Liverpool Football Club is an English Premier League football club based in Liverpool. The club has won eighteen League titles, seven FA Cups and a record eight League Cups. Liverpool has won more European titles than any other English club, having won five European Cups, three UEFA Cups and three UEFA Super Cups.
Liverpool was founded in 1892 and joined the Football League the following year. The club has played at Anfield since its formation. The most successful period in Liverpool’s history was the 1970s and ’80s when Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley led the club to eleven league titles and seven European trophies.
The club’s supporters have been involved in two major tragedies. The first was the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985 in which charging Liverpool fans caused a wall to collapse, killing 39 Juventus supporters and resulting in Liverpool being banned from European club competitions for 6 years. In the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives in a crush against perimeter fencing.
Liverpool has long-standing rivalries with neighbours Everton and Manchester United. The team changed from red shirts and white shorts to an all-red home strip in 1964. The club’s anthem is “You’ll Never Walk Alone“.
Main article: History of Liverpool F.C.
John Houlding, the founder of Liverpool F.C.
Liverpool F.C. was founded following a dispute between the Everton committee and John Houlding, club president and owner of the land at Anfield. After eight years at the stadium, Everton relocated to Goodison Park in 1892 and Houlding founded Liverpool F.C. to play at Anfield. Originally named “Everton F.C. and Athletic Grounds Ltd” (Everton Athletic for short), the club became Liverpool F.C. in March 1892 and gained official recognition three months later, after the Football Association refused to recognise the club as Everton. The team won the Lancashire League in its début season, and joined the Football League Second Division at the start of the 1893–94 season. After finishing in first place the club was promoted to the First Division, which it won in 1901 and again in 1906.
Liverpool reached its first FA Cup Final in 1914, losing 1–0 to Burnley It won consecutive League championships in 1922 and 1923, but did not win another trophy until the 1946–47 season, when the club won the First Division for a fifth time. Liverpool suffered its second Cup Final defeat in 1950, playing against Arsenal. The club was relegated to the Second Division in the 1953–54 season. Soon after Liverpool lost 2–1 to non-league Worcester City in the 1958–59 FA Cup, Bill Shankly was appointed manager. Upon his arrival he released 24 players and converted a boot storage room at Anfield into a room where the coaches could discuss strategy; here, Shankly and other “Boot Room” members Joe Fagan, Reuben Bennett, and Bob Paisley began reshaping the team.
The club was promoted back into the First Division in 1962 and won it in 1964, for the first time in 17 years. In 1965, the club won its first FA Cup. In 1966, the club won the First Division but lost to Borussia Dortmund in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final. Liverpool won both the League and the UEFA Cup during the 1972–73 season, and the FA Cup again a year later. Shankly retired soon afterwards and was replaced by his assistant, Bob Paisley. In 1976, Paisley’s second season as manager, the club won another League and UEFA Cup double. The following season, the club retained the League title and won the European Cup for the first time, but it lost in the 1977 FA Cup Final. Liverpool retained the European Cup in 1978 and regained the First Division title in 1979. During Paisley’s nine seasons as manager Liverpool won 21 trophies, including three European Cups, a UEFA Cup, six League titles and three consecutive League Cups; the only domestic trophy to elude him was the FA Cup.
Paisley retired in 1983 and was replaced by his assistant, Joe Fagan. Liverpool won the League, League Cup and European Cup in Fagan’s first season, becoming the first English side to win three trophies in a season. Liverpool reached the European Cup final again in 1985, against Juventus at the Heysel Stadium. Before kick-off, Liverpool fans breached a fence which separated the two groups of supporters, and charged the Juventus fans. The resulting weight of people caused a retaining wall to collapse, killing 39 fans, mostly Italians. The incident became known as the Heysel Stadium disaster. The match was played in spite of protests by both managers, and Liverpool lost 1–0 to Juventus. As a result of the tragedy, English clubs were banned from participating in European competition for five years; Liverpool received a ten-year ban, which was later reduced to six years. Fourteen Liverpool fans received convictions for involuntary manslaughter.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The 1989 Hillsborough disaster was an incident that occurred during the FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest football clubs on 15 April 1989 at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England. The crush resulted in the deaths of 96 people and injuries to 766 others. The incident has since been blamed primarily on the police. The incident remains the worst stadium-related disaster in British history and one of the world’s worst football disasters.
Football clubs contest the semi-final of the FA Cup at a neutral venue, and in 1989 Hillsborough was selected by the Football Association. While opposing supporters were segregated in the stadium, Liverpool fans were allocated the Leppings Lane stand, reached by a limited number of turnstiles. Entry to the ground was slow due to the few decrepit turnstiles available to the Liverpool fans which caused dangerous overcrowding outside the ground before kick-off. In an attempt to ease pressure outside the ground, Chief Superintendent Duckenfield ordered an exit gate to be opened. The opened exit gate led to a tunnel marked “Standing” which led directly to the two already overcrowded enclosures (pens). In previous years the tunnel had been closed off by police when the two central pens were full, however on this occasion the tunnel was unmanned.
The ensuing influx of supporters caused crushing and some fans climbed over side fences or were lifted by fellow supporters onto the stand above to escape the crush. Moments after kick-off, a crush barrier broke and fans began to fall on top of each other. The game was stopped after six minutes. To carry away the injured, supporters tore down advertising hoardings to use as stretchers and emergency services were called to provide assistance. Of the 96 people who died, 14 were admitted to hospital. When the FA Chairman visited the Control Box to find out what had happened, Chief Superintendent Duckenfield told a ‘disgraceful lie’ that the supporters had “rushed” the gate.
The 1990 official inquiry into the disaster, the Taylor Report, concluded “the main reason for the disaster was the failure of police control.” The findings of the report resulted in the elimination of standing terraces at all major football stadiums in England, Wales and Scotland.
On the 20th anniversary of the disaster, government minister Andy Burnham called for the police, ambulance and all other public agencies to release documents which were not made available to Lord Justice Taylor in 1989. This action led to the formation of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, which in September 2012 concluded that no Liverpool fans were responsible for the deaths, and that attempts had been made by the authorities to conceal what happened, including the alteration by police of 116 statements relating to the disaster. The facts in the report prompted immediate apologies from Prime Minister David Cameron; the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police David Crompton; Football Association Chairman David Bernstein and Kelvin MacKenzie, then-editor of The Sun, for their organisations’ respective roles.
In September 2012, the Hillsborough Independent Panel concluded that up to 41 of the 96 fatalities might have been avoided had they received prompt medical treatment. The report revealed “multiple failures” by other emergency services and public bodies which contributed to the death toll. In response to the panel’s report, Attorney General for England and Wales, Dominic Grieve MP, confirmed he would consider all the new evidence to evaluate whether the original inquest verdicts of accidental death could be overturned. On 19 December 2012, a new inquest was granted in the High Court, to the relief of the families and friends of the Hillsborough deceased.
 Before the disaster
The Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield
 The venue
In 1989, Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, the home of Sheffield Wednesday, was selected by the Football Association as a neutral venue to host the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest football clubs. Kick-off was scheduled for 3:00 pm on 15 April and fans were advised to take up positions fifteen minutes beforehand.
At the time of the disaster, most British football stadiums had high steel fencing between the spectators and the playing field in response to both friendly and hostile pitch invasions. Hooliganism had affected the sport for some years, and was particularly virulent in England. From 1974, when these security standards were put in place, crushes occurred in several English stadiums.
A report by Eastwood & Partners for a safety certificate for the stadium in 1978, concluded that although it failed to meet the recommendations of the Green Guide, a guide to safety at sports grounds, the consequences were minor. It emphasised the general situation at Hillsborough was satisfactory compared with most grounds.:67
Risks associated with confining fans in pens were highlighted by the Committee of Inquiry into Crowd Safety at Sports Grounds (the Popplewell inquiry) after the Bradford City stadium fire in May 1985. It made recommendations on the safety of crowds penned within fences, including “all exit gates should be manned at all times … and capable of being opened immediately from the inside by anyone in an emergency”.
 Warning signs
Hillsborough was a regular venue for FA Cup semi-finals in the 1980s, hosting five matches. A crush occurred at the Leppings Lane end of the ground during the 1981 semi-final between Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers after hundreds more spectators were permitted to enter the terrace than could safely be accommodated, resulting in 38 injuries, including broken arms, legs and ribs. Police believed there had been a real chance of fatalities had swift action not been taken, and recommended the club reduce its capacity. In a post-match briefing to discuss the incident, Sheffield Wednesday chairman Bert McGee remarked: “Bollocks—no one would have been killed”. This incident prompted Sheffield Wednesday to alter the layout at the Leppings Lane end, dividing the terrace into three separate pens to restrict sideways movement. The terrace was divided into five pens when the club was promoted to the First Division in 1984, and a crush barrier near the access tunnel was removed in 1986 to improve the flow of fans entering and exiting the central enclosure. Its capacity remained unaltered and the safety certificate was not updated. After the crush in 1981, Hillsborough was not chosen to host an FA Cup semi-final for six years until 1987.
Serious overcrowding was observed at the 1987 quarter-final between Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry City and again during the semi-final between Coventry City and Leeds United at Hillsborough. A Leeds fan described disorganisation at the turnstiles and no steward or police direction inside the stadium, resulting in the crowd in one enclosure becoming so compressed he was at times unable to raise and clap his hands Other accounts told of fans having to be pulled to safety from above.
