I Remember Anfield

By Peter Etherington

I first went to Anfield in nineteen-sixty-four.
I stood in the Boys Pen, my mouth agape in awe.
Loads of lads like Spiderman climbin’ over the top
And fallin’ into the coppers arms when they dropped in to the Kop.

Me? I was happy where I was, just lookin’ at the crowd.
Twenty-odd thousand Kopites so loud and very proud.
“You’ll never walk alone”, swingin’ and swayin’.
Then a mighty roar as the Redmen started playin’.

“Ee-aye-addio we’ve won the League.” We won five-nil.
Who was the man in charge of it all? Yes, King Bill!
“Shankly. Shankly!” All the Kopites roared.
The King stood beside his players and Directors of the Board.

Bill stood there; his chest puffed out, his arms spread wide before him.
He looked down at his masses, so very happy, and knew that they adored him.
I knew then that I was hooked. It had been passed down from me Da.
I’d go the match every week with money from me Ma.

We won the cup in ’65 with Shankly’s great side.
He brought the Cup to Anfield and made our hearts burst out with pride.
We’d never won the Cup before. It was Shankly’s finest hour.
Ron Yeats, Roger Hunt, Ian St. John and Tommy Smith (Red Power!).

The mighty Inter came, they saw and they were conquered.
“Go back to Italy.” The Kopites all went bonkers!
Our eleven red-shirted heroes set up wave after wave of attack.
Inter’s famous coach Herrera couldn’t watch and turned his back!

Everton on a derby day came with expectation and great hope.
Ninety minutes and five goals later Westy’s back just couldn’t cope!
We won the League that season against Tommy Doc’s Chelsea boys.
“Bloody Southern fairies!” Shanks had made his noise.

The Celts arrived in thousands! Such sights we’d never seen.
Threw stones at the red buses and bowed down to the green!
Brave Geoff Strong could hardly walk, just moved around and hobbled.
But he headed the ball in the Celtic net and the Kop it fairly wobbled!

I remember Ajax when the Kop was full of steam.
“Come on Reds. Pull four goals back. They’re only half a football team!”
Sir Roger scored two. Could we do it? Did we have a chance?
But Cruyff scored two and his Dutch Masters led us a merry dance.

I always loved the singin’. Being in the Kop was great.
Especially one balmy night when we hit the Germans for eight.
“Tony Hateley! Tony Hateley! ” “Ee-aye-addio Sir Roger Hunt!”
My two biggest heroes were so big and strong up front!

I remember Ferencvaros and their winger: Zoltan Varga.
He ran rings around the Redmen like they’d all been on the lager!
A snowbound pitch didn’t stop him and all his classy mates.
He just glided over Anfield like he was wearing ice-skates.

I remember Leeds United needed a point to finish top.
Billy Bremner and co got it and an ovation from the Kop.
They’d won the league deservedly with a great manager: Don Revie.
But we didn’t care. When we got out we went straight on to the bevy!

Everton were two nil up with twenty minutes to go.
Bluenoses singin’ and dancin’ but they just didn’t know.
That a young lad, Stevie Heighway, who we’d just bought from Skem
Would go “beep-beep” along the wing and cause havoc to them.

Stevie scored the first. “Come on you Reds. Come on you Reds!” All the Kopites were roarin’!
Then he crossed the ball to Toshack’s head. Two-all! “John Toshack is always scorin’!”
Stevie crossed again. The Silent Knight was at the far post lurkin’ and creepin’.
Smashed the ball in to the net. All the Evertonians were weepin’!

Shanks was building another side: one that would conquer all.
We beat the bluenoses in the semi. All the Kopites roared “Brian Hall, Brian Hall.”
Arsenal beat us at Wembley. They had a song by Jimmy Hill.
That made it all the harder to swallow that bitter pill.

Roger was my hero. So big and quick and strong.
It broke my heart when he left Anfield as Bolton came along.
The Liverpool Knight’s testimonial. Fifty-odd thousand people there.
We all paid homage to our great scorer. The man that we called SIR!

