Manchester - so much to answer for?

Posted by Veinticinco de Mayo on October 8, 2011, 05:09:49 PM

The home game against United will be played in a couple of days, no doubt played in an atmosphere of hate and allegations and counter-allegations of shocking behaviour from fans of both sides.  For some the game against our rivals from down the East Lancs is not their cup of shite, for others it is the high point of the season. An exercise in pure adrenaline.  I thought it was a good time to explore the feelings of posters on here (from both sides of the divide) about the fixture, about the rivalry and about how they thought it had changed over the years.  So we know where our respondents are coming from I thought it best to start with their memories of playing "them". I asked for their earliest memory, there fondest memory and the one memory that they would happily have counselling to bury forever in their subconscious.  The first shock I have to report is that contrary to popular belief it turns out that this game was not Terry de Niro's first. 

10th November 1962
Johnno White: "My first game must have been your first season back 1962-63. OT 3-3 when you were 3-1 down with 7 minutes to go and bloody got back to square it. St John, Jimmy Melia and Ronnie Moran. We had you by the short curly things at 3-0 halftime. St John after 5 mins 2nd half got one back and then bloody Melia with 6 to go and then Moran in the last bloody minute. Unbelievable it was. Liverpool were down and almost buried at half time. Whatever Shanks said to ’em obviously worked – smart old bugger was that fella!"
Johnno White:
"Fond memories?  I remember one incident from that first game in 1962 that occurred just outside the Liverpool area when we were kicking towards the old Scoreboard end. Law and Yeats – who’d been kicking lumps out of Law all afternoon – went up for a high ball and as good as Denis was in the air, there was only one winner. Yeats headed it almost beyond the halfway line and both players landed in the November mud in a tangle. As the game had already moved into our half everyone’s attention was drawn away from these two muddy bleeders on the deck – except Denis was a huge favourite of mine – like you with Dalglish or Keegan – and I was watching as he was disentangling himself. He took the chance to adjust the smacking account by just a tad - and nutted Yeats right between the eyes!! He legged it back up the pitch as fast as his legs would take him !! Not very pucker United football the Busby Way but in the context of the clashes in the man's game back then a very fond memory....  "

13th December 1969
Wooltonian: "Several games on the box but first attended game, 1969-70 It was a Saturday morning kick off at Anfield  they ran us totally ragged, played us off the park and won 4-1. Best and Charlton were at their very best. They played in all white. Charlton’s goal was an absolute screamer. Best went round everyone twice several times in the match."Johnno White: "They used to show that Charlton goal for many a year in the intro to MOTD.  When you look at the state of the pitch how on earth did artists like Best, Charlton, Cally, Thompson, Law (and others) ever produce the quality they were able to produce - and repeatedly produce - over many seasons ??   Today's buggers are mightily ferkin' spoiled in so many respects."
Wooltonian: "The reason BEST was "Best" was not only the ploughed fields he graced. It was also the fact that he played against the likes of Tommy Smith Dave McKay and Norman Hunter. He was so good he could still perform after being nobbled. Todays maestro's hit the deck and roll around like they've been shot. Putting the likes of Ronaldo ahead of George is complete BOLLOCKS."

15th August 1972
Yorkykopite:"My first was my second visit to Anfield (and second visit in a week) - a night match in August 1972. We beat them 2-0 I think. Full house. Incredible atmosphere."

22nd December 1973
Terry de Niro: "My first was in the flesh as a 13 year old, just before Christmas 1973 and a home win 2-0.  Goals came from a Keegan penalty and Steve Heighway got the other one in the 2nd half.  The 73/74 season was not a happy one for the Mancs.  ;)   in fact it would be easy for me to say them getting relegated 73/74 season, but I really didn't have that much hatred for them, then. Although I thought it was amusing at the time I would been amused a hundred times more to have seen Everton get relegated."

21st May 1977
Hinesy: "My earliest memory? I think it would be the '77 final. Don't want to say anymore than that really about it."
VdM: "My first memory of playing Man Utd is also the first time I can pin down, in my murky childhood recollections, that I supported Liverpool.  I know this because as an eight year old I cried in 1977 when that scrawpy goal off Brian Greenhoff's back condemned us to defeat in the cup final.  I presume I had been supporting us for a while by then but this was the first time that football had made such an emotional mark, and, predictably it was them that delivered that first kick in the goolies.  I learnt a lot about the emotional rollercoaster of being a Liverpool fan that week as four days later Wembley was but a distant memory and we were the Kings of Europe.  Manchester who?"
Johnno White: "The record shows it was off JIMMY Greenhoff's back....   Whichever Greenhoff it was, sorry that it made you cry mate... I know what it's like watching your heroes coming a cropper - saw it when we were robbed in 1957 by Villa and Peter McParland's fracturing Ray Wood's cheekbone. No subs back then so our centre half went in goal and Woody - broken face and all - played a nuisance role on the right wing.   Saw it again in 1958 when Lofthouse did Harry Gregg for the second Bolton goal which finished us. You never forget..."

