Liverpool Football Club - The Silver Years And Beyond
In 1974 Bob Paisley took over the helm at Liverpool and saw the start of the greatest ever period in the clubs history as far as trophies went. The first season saw only a charity shield win but his second season in charge saw a double of the UEFA cup and the league championship which was to be retained the following year. This second title was coupled together with the first of what turned out to be two consecutive European cups. The European Super cup was also won in 1977 and English club football was pushed to the top of Europe. Two more league titles saw the decade finish before Paisley guided the team to their worst finish under his reign in 1981 when the team finished 5th. However he made up for it by regaining the European cup and paired it with the first of four consecutive league cups. Paisley retrired in 1983 and fittingly became the first ever manager to walk up the wembley steps to collect a trophy.
Joe Fagan took over in 1983-84 and it was business as usual for the reds. In his first season Joe Fagan won a unique treble of the league, league cup and European cup. The league win was the third in a row whilst the other two trophies were won for a fourth time in each case. Joe Fagan’s second year saw him win no trophies and announce his retirement. He announced his intentions prior to the end of the season and hoped to go out on a high by winning the European cup for a club fifth time. Events however turned sour that night at Heysel where 39 football fans died when a supporting wall collapsed. The blame was placed at Liverpool fans door and English clubs were banned from Europe. The truth however behind this goes further and although the Liverpool fans shamefully attributed to the disaster this was most certainly not the only reason the tragedy happened. UEFA ignored calls from Liverpool about the grounds state and segregation procedures which were at best, poor. They also ignored what went on the year before in Rome when Liverpool had beaten Roma in Rome when masses of Liverpool fans were stoned.
The following season saw Kenny Dalglish take over as player-manager with some assistance given to him by Bob Paisley. The reds stormed to a league and cup double, the first since 1971. The FA Cup final saw the first FA final between Liverpool and Everton and the reds won 3-1. The following few years saw the development of a great side which like other English clubs suffered from the lack of a European stage to test themselves on. In 1988-89 Liverpool were again to be looking for a double. Again tragic events happened which stunned the whole world of football. On April 15 1989 Liverpool Football Club lost 96 fans of its fans in a tragedy at Hillsborough that should never have happened. To this day, more than ten years on the families and fans are still fighting for the JUSTICE that they deserve. Private prosecutions took place against two officers from South Yorkshire Police. Despite calls from Liverpool, the FA gave Liverpool the smaller end of the ground. The movement of fans was not restricted in 1989 as it was the previous year and the main route into the ground pointed all fans in the same direction unless they knew the ground well. This went to the main central pens where a crush formed. No calls were answered from the fans to relieve the pressure at the front and the Police thought at first it was a pitch invasion and forced fans back into the pens. The tragedy unfolded in front of the Police and the voices that mattered in the control box remained silent.
More than ten years on the fight goes on for people to learn the truth about Hillsborough. The same truth that the Taylor report attempted to show but it was ignored in crucial areas and newspapers like the Sun printed lies about Liverpool fans of which they have never publically apologised. Rightly so the Sun is heavily boycotted nowadays from Liverpool fans. It is only now that Sheffield Wednesday have erected a memorial for OUR 96. It is ten years late.
To the 96 - YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE.
After the tragedy Liverpool went on to claim the FA Cup against Everton and lost the league on goal difference to Arsenal. After Liverpool won the 1990 league trophy the team has gone into decline. Kenny Dalglish under much strain left the club with an ageing side which Graeme Souness tried to change in one fell swoop. The changes didn't all work at once and also saw the demolition of the bootroom at Anfield. His reign as manager saw himgain on FA Cup final win in 1992 over Sunderland after heart sugery. However he also sold his story to a newspaper not worthy of naming, suffice is to say they peddled lies about the Hillsborough disaster. After some time though he failed to progress the team upwards and after defeat to Bristol City in the 1994 FA Cup he resigned.
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