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Liverpool

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(This article is about the football club supported by John Peel. For the English city of the same name, see Liverpool (city).)
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"I believe in nothing really apart from Liverpool football club. It's a lot easier, I find."
(John Peel, April 1986, Peel 034 (BFBS))

Liverpool Football Club are a Premier League football club based in Liverpool. The club have won more European trophies than any other English team with five European Cups, three UEFA Cups and three UEFA Super Cups. They have also won eighteen League titles, seven FA Cups and a record eight League Cups, although they are yet to win a Premier League title since its inception in 1992.

Liverpool were founded in 1892 and joined the Football League the following year. They have played at Anfield since their 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, during which charging Liverpool fans caused a crush that resulted in a wall collapsing and the death of 39 Juventus supporters, after which English clubs were banned from European competition for five years. In the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives in a crush against perimeter fencing. (Read more at Wikipedia.)

Peel on LFC Edit

(from Interview: On Liverpool FC, Heysel, Hillsborough)

"My affection for Liverpool – if you’re a real supporter it extends beyond the players and the ground to the city itself, and I was always very, very proud of being associated, in my own mind at least, with Liverpool...

When I first met Sheila she was a Leeds United supporter, and Leeds at that time were actually the only team that actually posed any kind of threat to Liverpool’s domination. So there was quite clearly a bit of potential here for disaster. Sheila realized what she was up against when I went and sat in the middle of Regent’s Park when Liverpool lost and just cried and cried and cried – for about an hour, you know. And she suddenly thought obviously, “Here’s a greater force at work here than I first recognized.”

And so she became a sort of Liverpool supporter as well and put up with the fact that we had to have red cars and that all of our kitchen fittings had to be red as well and that all of the curtains and lampshades – the lampshades are all Liverpool lampshades. She put up with this over the years, and the fact that the children all had Liverpool associations in their names and so on."

Other Edit

  • Asked which meant the most to him, Liverpool Football Club or The Fall, Peel chose his top team over his favourite band.[1]
  • A long-standing idol from the team was Billy Liddell, whose portrait hung in the dining room at Peel Acres: an autograph signed on a newspaper flyer by the player was kept in his father's old desk and John referred to it as 'perhaps the most sacred item I own.'
  • A photograph of the legendary manager Bill Shankly hung in the kitchen at Peel Acres. It was apparently the only photo allowed in that room: not even one of Mark E. Smith was permitted to join it. [2]
  • His all-time Reds' favourite, however, was Scottish striker (and subsequent club manager) Kenny Dalglish. Peel admitted celebrating "Dalglishmas" on the birthday of the great man, who appeared by video link when the DJ was the subject of This Is Your Life.
  • Sheila said was surprised when he said he would pick her up at 5 p.m. for their first date only after hearing the football results. [3]
  • As further evidence of his devotion to Liverpool FC, John named his children Alexandra Mary Anfield; Florence Victoria Shankly; Thomas James Dalglish; and William Robert Anfield Ravenscroft.
  • Sheila relates that when they first moved to Suffolk, John was a regular attendee at Liverpool's home ground of Anfield, until work commitments prevented him from doing so (although he made half-hearted attempts to get a season ticket when William was at university).
  • They were both present at the Heysel stadium disaster on May 29, 1985 at which 39 people died.[4] He did not go to another match for several years as a result. He was also heavily affected by the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, when 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives.
  • Eighties / Nineties striker Ian Rush was another of Peel's favourite players. "If any of you live long enough to actually have grand children and you go regularly to football matches, one of these days you're going to be very pleased to be able to tell your grand children that you saw Ian Rush play, because he's a great footballer." (18 November 1981)
  • Terrace hero Robbie Fowler was latterly a great favourite in the Peel household, and John was outraged when the striker was sold to Leeds United in November 2001 for £11m. When the news of the transfer broke on 27 November, the Pig conspired with producer Louise by telephone to keep this from John until the end of his programme that night, fearing he would talk about it too much. Peel made his thoughts clear on the following night's show, 28 November 2001: "I've supported Liverpool for over 50 years and I don't think I've ever been as upset or outraged by anything that they did... In our family we're heartbroken by it."

Plays Edit

(See also You'll Never Walk Alone, Barmy Army)
Team
(JP: 'Best football record in the history of the world ever? Very possibly: certainly the best since the last one that John Barnes made, anyway....Don't be surprised if you hear that again at some stage on these programmes.')
Players, etc
Crowd
Match commentary

See Also Edit

External LinksEdit

References Edit

  1. You Ask The Questions: John Peel (The Independent, 6 Jan. 1999) [1]
  2. 11 November 2003
  3. Margrave Of The Marshes, p. 212.
  4. Margrave Of The Marshes, p. 396-8.

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