Liverpool and Nottingham Forest met in the semi-final at Hillsborough in 1988, and fans reported crushing at the Leppings Lane end. Liverpool lodged a complaint before the match in 1989. One supporter wrote to the Football Association and Minister for Sport complaining, “The whole area was packed solid to the point where it was impossible to move and where I, and others around me, felt considerable concern for personal safety”. After changes to the ground’s layout in 1981, its safety certificate became invalid but was not renewed. At the time of the disaster, the ground had no safety certificate.
In this plan of the stadium, the Leppings Lane end is labelled WEST STAND.
As is common at domestic matches in England, opposing supporters were segregated. Nottingham Forest fans were allocated the South and East ends (Spion Kop) with a combined capacity of 29,800, reached by 60 turnstiles spaced along two sides of the ground. Liverpool supporters were allocated the North and West ends (Leppings Lane), holding 24,256 fans, reached by 23 turnstiles from a narrow concourse. Although Liverpool had a larger fan base, Nottingham Forest was allocated the larger area, the reason being to avoid the approach routes of rival fans intersecting. As a result of the stadium layout and segregation policy, turnstiles that would normally have been used to enter the North Stand from the east were off-limits and all Liverpool supporters had to converge on a single entrance at Leppings Lane. On match day, radio and television advised fans without tickets not to attend.
Three chartered trains transported Liverpool supporters to Sheffield for a match fixture in 1988, whereas only one train ran in 1989. Many supporters wished to enjoy the day and were in no hurry to enter the stadium prematurely. Some supporters were delayed by roadworks while crossing the Pennines on the M62 motorway which resulted in minor traffic congestion. Between 2:30 pm and 2:40 pm, there was a build-up of supporters outside the turnstiles facing Leppings Lane, eager to enter the stadium before the game began.
A bottleneck developed with more fans arriving than could be safely filtered through the turnstiles before 3:00 pm. People presenting tickets at the wrong turnstiles and those who had been refused entry could not leave because of the crowd behind them but remained as an obstruction. Fans outside could hear cheering as the teams came on the pitch ten minutes before the match started and as the match kicked off, but could not gain entry. A police constable radioed control requesting the game be delayed, as it had been 2 years before, to ensure the safe passage of supporters into the ground. The request was received but declined.
With an estimated 5,000 fans trying to enter through the turnstiles and increasing safety concerns, the police, to avoid fatalities outside the ground, opened a large exit gate (Gate C) that ordinarily permitted the free flow of supporters departing the stadium. Two further gates were opened to relieve pressure. After an initial rush, thousands of supporters entered the stadium “steadily at a fast walk”.
The scene outside the ground as the disaster began.
 The crush
When the gates were opened, thousands of fans entered a narrow tunnel leading to the rear of the terrace into two overcrowded central pens, creating pressure at the front. Hundreds of people were pressed against one another and the fencing by the weight of the crowd behind them. People entering were unaware of the problems at the fence; police or stewards usually stood at the entrance to the tunnel and, when the central pens reached capacity, directed fans to the side pens, but on this occasion, for reasons not fully explained, did not. A BBC TV news report conjectured that if police had positioned two police horses correctly, they would have acted as breakwaters directing many fans into side pens, but on this occasion, it was not done.
For some time, problems at the front of the pen went unnoticed, except by those affected, as attention was absorbed by the match. At 3:06 pm the referee, Ray Lewis, on the advice of the police, stopped the match after fans climbed the fence in an effort to escape the crush and went onto the track. By this time, a small gate in the fence had been forced open and some fans escaped via this route, as others continued to climb over the fencing. The police attempted to stop fans from spilling onto the pitch. Other fans were pulled to safety by fans in the West Stand above the Leppings Lane terrace. The intensity of the crush broke the crush barriers on the terraces. Holes in the perimeter fencing were made by fans desperately attempting to rescue others.
Liverpool fans desperately try to climb the fence onto the safety of the pitch while being stopped by the police.
Those trapped were packed so tightly in the pens that many victims died of compressive asphyxia while standing. The crowd in the Leppings Lane Stand overspilled onto the pitch, where many injured and traumatised fans congregated who had climbed to safety. Police, stewards and members of the St. John Ambulance service were overwhelmed. Many uninjured fans assisted the injured; several attempted CPR and others tore down advertising hoardings to use as stretchers.
As events unfolded, some police officers were still deployed making a cordon three-quarters of the way down the pitch to prevent Liverpool supporters reaching the opposing supporters. Some fans tried to break through the cordon to ferry injured fans to waiting ambulances but were forcibly turned back. 44 ambulances arrived, but police prevented all but one from entering the stadium.
Only 14 of the 96 fatally injured people arrived at hospital.
BBC Television’s cameras were at the ground to record the match for Match of the Day. As the disaster unfolded, the events were relayed live to the Saturday sports show, Grandstand.
A total of 94 people, aged from 10 to 67 years old, died either at the stadium, in the ambulances, or shortly after arrival at hospital, and 766 fans were injured – around 300 of whom required hospital treatment. On 19 April, the death toll reached 95 when 14-year-old Lee Nicol – attached to a life support machine – succumbed to his injuries. The death toll reached 96 in March 1993, when artificial feeding and hydration was withdrawn from 22-year-old Tony Bland after nearly four years, during which time he had been in a persistent vegetative state and shown no sign of improvement.
Andrew Devine, aged 22 at the time of the disaster, suffered similar injuries to Tony Bland and was diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state. In March 1997 – a month before the eighth anniversary of the disaster – it was reported he had emerged from the condition and was able to communicate using a touch-sensitive pad.
Of those who died, 79 were aged 30 or younger. Two sisters, three pairs of brothers, and a father and son were among those who died, as were two men about to become fathers for the first time; 25-year-old Steven Brown of Wrexham and 30-year-old Peter Thompson of Widnes. Jon-Paul Gilhooley aged ten, cousin of future Liverpool F.C. captain Steven Gerrard, was the youngest person to die. Gerrard has said the disaster inspired him to lead the team he supported as a boy and become a top professional football player.
Condolences flooded in from across the world, led by the Queen. Other messages came from Pope John Paul II, US President George H. W. Bush, and the chief executive of Juventus (see Heysel Stadium disaster) amongst many others.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Home Secretary Douglas Hurd visited Hillsborough the day after the disaster and met survivors. Anfield Stadium was opened on the Sunday to allow fans to pay tribute to the dead. Thousands of fans visited and the stadium filled with flowers, scarves and other tributes. In the following days more than 200,000 people visited the “shrine” inside the stadium.
At Liverpool Cathedral, a requiem mass attended by 3,000 people, was held by the Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool Derek Worlock. The first lesson was read by Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar. Liverpool players Ronnie Whelan, Steve Nicol and former manager Joe Fagan carried the communion bread and wine. David Sheppard, the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, on holiday on the Scottish island of Barra on the day of the disaster, was airlifted by RAF helicopter to attend.
FA Chief executive Graham Kelly, who had attended the match, said the FA would conduct an inquiry into what had happened. Speaking after the disaster, Kelly backed all-seater stadiums, saying “We must move fans away from the ritual of standing on terraces”. Standing on terraces and the use of perimeter fencing around the pitch, the use of CCTV, the timing of football matches and policing of sporting events were factors for a subsequent inquiry to consider.
UEFA President Jacques Georges caused controversy by describing the Liverpool supporters as “beasts”, wrongly suggesting that hooliganism was the cause of the disaster. His remarks led to Liverpool F.C. calling for his resignation, but he apologised on discovering hooliganism was not the cause.
 Disaster Appeal Fund
A disaster appeal fund was set up with donations of £500,000 from the Government, £100,000 from Liverpool F.C. and £25,000 each from the cities of Liverpool, Sheffield and Nottingham. Liverpool donated their share of the money they would have received for the game. Within days donations had passed £1 million, swelled by donations from individuals, schools and businesses. Other fund raising activities included a Factory Records benefit concert and several fundraising football matches. Bradford City and Lincoln City, the teams involved in the Bradford City stadium fire, met for the first time since the 1985 disaster in a game which raised £25,000. When appeal closed the following year, it had raised over £12 million. Much of the money went to victims and relatives of those involved in the disaster and provided funds for a college course to improve the hospital phase of emergency care.
In May 1989, a charity version of the song “Ferry Cross the Mersey” was released in aid of those affected. The song featured famed Liverpudlians Paul McCartney, Gerry Marsden, Holly Johnson and Liverpool band The Christians and was produced by Stock Aitken Waterman. Ferry Cross the Mersey entered the UK Singles Chart at number 1 on 20 May, and remained in this position for a total of three weeks.
 Effect on survivors
By the disaster’s 10th anniversary in 1999, at least three people who survived were known to have committed suicide caused by emotional problems brought on by the disaster. Another survivor had spent eight years in a psychiatric unit. Numerous cases of alcoholism and drug abuse were also blamed on the disaster, and it contributed to the collapse of a number of marriages involving people who had witnessed the events.
 The Taylor inquiry
Main article: Taylor Report
After the disaster, Lord Justice Taylor was appointed to conduct an inquiry into the events. The Taylor Inquiry sat for a total of 31 days and published two reports; an interim report which laid out the events of the day and immediate conclusions, and the final report which outlined general recommendations on football ground safety. This became known as the Taylor Report.
Lord Justice Taylor concluded that “policing on 15 April broke down” and “although there were other causes, the main reason for the disaster was the failure of police control.” There was considerable treatment over some aspects of the disaster; in particular, attention was focused on the decision to open the secondary gates. Moreover, the kick-off should have been delayed, as had been done at other venues and matches.
