The Random Facts Machine: Liverpool Football Club

Liverpool Football Club (/ˈlɪvəpuːl/) is a professional football club in Liverpool, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. The club has won 5 European Cups, 3 UEFA Cups, 3 UEFA Super Cups, 18 League titles, 7 FA Cups, 8 League Cups, and 15 FA Community Shields. Founded in 1892, the club joined the Football League the following year and has played at Anfield since its formation. Liverpool established itself as a major force in English and European football in the 1970s and 1980s when Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley led the club to 11 League titles and seven European trophies. Under the management of Rafael Benítez and captained by Steven Gerrard, Liverpool became European champions for the fifth time in 2005.

Liverpool was the ninth highest-earning football club in the world in 2016–17, with an annual revenue of €424.2 million, and the world’s eighth most valuable football club in 2018, valued at $1.944 billion. The club has long-standing rivalries with Manchester United and Everton. The club’s supporters have been involved in two major tragedies: the Heysel Stadium disaster, where escaping fans were pressed against a collapsing wall at the 1985 European Cup Final in Brussels, with 39 people – mostly Italians and Juventus fans – dying, after which English clubs were given a five-year ban from European competition, and the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, where 96 Liverpool supporters died in a crush against perimeter fencing.

Welcome to this edition of The Facts Machine—designed to highlight some useful, or possibly useless information that you might or might not have already known about. Today we will look at the most successful club in English football—Liverpool.

The very first Liverpool Football Club was created in 1857 and played to a code similar to rugby union. However, it has no relation with the modern version of the club that is in existence today.
They are noted to be one of the oldest established rugby clubs in the world and later went on to merge with Liverpool St. Helens FC.
Anfield was the original home of Everton FC in 1884, but after a rent dispute, Everton decided to move to Goodison Park in 1891.
John Houlding, the lease holder of Anfield, was left with a stadium and no team, so the board went to Scotland and signed 13 players to form the new Liverpool Football Club in 1892.
The club’s original strip was blue and white quarters.
Liverpool’s first ever game was against Rotherham Town. They won the match 7-1 with Malcom Macvean scoring their first ever goal. That game was also the first time an English domestic team had fielded a side consisting entirely of foreign players.
Despite a 20,000 capacity stadium, Liverpool’s first game was watched by just 100 supporters.
After being rejected by the Football Association, Liverpool played in the Lancashire League. Their first game was an 8-0 victory against Higher Walton with John Smith scoring Liverpool’s first ever competitive goal.
They ended the season as champions, beating Everton 1-0 in the first ever Mersyside Derby.
The Merseyside derby has the highest amount of players sent off than any other Premier League fixture.
Liverpool were elected in to the Football Association in 1893.
Their first professional season saw the club become second division champions and going the whole campaign unbeaten, with Malcom Maclean once again scoring their first ever goal.
It also included a 2-0 victory over Newton Heath, later to be known as Manchester United.
The strip changed from blue and white quarters to red and white.
In 1901, Alex Raisbeck was the first Liverpool captain to collect the Football League first division championship, under the management of Tom Watson.
Expansion of the South end of Anfield in 1906 created a larger stand called the Spion Kop, named after a Boer war battle of 1900 where over 300 men of the Lancashire regiment died, with many being from Liverpool.
The Spion Kop was the biggest in the country at the time and could hold more standing supporters than some entire football stadiums.
Liverpool played their first ever FA Cup final in 1914 with a 1-0 loss to Burnley at Crystal Palace, the last time the event would ever be held there.
1915 saw Liverpool involved in one of the sports earliest betting scandals, with four Liverpool players being banned.
Don Welsh took charge in 1951 and Liverpool were relegated for the first time in over 50 years.
After not being able to return Liverpool to the top tier, for the first time in Liverpool’s history, they sacked their manager, Don Welsh, in 1956.
Liverpool spent eight seasons in division two between 1954 and 1962.
In 1959, Liverpool suffered their most humiliating defeat up to that point with an FA Cup exit to non-league side Worcester City. This loss is said to have contributed to the exit of the manager a the time, with a man named Bill Shankley taking over the club.
After winning promotion back in to the first division, Shankley finished eighth in the league. Since that date, Liverpool have never finished below eighth and never played outside of the top flight.
In 1964 Liverpool changed their strip from red and white to the current all red that is seen today.
A local factory threatened to go on strike when Bill Shankley said he will be resigning in 1974.
Bob Paisley was in charge for nine years and his first in 1974-75 was Paisley’s only season without a trophy.
Bob Paisley won a total of 21 trophies in his nine years at the club, making him Liverpool’s most successful manager and one of the most successful managers at an English club.
Joe Fagan became manager in 1984 and in his first season he led Liverpool to the League title, the League Cup and the European Cup—the first time an English club had won three trophies in a season.
Grahame Souness bought Dean Saunders from Derby County for a British record fee at the time of £2.9 million.
Dean Saunders was very successful for the club but he was surprisingly sold to Aston Villa a season and six matches later at a loss of £400,000.
In March 1992, ex Liverpool player and manager, Grahame Souness, suffered a heart attack which required a triple bypass operation. On his recovery, Souness sold his story to The Sun newspaper.
When ex player, Roy Evans took over from Souness, he had been on the club’s payroll for close to 30 years.
Michael Stensgaard, a signing of Roy Evans, never played for the first team and had to retire from football altogether after injuring himself setting up an ironing board.
Roy Evans introduced the 3-5-2 formation in 1994, which would apparently revolutionise the English game with many other teams adopting the formation soon after.
After the semi-final victory over Chelsea on the way to Istanbul in 2005, the match referee stated that he would have sent off Petr Cech for his foul on Milan Baros and given a penalty if the linesman had not given the goal.
Liverpool lost the World Club Championship final in 2005 to Sao Paulo 1-0, despite having three goals disallowed for offside.
In February of 2006, Liverpool ended an 85 year run of losses against Manchester United in the cup by beating them 1-0 at Anfield. The first victory over United in the FA Cup since 1921.
Liverpool went on to complete their biggest ever away victory in the competition with a 7-0 win over Birmingham.
In 2005-06 Liverpool finished the league with the biggest points tally by a third placed team as well as their highest amount since 1988 with 82 points.
In the 2007-08 season, Liverpool recorded the biggest ever Champions League margin with an 8-0 victory over Besiktas.
In April of 2008, Forbes magazine ranked Liverpool as the fourth most valuable club in the world.
August 22nd 1964 and highlights of Liverpool vs Arsenal was the very first match to be shown on the BBC’s new football programme, Match of The Day.
The very first colour football transmission was of the live game between Liverpool and West Ham.
Liverpool supporters singing ”You’ll Never Walk Alone” was featured in the Pink Floyd song, Fearless.
Robbie Fowler holds the club and Premier League record for the fastest hattrick standing at 4 minutes and 32 seconds.
Kenny Dalgleish was the first player-manager in English football in 1985.
Liverpool’s Xabi Alonso holds the English record for the longest goal scored from open play standing at 64 metres.
Liverpool are the only team unbeaten at home in 2008.