1st Division after one season in the Second Division. Early on, Liverpool established itself as one of the best clubs in England, winning league titles in 1901, 1906, 1922, and 1923.
Liverpool FC: The Bill Shankly era
Although Liverpool FC was very popular until then, Liverpool FC was not remarkably consistent in the post-WWII period. After receiving their fourth league title in 1947, the club entered a mediocre performance that culminated in their relegation to Second Division in 1954. However, things improved after Bill Shankly was appointed as manager. Shankly’s first act was to launch the entire first-team squad. He then transformed the club’s storage room into the famous “boot room,” a place that would serve as the coaches’ secret meeting place for the next three decades.
Shankly’s unconventional methods paid off quickly enough. Returning to the First Division in 1962, Liverpool won the league two years later. Then, remembering Shankly’s tenure as coach, they won two more league titles (1966, 1973), two FA Cups (1965, 1974), and their first European title – the 1973 European Football Association Cup. Then, in 1974, Shankly resigned From his job due to needing a break, leaving the club in hands of his assistant Bob Paisley.
Adding more trophies to the collection
The staff change did little to halt Liverpool’s dominance. Under Paisley, Liverpool has been a remarkably consistent team. During his nine years in office, the club won six league titles and three League Cups. Moreover, their reign extended to Europe, with Liverpool winning one European Cup and three European Cups between 1976 and 1981. After Paisley retired in late 1983, his assistant, Joe Fagan, continued the successful tradition by leading the team to a hat-trick in his first official season.
Liverpool FC: The Heysel and Hillsborough tragedies
In 1985, Liverpool faced Juventus in the European Cup final. Unfortunately, the match is now widely known as the scene of the Heysel disaster. Some unruly fans caused the perimeter wall to collapse, 39 fans were crushed to death. In the aftermath, given that only Liverpool fans were to blame for the incident, all English clubs were banned from European competitions over the next five years.
In the absence of European matches, Liverpool began to focus on domestic competitions. But after winning two more league titles in 1986 and 1988 and the FA Cup in 1985, the tragedy returned. In the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, 94 fans died in a crowd just six minutes into the match. To this day, the Hillsborough disaster remains the worst stadium disaster in English football.
After winning their 9th league title in 1990, Liverpool plunged into a downward spiral. The Liverpool star appeared to have waned with a handful of cup titles and some modest league accomplishments in the 1990s and early 2000s. However, they proved their strength in the simplest possible way. After reaching the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final, they recovered from a 3-0 deficit at the end of the first half to eventually defeat AC Milan on penalties.
As it turned out, this extraordinary and best victory was the club’s swan song. Over the next decade, Liverpool often played a minor role in other English clubs, winning only two cup titles and finishing second in the league to show their efforts.
A return to the top
Liverpool came close to winning Premier League as runners-up in 2002, 2014, and 2019. But in 2020, it all went downhill; with German coach Jurgen Klopp pulling out of the competition and the sky turning red when the league was finally decided after being boycotted for a while.