Sheffield Wednesday was criticised for the inadequate number of turnstiles at the Leppings Lane end and the poor quality of the crush barriers on the terraces, “respects in which failure by the Club contributed to this disaster.”
 Police control
Taylor found there was “no provision” for controlling the entry of spectators into the turnstile area. Questioned why more action had not been taken to screen individuals and improve the flow of supporters approaching the stadium from the west “where the turnstile area was so small and awkwardly laid out”, senior police officers responded that policy and practice had been no different than in the past, and they had no reason to anticipate problems as earlier events had proceeded without major incident. Taylor noted two occasions when the entry at Leppings Lane had been the sole access to the north and west sides of the ground, at the 1987 and 1988 semi-finals, with evidence of congestion at both, but owing to good fortune and circumstance police policy “was not put to the same test and strain as a year later”.
The senior police officers said it had never happened before so there was no reason to foresee it. In fact, the only two previous occasions when the Leppings Lane terraces had been used to fill the whole of the north and west sides of the ground were at the two semi-finals, in 1987 and 1988. In 1987, the match was on a Sunday scheduled for 12 noon, and kick-off was postponed for a quarter of an hour because of late arrivals.
The need to open gate C was due to dangerous congestion at the turnstiles. That occurred because, as both Club and police should have realised, the turnstile area could not easily cope with the large numbers demanded of it unless they arrived steadily over a lengthy period. The Operational Order and police tactics on the day failed to provide for controlling a concentrated arrival of large numbers should that occur in a short period. That it might so occur was foreseeable and it did.
As a result of the inadequate number of turnstiles, it has been estimated that it would have taken until 3:40 pm to get all ticket holders into the Leppings Lane end had an exit gate not been opened. Gate C was opened to let fans in, but the number of fans entering the terrace was not thought to have been more than the capacity of the entire standing area. Once inside the stadium, most fans entering the terraces headed for the central pens 3 and 4, as directed by a large sign above the access tunnel.
Since pens 3 and 4 were full by 2.50 pm, the tunnel should have been closed off whether gate C was to be opened or not. … [I]t should have been clear in the control room where there was a view of the pens and of the crowd at the turnstiles that the tunnel had to be closed. If orders had been given to that effect when gate C was opened, the fans could have been directed to the empty areas of the wings and this disaster could still have been avoided. Failure to give that order was a blunder of the first magnitude.
Standard procedure for league fixtures was to estimate the size of the visiting fan base, determine how many enclosures need to be opened, then fill each standing area one at a time. For all-ticket games that had sold-out, such as semi-final matches, a different approach was adopted whereby supporters were allowed to enter any enclosure they wished upon arrival. There was no mechanical or electronic means for calculating when individual enclosures had reached capacity. A police officer made a visual assessment before guiding fans to other pens.
Whilst in theory the police would intervene if a pen became “full”, in practice they permitted the test of fullness to be what the fans would tolerate. By 2.52 pm when gate C was opened, pens 3 and 4 were over-full even by this test. Many were uncomfortable. To allow any more into those pens was likely to cause injuries; to allow in a large stream was courting disaster.
The official combined capacity of the central pens was 2,200, but the Health and Safety Executive found this should have been reduced to 1,693 as crush barriers and perimeter gates did not conform to the Green Guide. It is estimated that more than 3,000 people were in the pens shortly after kick off at 3:00 pm. Overcrowding caused the fatal crush.
When spectators first appeared on the track, the immediate assumption in the control room was that a pitch invasion was threatened. This was unlikely at the beginning of a match. It became still less likely when those on the track made no move towards the pitch. … [T]here was no effective leadership either from control or on the pitch to harness and organise rescue efforts. No orders were given for officers to enter the tunnel and relieve pressure.
The anxiety to protect the sanctity of the pitch has caused insufficient attention to be paid to the risk of a crush due to overcrowding. Certain it was, that once the crush occurred on 15 April gates 3 and 4 were wholly inadequate for rescue purposes.
Lord Taylor regarded spectator allocation irrelevant to the disaster. “I do not consider choice of ends was causative of the disaster. Had it been reversed, the disaster could well have occurred in a similar manner but to Nottingham supporters.”
 Aggravating factors
Accusations that the behaviour of Liverpool fans contributed to the disaster centered around consumption of alcohol before the game and attempts to enter the ground without a ticket. Although Lord Taylor acknowledged that these aggravated the situation, they were secondary factors. Witness estimates of the number of fans who were drunk varied from a minority to a large proportion of the crowd. Although it was clear many fans had been drinking, Lord Taylor unequivocally stated that most of them were: “not drunk, nor even the worse for drink”. He concluded that they formed an exacerbating factor. and that police, seeking to rationalise their loss of control, overestimated the element of drunkenness in the crowd.
The Hillsborough Independent Panel later noted that, despite being dismissed by the Taylor Report, the idea that alcohol contributed to the disaster proved remarkably durable. Documents later disclosed confirm that repeated attempts were made to find supporting evidence for alcohol being a factor, and that available evidence was significantly misinterpreted. It noted “The weight placed on alcohol in the face of objective evidence of a pattern of consumption modest for a leisure event was inappropriate. It has since fuelled persistent and unsustainable assertions about drunken fan behaviour.”
The possibility of fans attempting to gain entry without or with forged tickets was suggested as a contributing factor. South Yorkshire Police suggested the late arrival of fans amounted to a conspiracy to gain entry without tickets. However, analysis of the electronic monitoring system, Health and Safety Executive analysis, and eyewitness accounts showed that the total number of people who entered the Leppings Lane end was below the official capacity of the stand. Eye witness reports suggested that tickets were available on the day and tickets for the Leppings Lane end were on sale from Anfield until the day before. The report dismissed the conspiracy theory.
 Police evasion
Taylor concluded his criticism of South Yorkshire Police by describing senior officers in command as “defensive and evasive witnesses” who refused to accept any responsibility for error.
In all some 65 police officers gave oral evidence at the Inquiry. Sadly I must report that for the most part the quality of their evidence was in inverse proportion to their rank.
It is a matter of regret that at the hearing, and in their submissions, the South Yorkshire Police were not prepared to concede they were in any respect at fault in what occurred. … [T]he police case was to blame the fans for being late and drunk, and to blame the Club for failing to monitor the pens. … Such an unrealistic approach gives cause for anxiety as to whether lessons have been learnt. It would have been more seemly and encouraging for the future if responsibility had been faced.
 Effect on stadiums in Britain
The Taylor Report had a deep impact on safety standards for stadiums built in the UK. Perimeter and lateral fencing was removed and many top stadiums were converted to all-seated. Purpose-built stadiums for Premier League and most Football League teams since the report are all-seater. Chester City F.C.‘s Deva Stadium was the first English football stadium to fulfil the safety recommendations of the Taylor Report.
Lord Taylor noted that the evidence he received was overwhelmingly in favour of more seating accommodation and that most was in favour of reversing the two thirds to one third standing / seating ratio. His final report made 76 recommendations, including not a reduction in standing in line with this evidence but that, after a given timescale, all stadia designated under the Safety of Sports Ground Act 1975 should admit spectators to seated accommodation only. A number of his recommendations were not implemented, including all-seating for sports other than football. The Football Spectators Act (1989) contained a regulation requiring football grounds to become all-seated as directed by the Secretary of State. This was to be overseen by the Football Licensing Authority (now the Sport Grounds Safety Authority).
In July 1992, the Government announced a relaxation of the regulation for the lower two English leagues (known now as League One and League Two). The Football Spectators Act does not cover Scotland, but the Scottish Premier League chose to make all-seater stadia a requirement of league membership. In England and Wales all-seating is a requirement of the Premier League and of the Football League for clubs who have been present in the Championship for more than three seasons. Several campaigns have been active in attempting to get the government to relax the regulation and allow standing areas to return to Premiership and Championship grounds.
 Stuart-Smith scrutiny
In May 1997, when the Labour Party came into office, Home Secretary Jack Straw ordered an investigation. It was performed by Lord Justice Stuart-Smith. The appointment of Stuart-Smith was not without controversy. At a meeting in Liverpool with relatives of those involved in Hillsborough in October 1997, he flippantly remarked “Have you got a few of your people or are they like the Liverpool fans, turn up at the last minute?” He “apologised” for his remark, saying it was not intended to offend. The terms of reference of his inquiry were limited to “new evidence”, that is “…evidence which was not available or was not presented to the previous inquires, courts or authorities.” Therefore evidence such as witness statements which had been altered were classed as inadmissible. When he presented his report in February 1998, he concluded that there was insufficient evidence for a new inquiry into the disaster. In paragraph 5 of his summary he said:
I have come to the clear conclusion that there is no basis upon which there should be a further Judicial Inquiry or a reopening of Lord Taylor’s Inquiry. There is no basis for a renewed application to the Divisional Court or for the Attorney General to exercise his powers under the Coroners Act 1988. I do not consider that there is any material which should be put before the Director of Public Prosecutions or the Police Complaints Authority which might cause them to reconsider the decisions they have already taken. Nor do I consider that there is any justification for setting up any further inquiry into the performance of the emergency and hospital services. I have considered the circumstances in which alterations were made to some of the self-written statements of South Yorkshire Police officers, but I do not consider that there is any occasion for any further investigation.
Importantly Stuart-Smith’s report supported the coroner’s assertion that evidence after 3.15pm was inadmissible as “that by 3.15 pm the principal cause of death, that is, the crushing, was over.” This was controversial as the subsequent response of the police and emergency services would not be scrutinised. Announcing the report to the House of Commons, Home Secretary Jack Straw backed Stuart-Smith’s findings and said that “I do not believe that a further inquiry could or would uncover significant new evidence or provide any relief for the distress of those who have been bereaved.”