Seven long years we waited for a trophy to appear.
But it was worth the wait when we won the League; by far the best team that was clear.
We won our first European trophy with a masterstroke by Shanks.
The ref said, “Can’t play anymore. It’s waterlogged.” King Billy chuckled, “Thanks.”

He’d seen the Germans were vulnerable to the ball up in the air.
So he said to the big Welshman, “Go on Tosh. Get out there!”
Brian Hall was disappointed ‘cos he’d played the night before.
But he didn’t mind when Tosh ran riot and three-nil was the score.

We all went down to Wembley for the Cup Final in 74.
Supermac was makin’ boasts. Three goals he was gonna score!
But Supermac got his eye wiped. The match was just like trainin’.
You see the weather was nice and Supermac was only good when it was rainin!

The Redmen strolled all over Wembley like they didn’t have a care.
Supermac in Thommo’s pocket and Emlyn snuffing out threats in the air.
Great goals we scored and we rejoiced. Keegan two, Heighway one.
We sang and danced down Wembley Way. Liverpool three, Newcastle none!

July the twelfth. I remember it well. I’d just clocked on at work.
“‘Ave yer ‘eard the news? Shankly’s resigned!” “Don’t be daft yer jerk!”
But it was true. Shanks had gone. The King had left his throne.
“What are we gonna do?” “We’ll be nothin’ without Shanks.” That was people’s moan.

Paisley took over but he didn’t really want the job.
He wasn’t your typical manager; more like your Uncle Bob!
Bob failed in his first season. We only finished second!
“He’s not as good as Shankly.” That’s what people reckoned.

People had to eat their words in Paisley’s second season.
We won the League and UEFA Cup. They were two good reasons.
“Quality from Paisley’s Reds”, said the banner at Molineux.
We won three-one and the Wolves went down. We were ready for a do!

Euro quarter-final, two-one down against the French.
Razor scored to level it, then supersub came off the bench.
Razor played the ball to Davie. He was on to it like lightning.
Ran and ran at St. Etienne defence ’til he could see the goalies eyes whitening.

He hit it in the corner. The Kop went wild with joy.
Buried under ten other players was our super Davie boy!
We knew that night we’d win it. The European Cup was ours.
We started dreamin’ of Roma under the twinkling Anfield stars.

Twenty-six thousand Reds made the Final feel like home.
A glorious night was with us. The glory that was Rome.
The Olympic Stadium, Roma, was a massive sea of red.
The most unlikely goal we ever scored was from Tommy Smith’s head!

Mighty Mouse left and a legend arrived. A man who would bring us great fame.
That legend was from Glasgow. King Kenny is his name.
European Cup at Wembley. Kenny sold the Bruges goalie a dummy.
Poor Jensen was so distraught he was cryin’ for ‘is Mummy!

Forest came to Anfield. Cloughy all smarm and guile.
He thought they were invincible. They hadn’t lost for a while.
Their forty-two match unbeaten run came crashing to an end.
Terry Mac scored twice and the Kop went round the bend!

We won the League that season; we didn’t even break into sweat.
Sixty-eight points, eighty-five goals and only sixteen in our net.
From Clemence through to Souness, they all knew what to do.
Just play the game the Liverpool way; it’ll always bring you through.

Another Championship followed. Another one for the reckoning!
European Cup in ’81. Gay Paris was beckoning!
Nil-nil against the Spaniards. Extra time was looming!
Then Barney Rubble crashed one in. The Parc De Prince was booming!

Lucky thirteen in ’82 but this time it was no doddle.
Needed a win against Spurs but were rocked on our heels by an early goal from Hoddle.
Needn’t have worried. Reds were on form. We had that Championship feelin’.
Won three-one with goals from Lawro, Kenny and Ronnie Whelan.

