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Liverpool Football Club

With a trophy room packed to bursting and some of the world’s top players on its books, Liverpool Football Club [map] is undoubtedly one of the best in the world.

These days the fate of the club’s success lies in the hands of a squad of players, a manager, coaching staff and executives. But its creation was down to just one man, John Houlding, who set out on a mission to keep football at Anfield – the ground where the team still plays today.

Initially it was Liverpool’s arch rival’s Everton who played at Anfield but after a dispute over rent in 1892 everybody walked out leaving only club chairman Houlding, who stayed and formed a new club from scratch.

More than 100 years on, no English club can match Liverpool FC’s roll of honour; League Champions 18 times, FA Cup winners six times, League Cup winners seven times, European Cup winners four times and UEFA Cup winners three times.

The team first won the League Championship in the 1900/1 season despite a dismal start to the campaign. Since then they’ve never looked back, winning countless more championships in the years that followed before finally fulfilling the dream of FA Cup glory in 1965.

And in 1977 Liverpool fans witnessed the greatest night in its history when the team won the European Cup for the first time.

Along with trophies came great players including the likes of Kevin Keegan, Graeme Souness and Alan Hansen in the 70s, John Barnes and Ian Rush in the 80s, and Steve McManaman and Phil Babb in the 90s. These days it’s the names Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Danny Murphy, who the supporters are shouting from the terraces.

In recent times however, the club has had a lot to celebrate at home and abroad after winning the European Cup in spectacular fashion in 2005 and a year later taking home the FA Cup

Behind every great team there is a great manager and Liverpool has had its fair share of those, including Bob Paisley, Kenny Dalglish and the legendary Bill Shankey.

In more recent times it was Gerard Houllier who reaped the success and glory at Anflied, taking the team into a historic treble winning season in 2000/1. But in the summer of 2004, Houllier was replaced by Rafael Benitez and the world now waits with baited breath to see how many more titles will be heading back to Liverpool during his reign.

Unfortunately Liverpool FC is now as famous for its tragedies as it is for its trophies and the memories of England’s worst football tragedy at Hillsborough are never far from fans’ minds.

On 15th April 1989 more than 25,000 Liverpool supporters travelled to Sheffield to watch the FA Cup semi-final match with Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough. 96 of them never returned. They were crushed to death in the Leppings Lane end just after kick-off, a disaster that changed football in England, and particularly Liverpool, forever.

The club’s other great disaster came before that in May 1985 at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels, when Liverpool were playing Juventus in the European Cup Final. What should have been a night of triumph turned to tragedy when 38 Italians and one Belgian were killed when a wall collapsed on top of them.

Liverpool’s history – from glory to tragedy – is depicted in the club’s museum at Anfield, where you can see, among other things, the four European Cups, the FA Cup, the UEFA Cup, and even Roger Hunt OBE’s 1966 World Cup winners medal. There is also a 60-seat cinema showing four 10-minute films on the club’s history and a recreation of the world famous standing Kop.

A tour of the stadium also offers you the chance to see behind the scenes, including the dressing room, the tunnel and the team dugout. For more information log on to www.liverpoolfc.tv


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