 Hillsborough Independent Panel
The Hillsborough Independent Panel was installed by the British government to investigate the Hillsborough disaster. On 12 September 2012, it published its report and simultaneously launched a website containing 450,000 pages of material collated from more than 80 organisations over two years.
 History of the panel
In the years after the disaster there was a feeling that the full facts were not in the public domain and a suspicion that some facts were deliberately covered up. The Hillsborough Family Support Group, led by Trevor Hicks, campaigned for the release of all relevant documents. After the disaster’s 20th anniversary in April 2009, supported by the Culture secretary, Andy Burnham and Minister of State for Justice, Maria Eagle, the government asked the Home Office and Department of Culture, Media and Sport to investigate the best way for this information to be made public.
In December 2009, Home Secretary Alan Johnson announced the formation of the Hillsborough Independent Panel with a remit to oversee “full public disclosure of relevant government and local information within the limited constraints set out in the disclosure protocol” and “consult with the Hillsborough families to ensure that the views of those most affected by the disaster are taken into account”. An archive of all relevant documentation would be created and a report produced within two years explaining the work of the panel and its conclusions.
The panel was chaired by James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool. Other members were:- 
On 12 September 2012, the Hillsborough Independent Panel concluded that no Liverpool fans were responsible in any way for the disaster, and that its main cause was a “lack of police control” and crowd safety was “compromised at every level” and overcrowding issues had been recorded two years earlier. The panel concluded that “up to 41″ of the 96 who perished might have survived had the emergency services’ reactions and co-ordination been improved. The number is based on post mortem examinations which found some victims may have had heart, lung or blood circulation function for some time after being removed from the crush. The report stated that placing fans who were “merely unconscious” on their backs would have resulted in their deaths.
The findings concluded that 164 witness statements had been altered and 116 statements unfavourable to South Yorkshire Police had been removed. South Yorkshire Police had performed blood alcohol tests on the victims, some of them children, and ran computer checks on the national police database in an attempt to “impugn their reputation”. The report concluded that the then Conservative MP for Sheffield Hallam, Irvine Patnick, passed inaccurate and untrue information from the police to the press.
Subsequent apologies were released by Prime Minister David Cameron on behalf of the government, Ed Miliband on behalf of the opposition, Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, South Yorkshire Police, and former editor of The Sun, Kelvin McKenzie, who apologised for writing the headline “The Truth”. McKenzie said he should have written a headline that read “The Lies”, although this apology was widely discredited by the Hillsborough Family Support Group and Liverpool fans, as it was seen to be “shifting the blame once again.”
After publication, the Hillsborough Families Support Group called for new inquests for the victims. They also called for prosecutions for unlawful killing, corporate manslaughter and perversion of the course of justice in respect of the actions of the police both in causing the disaster and covering up their actions; and in respect of Sheffield Wednesday FC, Sheffield Council and the Football Association for their various responsibilities for providing, certifying and selecting the stadium for the fatal event.
Calls were made for the resignation of police officers involved in the cover-up, and for Sheffield Wednesday, the police and the Football Association to admit their blame. Calls were also made for Sir Dave Richards to resign as chairman of the Premier League and give up his knighthood as a result of his conduct at Sheffield Wednesday at the time of the disaster. The Home Secretary called for investigations into law-breaking and promised resources to investigate individual or systematic issues.
South Yorkshire police announced it would refer the actions of its officers to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). West Yorkshire Police announced it would refer its Chief Constable, Sir Norman Bettison, to the IPCC in mid September; in early October, Bettison announced his retirement, becoming the first senior figure to step down since publication of the report.
The IPCC announced on 12 October 2012 it would investigate the failure of the police to declare a major incident, failure to close the tunnel to the stands which led to overcrowded pens despite evidence it had been closed in such circumstances in the past; changes made to the statements of police officers; actions which misled Parliament and the media; shortcomings of previous investigations; and the role played by Norman Bettison. Separately the Director of Public Prosecutions announced a review of evidence, including from the HIP Report, to determine if criminal charges, including charges of corporate manslaughter arising out of gross negligence, should be brought by the Crown Prosecution Service against South Yorkshire police, Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, Sheffield City Council, the Football Association, or individuals.
The IPCC investigation amounts to the biggest independent review of the police ever conducted; by 22 October 2012, the names of at least 1,444 serving and former police officers have been referred. In its announcement, the IPCC praised the tenacity of the Hillsborough families’ campaign for truth and justice. On 16 October 2012, the Attorney General announced in Parliament he has applied to have the original inquest verdict quashed, arguing it proceeded on a false basis and evidence now to hand requires this exceptional step.
On 23 October 2012, Norman Bettison resigned with immediate effect as Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, after Maria Eagle MP on the floor of the House and protected by Parliamentary privilege, accused him of boasting about concocting a story that all the Liverpool fans were drunk and police were afraid they were going to break down the gates and decided to open them. Bettison denied the claim, and other allegations about his conduct, saying “there is nothing I’m ashamed of”. Merseyside Police Authority confirmed that Bettison would receive an ₤83,000 pension, unless convicted of a criminal offence. Hillsborough families called for the payments to be frozen during the IPCC investigation. In the same 22 October House of Commons debate, Stephen Mosley MP alleged West Midlands police pressured witnesses—both police and civilians—to change their statements. Maria Eagle confirmed her understanding that WMP actions in this respect would be the subject of IPCC scrutiny.
 Permanent memorials
A number of memorials have been erected in memory of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster; all are listed below:
The Hillsborough memorial at Anfield
The Memorial at Hillsborough Stadium
The Memorial at Old Haymarket, Liverpool
- Flames were added either side of the Liverpool F.C. crest in memory of the 96 who lost their lives.
- Alongside the Shankly Gates at Anfield, Liverpool’s home stadium.
- A memorial at Hillsborough stadium, unveiled on the tenth anniversary of the disaster on 15 April 1999, reads: In memory of the 96 men, women, and children who tragically died and the countless people whose lives were changed forever. FA Cup semi-final Liverpool v Nottingham Forest. 15 April 1989. “You’ll never walk alone.”
- A memorial stone in the pavement on the south side of Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral.
- A headstone at the junction of Middlewood Road, Leppings Lane and Wadsley Lane, near the ground and by the Sheffield Supertram route.
- A Hillsborough Memorial Rose Garden in Port Sunlight, Wirral.
- A memorial rose garden on Sudley Estate in South Liverpool (also known as the APH). Each of the six rose beds has a centre piece of a white standard rose, surrounded by the red variety, named ‘Liverpool Remember’. There are brass memorial plaques on both sets of gates to the garden, and a sundial inscribed with the words: ‘Time Marches On But We Will Always Remember’.
- In the grounds of Crosby Library, to the memory of the 18 football fans from Sefton who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster. The memorial, sited in a raised rose bed containing the Liverpool Remembers red rose, is made of black granite. It is inscribed ‘In loving memory of the 96 football supporters who died at Hillsborough, Sheffield on 15 April 1989. Of those who lost their lives the following young men were from Sefton families’. The memorial was unveiled on 4 October 1991 (two years prior to the death of Tony Bland) by the Mayor of Sefton, Councillor Syd Whitby. The project was carried out by the Council after consultation with the Sefton Survivors Group.
- A 7 foot high circular bronze memorial was unveiled in the Old Haymarket district of Liverpool in April 2013. This memorial is inscribed with the words: “Hillsborough Disaster – we will remember them,” and displays the names of the 96 victims who died.
- A 8 foot high clock, dating from the 1780s, was installed at Liverpool Town Hall in April 2013, with the hands indicating 3:06 (the time at which the match was postponed).
 Memorial ceremonies
The disaster has been acknowledged on 15 April each year by the community in Liverpool and football in general. An annual memorial ceremony is held at Anfield and at a church in Liverpool. The 10th and 20th anniversaries were marked by special services to remember the victims.
Since 2007 there has been a Hillsborough Memorial service held at Spion Kop, KZN South Africa. The significance of this ceremony is that it is held on the Spion Kop Battlefield which gave its name to the Kop Stand at Anfield. There is a permanent memorial to the 96 fans who died, in the form of a bench in view of the battlefield at a nearby lodge. Dean Davis and David Walters, members of the Official South African Liverpool Supporters Club (Gauteng Branch), are responsible for the service and the bench was commissioned by Guy Prowse in 2008.
 Tenth anniversary
In 1999 Anfield was packed with a crowd of around 10,000 people ten years after the disaster. A candle was lit for each of the 96 victims. The clock at the Kop End stood still at 3:06 pm, the time that the referee had blown his whistle in 1989 and a minute’s silence was held, the start signalled by match referee from that day, Ray Lewis. A service led by the Right Reverend James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool, was attended by past and present Liverpool players, including Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman and Alan Hansen. According to the BBC report: “The names of the victims were read from the memorial book and floral tributes were laid at a plaque bearing their names.” A gospel choir performed and the ceremony ended with a rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone“. The anniversary was also marked by a minute’s silence at the weekend’s league games and FA Cup semi-finals.
 Twentieth anniversary
Liverpool fans unfurl a banner displaying the names of the deceased on the twentieth anniversary of the disaster
In 2009, on the 20th anniversary of the disaster, Liverpool’s request that their Champions League quarter-finals return leg, scheduled for 15 April, be played the day before was granted.