“Another twelve months” Uncle Bob said, “I’ll give it one more season.”
Six League titles, three European Cups and three League Cups that was a very good reason.
Bob climbed the thirty-nine steps to lift the League Cup.
Then the title followed. We said goodbye to Uncle Bob; he left us on the up.

Bob handed his crown to Fagan. Another Uncle! Joe.
But he was hard as nails and let the players know.
Our fifteenth title was duly claimed, then it was off to Rome.
We couldn’t win this! We had no chance! Roma were at home!

Backs to the wall. Our heads held high. The Roman legions attacked us.
But we had a great spirit. The Reds responded as ten thousand Redmen backed us.
Zico scored an early goal but the Romans came right back.
Every Redman was a hero as we thwarted their attack.

So we went to penalties and Brucie’s wobbly antics.
Then up stepped Barney Rubble to send the Redmen frantic.
This was the best ever. We’d done it on their own ground.
The Roman night air was filled with the Kopites famous sound.

The following season was tragic. The deaths of thirty-nine fans.
Overshadowed all our efforts and a European ban.
Lessons then should have been learned. The authorities paid no heed.
You can’t put people in cages. Animosity will breed.

Joe resigned. He’d had enough. He’d played his noble part
In the Liverpool success story but Heysel broke his heart.
So King Kenny took over to write more chapters of the story
Great triumphs as a player and as a manager he’d bring more glory.

Stamford Bridge to win the League. The first part of the double.
Kenny’s great goal ensured for us that the first leg was no trouble.
So off we went to Wembley on the glorious tenth of May.
Reds and Blues together as we walked up Wembley Way.

Lineker scored first. All our hopes looked broken and shattered.
But we were made of sterner stuff, had big hearts when it mattered.
Rushie scored two and Johnno one but the memory I’ll keep
Is we won the FA Cup because of Brucie’s “kangaroo leap”.

A barren season followed but Kenny knew the score.
Aldridge, Beardsley, Barnes would make sure that we won more.
Graceful Johnny Barnes running down the wing.
Quasi and Aldo scoring goals that made the Kopites sing.

In the league we swept all before us. We played just like a dream.
This was, quite possibly, our finest ever team.
But The Crazy Gang at Wembley just wouldn’t give an inch
Aldo’s penalty misery made all the Redmen flinch.

We were still great the following season. Another double looked good.
But we didn’t know what lay before us and the tears that flowed in floods.
Ninety-six friends were lost on that horrible, fateful day.
“Football comes second to life” I thought as my flowers I did lay.

We won the Cup of course but it didn’t seem quite right
To celebrate when ninety-six couldn’t. I thought of the family’s plight.
Arsenal came to Anfield and won the League two-nil.
I couldn’t cry a tear. I’d already cried my fill.

Kenny’s great team rolled on and gave us Championship eighteen.
On and on the Redmen went: a title-winning machine.
Rushie was still at it, scoring goals or two
We even had some hat tricks from our crazy Jew! (Oh Ronnie Rosenthal, hey!).

The greatest Merseyside derby most people had ever seen
Was to see the end of Kenny and his Anfield dream.
Why he threw his hand in, we just didn’t know
But in his heart the King decided it was time for him to go.

The Souness years were wasted. As a player his stature was big
As a manager he failed us. As a man he was a pig.
“Loverpool” on the front of the Sun three years to the day
That scumrag said, “They robbed their dead as on the pitch they lay!”

Royston took over and steadied our sinking ship
He promised he’d get rid of deadwood. Started firing from the hip.
But five years on we’d won nothing, though Royston did his best.
The reins were handed over to our Frechman, our “Beau Geste”.

“Gerard Houllier! Allez Allez. Allez Allez.
The boss who’ll take us to the top is Houllier!”
Ged has given us back our belief and filled us all with pride.
That the Reds are back and very soon we’ll have another great side.

Now what’s this talk of moving? Come on Dave and Rick.
Have a think about things and read this poem. You know the idea’s thick!
We just can’t move from Anfield. Just think about my story.
Of great days spent at Anfield; the home of all our glory.