The event was remembered with a ceremony at Anfield attended by over 28,000 people. The Kop, Centenary and Main Stands were opened to the public before part of the Anfield Road End was opened to supporters. The memorial service, led by the Bishop of Liverpool began at 14:45 BST and a two minutes silence (observed across Liverpool and in Sheffield and Nottingham, including public transport coming to a stand-still) was held at the time of the disaster twenty years earlier, 15:06 BST. Sports Minister Andy Burnham addressed the crowd but was heckled by supporters chanting “Justice for the 96″. The ceremony was attended by survivors of the disaster, families of victims and the Liverpool team, with goalkeeper Pepe Reina leading the team and management staff onto the pitch. Team captain Steven Gerrard and vice-captain Jamie Carragher handed the freedom of the city to the families of all the victims. Candles were lit for each of the 96 people who died. Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool’s manager at the time of the disaster, read a passage from the Bible, “Lamentations of Jeremiah”. The Liverpool manager, Rafael Benítez, set 96 balloons free. The ceremony ended with 96 rings of church bells across the city and a rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.
Other services took place at the same time, including at Liverpool’s Anglican and Catholic Cathedrals. After the two minutes’ silence, bells on civic buildings rang out throughout Merseyside.
A song was released to mark the 20th anniversary, entitled “Fields of Anfield Road” which peaked at #14 in the UK charts.
Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United players showed respect by wearing black armbands during their Champions League matches on 14 and 15 April.
On 14 May, more than 20,000 people packed Anfield for a match held in memory of the victims. The Liverpool Legends, comprising ex-Liverpool footballers beat the All Stars, captained by actor Ricky Tomlinson, 3–1. The event also raised cash for the Marina Dalglish Appeal which contribute towards a radiotherapy centre at University Hospital in Aintree.
With the imminent release of police documents relating to events on 15 April 1989, the Hillsborough Family Support Group launched Project 96, a fundraising initiative on 1 August 2009. At least 96 current and former Liverpool footballers are being lined up to raise £96,000 by auctioning a limited edition (of 96) signed photographs.
On 11 April 2009 Liverpool fans sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as a tribute to the upcoming anniversary of the disaster before the home game against Blackburn Rovers (which ended in Liverpool winning 4–0) and was followed by former Liverpool player, Stephen Warnock presenting a memorial wreath to the Kop showing the figure 96 in red flowers.
 Tributes from other clubs
The Hillsborough disaster touched not only Liverpool, but clubs in England and around the world. Supporters of Everton, Liverpool’s traditional local rivals, were affected, many of them having lost friends and family. Supporters laid down flowers and blue and white scarves to show respect for the dead and unity with fellow Merseysiders.
On 19 April 1989, the Wednesday after the disaster, the European Cup semi-final tie between A.C. Milan and Real Madrid was played. The referee blew his whistle six minutes into the game to stop play and hold a minute’s silence for those who lost their lives at Hillsborough. Halfway through the minute’s silence, the A.C. Milan fans sang Liverpool’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as a sign of respect. In April 1989, Bradford City and Lincoln City held a friendly match to benefit the victims of Hillsborough. The occasion was the first in which the two teams had met since the 1985 Bradford City stadium fire that had claimed 56 lives at Valley Parade.
As a result of the disaster, Liverpool’s scheduled fixture against Arsenal was delayed from 23 April until the end of the season and eventually decided the league title. At this fixture, Arsenal players brought flowers onto the pitch and presented them to the Liverpool fans around the stadium before the game commenced. In 2006, Celtic fans produced a banner bearing the words ‘Justice For The 96, You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and presented it to the Kopites during the Champions League quarter-final match at Anfield.
 Charges against officials
Inquests into the deaths proved controversial. Coroner Stefan Popper limited the main inquest to events up to 3:15 pm on the day of the disaster – nine minutes after the match was halted and the crowd spilled onto the pitch. Popper said this was because the victims were either dead, or brain dead, by 3:15 pm. The decision angered the families, many of whom felt the inquest was unable to consider the response of the police and other emergency services after that time. The inquest returned a verdict of accidental death. Popper’s decision was subsequently endorsed by the Divisional Court who considered it to have been justified in the light of the medical evidence available to him.
Relatives later failed to have the inquest reopened to allow more scrutiny of police actions and closer examination of the circumstances of individual cases. Anne Williams, who lost her 15-year-old son, Kevin, appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, on the strength of witness statements that her son showed signs of life at 4:00 pm. Her case was rejected in March 2009.
On 19 April 2009, the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced she had requested secret files concerning the disaster should be made public.
On 8 March 2011 the Hillsborough Independent Panel announced it would examine previously hidden documents to determine what took place after the 3:15 pm cutoff imposed during the inquest in 1991. A HIP spokesman said: “We have a wide remit to analyse all documents relating to the context, circumstances and consequences of the tragedy and its aftermath.”
A governmental e-petition attracted over 139,000 signatories on 17 October 2011, and parliament agreed to debate the full release of cabinet documents relating to the disaster to the public.
During a debate in the House of Commons, the Labour MP for Liverpool Walton, Steve Rotheram, read out a list of the victims and, as a result, the names were entered into Hansard – the official publication of printed scripts of all House of Commons debates.
A private prosecution was brought against Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield and another officer, Bernard Murray. Prosecutor Alun Jones QC told the court that Duckenfield gave the order to open the gates so that hundreds of fans could be herded on to the already crowded terraces at the stadium. Mr Jones stated that minutes after the disaster, [Duckenfield] “deceitfully and dishonestly” told senior FA officials that the supporters had forced the gate open. Duckenfield admitted he had lied in certain statements regarding the causes of the disaster. Other officers, including Norman Bettison, were accused of manipulating evidence. Bettison was later appointed Chief Constable of Merseyside in controversial circumstances. The prosecution ended on 24 July 2000, when Murray was acquitted and the jury was unable to reach a verdict in the case of Duckenfield. On 26 July 2000, the judge refused the prosecution’s application for a re-trial of Duckenfield.
Police disciplinary charges were abandoned when Duckenfield retired on health grounds and because he was unavailable, it was decided it would be unfair to proceed with disciplinary charges against Bernard Murray. Duckenfield took medical retirement on a full police pension.
On 19 December 2012, Attorney General Dominic Grieve made an application to the high court following the findings laid out in the report by the Hillsborough Panel. The decision set out by Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge quashed the original inquest verdicts. The ruling came after revelations from the Hillsborough panel’s findings showed police and emergency services had made “strenuous attempts” to deflect the blame for the disaster on to the fans which included alteration of more than 160 police statements where 116 of them were so altered with the intent to remove or change negative comments about the policing of the match
In the wake of the decision the Home Secretary, Theresa May has announced that a new police enquiry, would be initiated to examine the possibility of charging agencies other than the police over the deaths of the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough. The enquiry was headed by Former Durham Chief Constable Jon Stoddart.
 Psychiatric injury and other litigation
Various negligence cases were brought against the police by spectators who had been at the ground but had not been in the pens, and by people who watched the incident unfolding on television (or heard about it on the radio). A case, Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police  1 A.C. 310, was eventually appealed to the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords and was an important milestone in the law of claims of secondary victims for negligently inflicted psychiatric injury. It was held that claimants who watched the disaster on television/listened on radio were not ‘proximal’ and their claims were rejected.
Another psychiatric injury claim was brought to the House of Lords, White v Chief Constable of the South Yorkshire Police  2 A.C. 455. It was brought by police officers on duty against the Chief Constable who was said to have been vicariously liable for the disaster. Their claims were dismissed and the Alcock decision was upheld. It affirmed the position of the courts once again towards claims of psychiatric injuries of secondary victims.
A third legal case which resulted from the Hillsborough disaster was Airedale N.H.S. Trust v Bland  A.C. 789, a landmark House of Lords decision in English criminal law, that allowed the life-support machine of Tony Bland, a Hillsborough victim in a persistent vegetative state, to be switched off.
 The Sun
The Sun front page on 19 April 1989
On 19 April, four days after the disaster, Kelvin MacKenzie, editor of The Sun, a British red-top tabloid newspaper with national distribution owned by Rupert Murdoch, used “THE TRUTH” as the front page headline, followed by three sub-headlines: “Some fans picked pockets of victims”, “Some fans urinated on the brave cops” and “Some fans beat up PC giving kiss of life“.
The newspaper cited the words of unnamed police officers and Conservative MP for Sheffield Hallam Irvine Patnick for information relating to the alleged incidents. The Daily Express also carried Patnick’s version, under the headline “Police Accuse Drunken Fans” and giving Patnick’s views, saying he had told Margaret Thatcher, while escorting her on a tour of the ground after the disaster, of the “mayhem caused by drunks” and that policemen told him they were “hampered, harassed, punched and kicked”.
The story accompanying the headlines claimed “drunken Liverpool fans viciously attacked rescue workers as they tried to revive victims” and “police officers, firemen and ambulance crew were punched, kicked and urinated upon”. A quotation, attributed to an unnamed policeman, claimed a dead girl had been “abused”, and that Liverpool fans were “openly urinating on us and the bodies of the dead”. These allegations contradicted the behaviour of many Liverpool fans, who helped security personnel stretcher away a large number of victims and gave first aid to many of the injured.
In their history of The Sun, Peter Chippendale and Chris Horrie wrote:
As MacKenzie’s layout was seen by more and more people, a collective shudder ran through the office (but) MacKenzie’s dominance was so total there was nobody left in the organisation who could rein him in except Murdoch. (Everyone in the office) seemed paralysed—”looking like rabbits in the headlights”—as one hack described them. The error staring them in the face was too glaring. It obviously wasn’t a silly mistake; nor was it a simple oversight. Nobody really had any comment on it—they just took one look and went away shaking their heads in wonder at the enormity of it. It was a ‘classic smear’.
After The Sun‘s report, the newspaper was boycotted by most newsagents in Liverpool and many readers cancelled orders and refused to buy it from newsagents. The Hillsborough Justice Campaign organised a less successful national boycott that had some impact on the paper’s sales, which some commentators considered a reason for continued price cuts, the introduction of free magazines, and video and free DVD offers. The issue was addressed on the documentary Alexei Sayle’s Liverpool on BBC Two when it covered the subject of Hillsborough. The segment saw comedian Alexei Sayle with a newsagent attempting to give away copies of The Sun, but every customer declined. Eventually, Sayle and the newsagent took the copies outside and set them alight.
MacKenzie explained his actions in 1993. Talking to a House of Commons National Heritage Select Committee, he said: “I regret Hillsborough. It was a fundamental mistake. The mistake was I believed what an MP said. It was a Tory MP. If he had not said it and the Chief Superintendent (David Duckenfield) had not agreed with it, we would not have gone with it.”
MacKenzie repudiated the apology in November 2006, saying he apologised because the newspaper’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, ordered him to. He said, “I was not sorry then and I’m not sorry now”. MacKenzie refused to apologise when appearing on the BBC’s topical Question Time on 11 January 2007.
The Sun apologised for its treatment of the Hillsborough disaster “without reservation” in a full page opinion piece on 7 July 2004, saying it had “committed the most terrible mistake in its history” by publishing it. It was responding to criticism of Wayne Rooney, a Liverpool-born footballer who played for Everton, now for Manchester United, who had sold his life story to the newspaper. Rooney’s actions incensed Liverpudlians still angry with the newspaper whose apology was somewhat bullish, saying the “campaign of hate” against Rooney was organised in part by the Liverpool Daily Post & Echo, owned by Trinity Mirror, its arch-rivals. The apology angered some Liverpudlians further. The Liverpool Echo did not accept the apology, calling it “shabby” and “an attempt, once again, to exploit the Hillsborough dead”.
Poster urging the Liverpool public not to purchase The Sun newspaper
On 6 January 2007, during Liverpool’s FA Cup match at Anfield, fans in the Kop held up coloured cards spelling out “The Truth” and chanted “Justice for the 96″ for six minutes at the start of the game. The protest was directed at Kelvin MacKenzie, The Sun, and the BBC for employing MacKenzie.
Many people in the Liverpool area still do not buy The Sun as a matter of principle, and its sales figures in Merseyside are poor. Its articles are not published on Liverpool’s official website. In 2004, its average daily circulation in Liverpool was 12,000 copies a day. Some Liverpudlians refer to the paper as The Scum.
The controversy was referred to at the 2009 Labour Party conference. On 30 September 2009, after the decision by The Sun to switch support to the Conservative Party in advance of the 2010 general election, Union Leader Tony Woodley ripped up a copy saying “In Liverpool we learnt a long time ago what to do.”
Subsequent articles in The Sun have said hooliganism was not a cause of the disaster; on the 20th anniversary an article by journalist Mike Ellis condemned the 1991 inquest verdict of death by misadventure as “tosh” and claimed that “death by negligence would have been a more accurate description”.
Others in the media pinned the blame partly on Liverpool fans, including the Daily Star, which ran the front page headline “Dead Fans Robbed By Drunk Thugs” on 18 April 1989. The Sheffield Star published similar allegations to The Sun, running the headline “Fans In Drunken Attacks On Police”, and the Liverpool Daily Post published an article entitled “I Blame the Yobs”.
Anger about The Sun’s reporting continues. James Murdoch apologised on its behalf to the phone hacking select committee in 2012.
On 12 September 2012, after the publication of the report exonerating the Liverpool fans, MacKenzie issued the following statement:
Today I offer my profuse apologies to the people of Liverpool for that headline. I too was totally misled. Twenty three years ago I was handed a piece of copy from a reputable news agency in Sheffield [White's] in which a senior police officer and a senior local MP (Sheffield Hallam MP Irvine Patnick) were making serious allegations against fans in the stadium. I had absolutely no reason to believe that these authority figures would lie and deceive over such a disaster. As the Prime Minister has made clear these allegations were wholly untrue and were part of a concerted plot by police officers to discredit the supporters thereby shifting the blame for the disaster from themselves. It has taken more than two decades, 400,000 documents and a two-year inquiry to discover to my horror that it would have been far more accurate had I written the headline ‘The Lies’ rather than ‘The Truth’. I published in good faith and I am sorry that it was so wrong.
Trevor Hicks, chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, rejected MacKenzie’s apology as “too little, too late”, calling him “lowlife, clever lowlife, but lowlife”.
Reference to the controversy surrounding reporting on the incident by The Sun is made in the 2011 download only song by Billy Bragg, Never Buy The Sun.
 Edward Pearce
Edward Pearce was criticised for writing a controversial article in the aftermath of the disaster, at a time when a number of victims’ funerals were taking place. His article in The Sunday Times on 23 April 1989, included the text:
“For the second time in half a decade a large body of Liverpool supporters has killed people …the shrine in the Anfield goalmouth, the cursing of the police, all the theatricals, come sweetly to a city which is already the world capital of self-pity. There are soapy politicians to make a pet of Liverpool, and Liverpool itself is always standing by to make a pet of itself. ‘Why us? Why are we treated like animals?’ To which the plain answer is that a good and sufficient minority of you behave like animals.”‘
Pearce went on reflect that if South Yorkshire Police bore any responsibility, it was “for not realising what brutes they had to handle.”
Professor Phil Scraton described Pearce’s comments as amongst the “most bigoted and factually inaccurate” published in the wake of the disaster A number of complaints were made to the Press Council concerning the article, but the Council ruled that it was unable to adjudicate on comment pieces, though the Council noted that tragedy or disaster is not an occasion for writers to exercise gratuitous provocation. Pearce has never apologised for the article.
The November 2002 edition of FHM in Australia was withdrawn from sale and a public apology made in the Australian and British editions, because it contained jokes mocking the disaster. As a result, Emap Australia pledged to make a donation to the families of the victims. Its Australian editor, Geoff Campbell, released a statement: “We deeply regret the photograph captions published in the November issue of the Australian edition of FHM, accompanying an article about the Hillsborough disaster of 1989. The right course of action is to withdraw this edition from sale – which we will be doing. We have been in contact with the Hillsborough Family Support Group and the Hillsborough Justice Campaign to express our deep regret and sincere apologies.” The British edition disassociated itself from the controversy, stating: “FHM Australia has its own editorial team and these captions were written and published without consultation with the UK edition, or any other edition of FHM.”
The vice-chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, Philip Hammond, said he wanted all football fans to boycott the magazine, saying, “I am going to write to every fanzine in the country – including Liverpool FC’s – telling them to ban FHM. People are very upset by it. I think there will be a real boycott.” He added it would be like making jokes about the 2002 Bali bombings, in which eight fewer Australians were killed.
In November 2007, the BBC soap opera EastEnders caused controversy when the character Minty Peterson (played by Cliff Parisi) made a reference to the disaster. During the episode car mechanic Minty said: “Five years out of Europe because of Heysel, because they penned you lot in to stop you fighting on the pitch and then what did we end up with? Hillsborough.” This prompted 380 complaints and the BBC apologised, saying that the character was simply reminding another character, former football hooligan Jase Dyer, that the actions of hooligans led to the fencing-in of football fans. Ofcom also received 177 complaints.
 Charles Itandje
Liverpool reserve goalkeeper Charles Itandje was accused of having shown disrespect towards the Hillsborough victims during the 2009 remembrance ceremony, as he was spotted on camera “smiling and nudging” team-mate Damien Plessis. He was suspended from the club for a fortnight and many fans felt he should not play for the club again. He was omitted from the first team squad and never played for the club in any capacity again.
 Jeremy Hunt
On 28 June 2010, following England’s departure from the World Cup competition in South Africa, the UK’s Culture and Sport Secretary Jeremy Hunt praised the England fans for their behaviour during the competition, saying “I mean, not a single arrest for a football-related offence, and the terrible problems that we had in Heysel and Hillsborough in the 1980s seem now to be behind us.” He later apologised and said “I know that fan unrest played no part in the terrible events of April 1989 and I apologise to Liverpool fans and the families of those killed and injured in the Hillsborough disaster if my comments caused any offence.” Margaret Aspinall, chairperson of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, asked for a face to face meeting with Mr Hunt before deciding if she would accept the apology.
On 22 October 2012, Jeremy Hunt who is currently the British Parliament’s Secretary of State for Health concluded the Hillsborough Debate in parliament by again apologising for his previous comments in connection to Hillsborough and reiterated that the Liverpool fans were innocent. He also apologised on behalf of the NHS (National Health Service) for the errors made on the day itself and for the involvement of South Yorkshire Ambulance Service and their part in the subsequent cover up including the changing of statements which is now subject to criminal investigation in the UK.
 Alan Davies podcast comments
In April 2012, comedian Alan Davies was accused of showing disrespect towards the Hillsborough victims due to comments made in an episode of his Arsenal podcast, The Tuesday Club. Commenting on the fact that Chelsea had to play their FA Cup semi final game only 3 days before their UEFA Champions League semi final first leg game against FC Barcelona due to Liverpool’s refusal to play on 15 April, Davies said “Liverpool and the 15th – that gets on my tits, that shit.” He has since apologised for the remark.
 Fans’ chants
Fans of rival football clubs such as Manchester United and Millwall, have been known to mention the Hillsborough disaster at fixtures to upset Liverpool fans. Following the findings of the Independent Panel in September 2012, Alex Ferguson and two Manchester United fan groups called for an end to the “sick chants”. Leeds United chairman Ken Bates endorsed this call in the club programme and stated, “Leeds have suffered at times with reference to Galatasaray; some of our so-called fans have also been guilty as well, particularly in relation to Munich.”
 Oliver Popplewell
Sir Oliver Popplewell, who chaired the public inquiry into the 1985 Bradford City stadium fire at Valley Parade that killed 56 people, called on the families of the Hillsborough victims to look at the “quiet dignity and great courage relatives in the West Yorkshire city had shown in the years following the tragedy”. He said: “The citizens of Bradford behaved with quiet dignity and great courage. They did not harbour conspiracy theories. They did not seek endless further inquiries. They buried their dead, comforted the bereaved and succoured the injured. They organised a sensible compensation scheme and moved on. Is there, perhaps, a lesson there for the Hillsborough campaigners?”
Popplewell was widely criticised for the comments, including a rebuke from a survivor of the Bradford fire. Labour MP Steve Rotheram, for example, commented: “How insensitive does somebody have to be to write that load of drivel?”
Sir Oliver has not commented on the matter since the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel.
 Hillsborough television drama
Main article: Hillsborough (TV film)
A television drama film, based on the disaster and subsequent events, titled simply Hillsborough, was produced by Granada Television. It was highly praised and won the BAFTA Award for Best Single Drama in 1997. Christopher Eccleston, Ricky Tomlinson and Mark Womack were among the leading actors appearing in the film. It was aired for the first time in 1996, and has been aired three times since then, in 1998, 2009 and again in September 2012 on the weekend following the release of the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel.
The Hillsborough memorial, which is engraved with the names of the 96 people who died in the Hillsborough disaster.
Fagan resigned after the disaster and Kenny Dalglish was appointed as player-manager. During his reign, the club won another three League Championships and two FA Cups, including a League and Cup “Double” in the 1985–86 season. Liverpool’s success was overshadowed by the Hillsborough disaster: in an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest on 15 April 1989, hundreds of Liverpool fans were crushed against perimeter fencing. Ninety-four fans died that day; the 95th victim died in hospital from his injuries four days later and the 96th died nearly four years later, without regaining consciousness. After the Hillsborough disaster there was a government review of stadium safety. The resulting Taylor Report paved the way for legislation that required top-division teams to have all-seater stadiums. The report ruled that the main reason for the disaster was overcrowding due to a failure of police control.
Liverpool was involved in the closest finish to a league season during the 1988–89 season. Liverpool finished equal with Arsenal on both points and goal difference, but lost the title on total goals scored when Arsenal scored the final goal in the last minute of the season.
Dalglish cited the Hillsborough disaster and its repercussions as the reason for his resignation in 1991; he was replaced by former player Graeme Souness. Under his leadership Liverpool won the 1992 FA Cup Final. Souness was replaced by Roy Evans, and Liverpool went on to win the 1995 Football League Cup Final. Gérard Houllier was appointed co-manager in the 1998–99 season and became the sole manager in November 1998 after Evans resigned. In 2001, Houllier’s second full season in charge, Liverpool won a “Treble“: the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup. Houllier underwent major heart surgery during the 2001–02 season and Liverpool finished second in the League, behind Arsenal.
Houllier was replaced by Rafael Benítez at the end of the 2003–04 season. Despite finishing fifth in Benítez’s first season, Liverpool won the 2004–05 UEFA Champions League, beating A.C. Milan 3–2 in a penalty shootout after the match ended with a score of 3–3. The following season, Liverpool finished third in the Premier League and won the 2006 FA Cup Final, beating West Ham United in a penalty shootout after the match finished on 3–3. American businessmen George Gillett and Tom Hicks became the owners of the club during the 2006–07 season, in a deal which valued the club and its outstanding debts at £218.9 million. The club reached the 2007 UEFA Champions League Final against Milan, as it had in 2005, but this time Liverpool lost 2–1. During the 2008–09 season Liverpool achieved 86 points, its highest Premier League points total, and finished as runners up to Manchester United.
In the 2009–10 season, Liverpool finished seventh in the Premier League and failed to qualify for the Champions League. Benítez subsequently left by mutual consent and was replaced by Fulham manager Roy Hodgson. At the start of the 2010–11 season Liverpool was on the verge of bankruptcy and the club’s creditors asked the High Court to allow the sale of the club, overruling the wishes of Hicks and Gillett. John W. Henry, owner of the Boston Red Sox and of New England Sports Ventures, bid successfully for the club and took ownership in October 2010. Poor results during the start of that season led to Hodgson leaving the club by mutual consent and former manager Kenny Dalglish taking over. After finishing in 8th position in the 2011–12 season, the worst league finish in 18 years, Dalglish was sacked. He was replaced by Brendan Rodgers.
Colours and badge
|Liverpool’s home colours (1892–1896)
For much of Liverpool’s history its home colours have been all red, but when the club was founded its kit was more like the contemporary Everton kit. The blue and white quartered shirts were used until 1894, when the club adopted the city’s colour of red. The city’s symbol of the liver bird was adopted as the club’s badge in 1901, although it was not incorporated into the kit until 1955. Liverpool continued to wear red shirts and white shorts until 1964, when manager Bill Shankly decided to change to an all red strip. Liverpool played in all red for the first time against Anderlecht, as Ian St. John recalled in his autobiography:
He [Shankly] thought the colour scheme would carry psychological impact—red for danger, red for power. He came into the dressing room one day and threw a pair of red shorts to Ronnie Yeats. “Get into those shorts and let’s see how you look”, he said. “Christ, Ronnie, you look awesome, terrifying. You look 7ft tall.” “Why not go the whole hog, boss?” I suggested. “Why not wear red socks? Let’s go out all in red.” Shankly approved and an iconic kit was born.
The Liverpool away strip has more often than not been all yellow or white shirts and black shorts, but there have been several exceptions. An all grey kit was introduced in 1987, which was used until the 1991–92 centenary season, when it was replaced by a combination of green shirts and white shorts. After various colour combinations in the 1990s, including gold and navy, bright yellow, black and grey, and ecru, the club alternated between yellow and white away kits until the 2008–09 season, when it re-introduced the grey kit. A third kit is designed for European away matches, though it is also worn in domestic away matches on occasions when the current away kit clashes with a team’s home kit. The current kits are designed by Warrior Sports, who became the club’s kit providers at the start of the 2012–13 season. The only other branded shirts worn by the club were made by Umbro until 1985, when they were replaced by Adidas, who produced the kits until 1996 when Reebok took over. They produced the kits for ten years before Adidas made the kits from 2006 to 2012.
Liverpool was the first English professional club to have a sponsor’s logo on its shirts, after agreeing a deal with Hitachi in 1979. Since then the club has been sponsored by Crown Paints, Candy, Carlsberg and Standard Chartered Bank. The contract with Carlsberg, which was signed in 1992, was the longest-lasting agreement in English top-flight football. The association with Carlsberg ended at the start of the 2010–11 season, when Standard Chartered Bank became the club’s sponsor.
The Liverpool badge is based on the city’s liver bird, which in the past had been placed inside a shield. In 1992, to commemorate the centennial of the club, a new badge was commissioned, including a resentation of the Shankly Gates. The next year twin flames were added at either side are symbolic of the Hillsborough memorial outside Anfield, where an eternal flame burns in memory of those who died in the Hillsborough disaster. In 2012, Warrior Sports’ first Liverpool kit removed the shield and gates, returning the badge to what had adorned Liverpool shirts in the 1970s; the flames were moved to the back collar of the shirt, surrounding the number 96 for number who died at Hillsborough.
Main article: Anfield
For information on Liverpool’s proposed new stadium, see Stanley Park Stadium.
Anfield, home of Liverpool F.C.
Anfield was built in 1884 on land adjacent to Stanley Park. It was originally used by Everton before the club moved to Goodison Park after a dispute over rent with Anfield owner John Houlding. Left with an empty ground, Houlding founded Liverpool in 1892 and the club has played at Anfield ever since. The capacity of the stadium at the time was 20,000, although only 100 spectators attended Liverpool’s first match at Anfield.
In 1906 the banked stand at one end of the ground was formally renamed the Spion Kop after a hill in KwaZulu-Natal. The hill was the site of the Battle of Spion Kop in the Second Boer War, where over 300 men of the Lancashire Regiment died, many of them from Liverpool. At its peak, the stand could hold 28,000 spectators and was one of the largest single-tier stands in the world. Many stadia in England had stands named after Spion Kop, but Anfield’s was the largest of them at the time; it could hold more supporters than some entire football grounds.
Anfield could accommodate more than 60,000 supporters at its peak, and had a capacity of 55,000 until the 1990s. The Taylor Report and Premier League regulations obliged Liverpool to convert Anfield to an all-seater stadium in time for the 1993–94 season, reducing the capacity to 45,276. The findings of the Taylor Report precipitated the redevelopment of the Kemlyn Road Stand, which was rebuilt in 1992, coinciding with the centenary of the club, and is now known as the Centenary Stand. An extra tier was added to the Anfield Road end in 1998, which further increased the capacity of the ground but gave rise to problems when it was opened. A series of support poles and stanchions were inserted to give extra stability to the top tier of the stand after movement of the tier was reported at the start of the 1999–2000 season.
Because of restrictions on expanding the capacity at Anfield, Liverpool announced plans to move to the proposed Stanley Park Stadium in May 2002. Planning permission was granted in July 2004, and in September 2006, Liverpool City Council agreed to grant Liverpool a 999-year lease on the proposed site. Following the takeover of the club by George Gillett and Tom Hicks in February 2007, the proposed stadium was redesigned. The new design was approved by the Council in November 2007. The stadium was scheduled to open in August 2011 and would hold 60,000 spectators, with HKS, Inc. contracted to build the stadium. Construction was halted in August 2008, as Gillett and Hicks had difficulty in financing the £300 million needed for the development.
Kopites in The Kop Stand
Liverpool is one of the best supported clubs in the world, with one of the highest average home attendances in Europe. The club states that its worldwide fan base includes more than 200 officially recognised branches of the Association of International Branches (AIB) in at least 30 countries. The club takes advantage of this support through its worldwide summer tours. Liverpool fans often refer to themselves as Kopites, a reference to the fans who once stood, and now sit, on the Kop at Anfield. In 2008 a group of fans decided to form a splinter club, A.F.C. Liverpool, to play matches for fans who had been priced out of watching Premier League football.
The song “You’ll Never Walk Alone“, originally from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel and later recorded by Liverpool musicians Gerry & The Pacemakers, is the club’s anthem and has been sung by the Anfield crowd since the early 1960s. It has since gained popularity among fans of other clubs around the world. The song’s title adorns the top of the Shankly Gates, which were unveiled on 2 August 1982 in memory of former manager Bill Shankly. The “You’ll Never Walk Alone” portion of the Shankly Gates is also reproduced on the club’s crest.
The Shankly Gates, erected in honour of former manager Bill Shankly
The club’s supporters have been involved in two stadium disasters. The first was the 1985 Heysel Stadium disaster, in which 39 Juventus supporters were killed. They were confined to a corner by Liverpool fans who had charged in their direction; the weight of the cornered fans caused a wall to collapse. UEFA laid the blame for the incident solely on the Liverpool supporters, and banned all English clubs from European competition for five years. Liverpool was banned for an additional year, preventing it from participating in the 1990–91 European Cup, even though it won the League in 1990. Twenty-seven fans were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and were extradited to Belgium in 1987 to face trial. In 1989, after a five-month trial in Belgium, 14 Liverpool fans were given three-year sentences for involuntary manslaughter; half of the terms were suspended.
The second disaster took place during an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield, on 15 April 1989. Ninety-six Liverpool fans died as a consequence of overcrowding at the Leppings Lane end, in what became known as the Hillsborough disaster. In the following days The Sun newspaper published an article entitled “The Truth”, in which it claimed that Liverpool fans had robbed and urinated on the dead and had attacked the police. Subsequent investigations proved the allegations false, leading to a boycott of the newspaper by Liverpool fans across the city and elsewhere; many still refuse to buy The Sun more than 20 years later. Many support organisations were set up in the wake of the disaster, such as the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, which represents bereaved families, survivors and supporters in their efforts to secure justice.
Main articles: Merseyside derby and Liverpool F.C.–Manchester United F.C. rivalry
The Merseyside derby at Anfield in 2006
Liverpool’s longest-established rivalry is with fellow Merseyside team Everton, against whom the club contest the Merseyside derby. Their rivalry stems from Liverpool’s formation and the dispute with Everton officials and the then owners of Anfield. Unlike other rivalries, there is no political, geographical or religious split between Liverpool and Everton. The Merseyside derby is usually sold out. It is one of the few local derbies which do not enforce fan segregation, and hence was known as the “friendly derby”. Since the mid-1980s, the rivalry has intensified both on and off the field and, since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, the Merseyside derby has had more players sent off than any other Premier League game. It has been referred to as “the most ill-disciplined and explosive fixture in the Premier League”.
Liverpool’s rivalry with Manchester United is viewed as a manifestation of the cities’ competition during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. The rivalry between the clubs intensified during the 1960s, after Manchester United became the first English team to win the European Cup in 1968, an achievement surpassed by Liverpool’s four European Cup victories in the 1970s and 1980s. Manchester United started to dominate English football during the 1990s, making the rivalry all the more intense. The last player to be transferred between the two clubs was Phil Chisnall, who moved to Liverpool from Manchester United in 1964.
Ownership and finances
As the owner of Anfield and founder of Liverpool, John Houlding was the club’s first chairman, a position he held from its founding in 1892 until 1904. John McKenna took over as chairman after Houlding’s departure. McKenna subsequently became President of the Football League. The chairmanship changed hands many times before John Smith, whose father was a shareholder of the club, took up the role in 1973. He oversaw the most successful period in Liverpool’s history before stepping down in 1990. David Moores, whose family had owned the club for more than 50 years, became chairman after Smith’s resignation. His uncle John Moores was also a shareholder at Liverpool and was chairman of Everton from 1961 to 1973. Moores owned 51 percent of the club, and in 2004 expressed his willingness to consider a bid for his shares in Liverpool.
John W. Henry of Fenway Sports Group, the parent company of Liverpool
Moores eventually sold the club to American businessmen George Gillett and Tom Hicks on 6 February 2007. The deal valued the club and its outstanding debts at £218.9 million. The pair paid £5,000 per share, or £174.1m for the total shareholding and £44.8m to cover the club’s debts. Disagreements between Gillett and Hicks, and the fans’ lack of support for them, resulted in the pair looking to sell the club. Martin Broughton was appointed chairman of the club on 16 April 2010 to oversee its sale. In May 2010, accounts were released showing the holding company of the club to be £350m in debt (due to leveraged takeover) with losses of £55m, causing auditor KPMG to qualify its audit opinion. The group’s creditors, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, took Gillett and Hicks to court to force them to allow the board to proceed with the sale of the club, the major asset of the holding company. A High Court judge, Mr Justice Floyd, ruled in favour of the creditors and paved the way for the sale of the club to Fenway Sports Group (formerly New England Sports Ventures), although Gillett and Hicks still had the option to appeal. Liverpool was sold to Fenway Sports Group on 15 October 2010 for £300m.
Liverpool has been described as a global brand; a 2010 report valued the club’s trademarks and associated intellectual property at £141m, an increase of £5m on the previous year. Liverpool was given a brand rating of AA (Very Strong). In April 2010 business magazine Forbes ranked Liverpool as the sixth most valuable football team in the world, behind Manchester United, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Barcelona and Bayern Munich; they valued the club at $822m (£532m), excluding debt. Accountants Deloitte ranked Liverpool eighth in the Deloitte Football Money League, which ranks the world’s football clubs in terms of revenue. Liverpool’s income in the 2009–10 season was €225.3m.
Liverpool reported a £49.4m annual loss in 2011, although this figure does not include a new £25m kit deal with Warrior Sports. In the 2010/2011 season it spent €142 Mio on wages, nearly the same amount as Bayern München, and 2.5 times the amount of Borussia Dortmund.
Liverpool in popular culture
Because of its successful history, Liverpool is often featured when football is depicted in British culture and has appeared in a number of media firsts. The club appeared in the first edition of the BBC’s Match of the Day, which screened highlights of its match against Arsenal at Anfield on 22 August 1964. The first football match to be televised in colour was between Liverpool and West Ham United, broadcast live in March 1967. Liverpool fans featured in the Pink Floyd song “Fearless“, in which they sang excerpts from “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. To mark the club’s appearance in the 1988 FA Cup Final, Liverpool released a song known as the “Anfield Rap“, featuring John Barnes and other members of the squad. A documentary drama on the Hillsborough disaster, written by Jimmy McGovern, was screened in 1996. It features Christopher Eccleston as Trevor Hicks, whose story is the focus of the script. Hicks, who lost two teenage daughters in the disaster, went on to campaign for safer stadiums and helped to form the Hillsborough Families Support Group. Liverpool features in the film The 51st State (also known as Formula 51), in which ex-hitman Felix DeSouza (Robert Carlyle) is a keen supporter of the team and the last scene takes place at a match between Liverpool and Manchester United. The club was featured in a children’s television show called Scully; the plot revolved around a young boy, Francis Scully, who tried to gain a trial match with Liverpool. The show featured prominent Liverpool players of the time such as Kenny Dalglish.
For more details on this topic, see List of Liverpool F.C. seasons.
For honours won by Reserves and Academy teams, see Liverpool F.C. Reserves and Academy#Honours.
Liverpool’s first trophy was the Lancashire League, which it won in the club’s first season. In 1901, the club won its first League title, while its first success in the FA Cup was in 1965. In terms of the number of trophies won, Liverpool’s most successful decade was the 1980s, when the club won six League titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups, five Charity Shields (one shared) and two European Cups. Liverpool has won the English League Championship eighteen times, the FA Cup seven times and the League Cup a record eight times. The club achieved a League and FA Cup “double” in 1986 and won the League and European Cup double both in 1977 and in 1984. Liverpool also won the League Cup in 1984 to complete a treble, a feat repeated (albeit with different trophies) in 2001, when the club won the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup.
Liverpool has one of the best records in the history of top-level football. The club has accumulated more top-flight wins than any other English team. Liverpool also has the second-highest average league finishing position for the period 1900–1999, with an average league placing of 8.7. Liverpool has won the European Cup, Europe’s premier club competition, five times, an English record and only surpassed by Real Madrid and A.C. Milan. Liverpool’s fifth European Cup win, in 2005, meant that the club was awarded the trophy permanently and was also awarded a multiple-winner badge. Liverpool has won the UEFA Cup, Europe’s secondary club competition, three times, a record the club shares with Juventus and Internazionale.