25th February 1978
And finally in the memories section....

a) This picture says it all. However, very few know that the dart originated from the Man U fans in the Anfield Road corner. On the Red flights was MUFC in yellow. (no LFC fan would ever play darts with MUFC in the tail) It hit a guy two steps down from me in the shoulder and he threw it back without much thought. As the copper led him away, the Road Ender’s screamed “ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY”

14th April 1979
Garstonite: "Not my first 'memory', but the first time I saw a Liverpool-United game 'live' at Anfield was in 1979. It was towards the back end of the 78-79 season. We were unbeaten at Anfield all season and had only conceded about four goals at home. United came about a week after beating us in the FA Cup at Goodison, so we owed them one. We absolutely dominated the game. Dalglish scored the first at The Kop end with a header and Phil Neal scored with a sliding shot just after half time at the Anny Rd. At 2-0 they say the game is never a formality, but the way we played that season, it seemed to be. The ground was in party mood from the moment the second went in and we could have won 4 or 5. I must have only been 8."

26th February 1983
Yorkykopite: "Well a funny memory at least. Mid-80s at Old Trafford. I went up to the match with my best mate who was a Man Utd fan and we were in the paddock. Muhren scored for them and there was mayhem all around me. Some bloke standing next to me put his arms round me, gave me a big hug and started jumping up and down in pure delight. I had to go with him. That went on for about half a minute. Excruciating. When it all calmed down my pal pointed out to the fella that I was a Liverpool fan. But everyone was in such a good mood that I was immediately adopted as a kind of 'mascot'. Cue a minute later and Kenny stuck in the equalizer at the Stretford End. Mascot's revenge. I grabbed hold of the bloke who'd been hugging me and gave him the same treatment. I should say that the atmosphere around the game was toxic - Munich chants, Shankly chants etc - but somehow we had a little pocket on friendliness on our part of the terrace. "

26th March 1983
Royhendo: "The 1983 Milk Cup final was the first time I saw the two sides playing live on telly up in sunny Barbados-on-Tay. Norman Whiteside was the next big thing at the time, appearing in Shoot! every other week, and his goal was a tidy finish. It was frustrating viewing cos you always thought we were gonna win, but it just wasn't coming, and then of course Kennedy bobbles the equaliser in from outside the box.  The Whelan goal was unforgettable. Well, they all are really aren't they... but it was a bit special. "

17th April 1985

For Gareth his first memory if us playing them is also a formative traumatic memory of the power football could wield.
Gareth: "For me, as an 11 year old it was the '85 replay at Maine Road. Cant describe the goals, only the memory of listening to the game in my bedroom on the wireless, then crawling under the duvet and bawling my eyes out completely heart broken. The difference between then and losing/winning now is not much different, the temporary pain or joy is still there just without the tears.   I've had my moments of revenge since then though. 2003 in Cardiff was a great laugh, then a year later walking out of OT on the back of a cheeky 1-0 win.  Always swings and roundabouts in these fixtures though."

26th April 1992
VdM: "I am surprised that nobody mentioned this game.  Leeds and Man U were neck and neck for the title that season and Leeds had just beaten (Sheff United I think) with a late late winner in the early kick off which took them narrowly above the Mancs. I think there was maybe only one game left after this one so if we could beat them it would virtually sink their title chances.  And this is back in the days when they had not won the title for 26 years. Rushie scored with an absolute screamer early on, his first against them I think, it was a nervous affair after that until Mark Walter bagged the winner (and not a stepover in sight) late on.  Cue Monty Pythonesque pandemonium and chants of "You lost the league on Merseyside".  Looking back now it was probably the last time we held the balance of power. Wilkinson sold Cantona, Ferguson won the title, and the rest is horrible history"

4th January 1994
Babuyagu: "Memory is a bit sketchy, strangely. I first start REALLY following football in 1990, the Palace v Liverpool FA Cup semi being the first game I remember sitting and really paying attention to. Was 9 at the time. So its strange for me that no matter how hard I try the first game I remember is the 3-3 at Anfield when Ruddock almost gave him self a concussion powering in the equaliser as we came back from 0-3 down. "

Considering that this was, at the end of the day, a home draw it was surprising how many people listed it as one of their fondest memories.
Terry: "The 3-0 down, (94?) at half time to claw it back to 3-3 has to be up there. I remember having a row with my brother in law who wanted to leave after the first half had finished. I eventually persuaded him to stay. We still laugh about that.   "
Yorkykopite: "The best memory however remains the 3-3 draw - the one where we were down 3-0 after 20 minutes. Standing on the Kop when Giggs put their third in it briefly crossed my mind that I never wanted to see another football match in my life. The fight-back though. What drama! It's the sweetest draw I've ever seen."
Garstonite: "The 3-3 in 94 was special. Not just because of the cracking game. It was one of 'those' nights on The Kop. Hard to explain without being there, but the game seemed to fly by in a flash. It was one of those occasions you'd just leave the ground smiling from ear to ear loving football."
VdM: "Predictably there have been many lows and highs associated with playing them, the fondest memory?  I know many people will be reaching for the recent 4-1 at Old Trafford here but like Yorky I am going to go with the 3-3 at Anfield when we were 3-0 down within the first half hour.  I think it was the last Man Utd game to take place in front of the old standing Kop and it looked destined to end disappointingly but cometh the hour cometh the men.  Neil Ruddock and Nigel Clough will probably not trouble the writers of forthcoming books on Liverpool legends unduly but they were legends that night.  Two quick fire goals from Clough gave us hope and a roaring, bellowing, swaying, thunderous Kop demanded an equaliser.  With not long to go Ruddock thundered a header into the Anny Rd net and the old stand dissolved into delirium, bodies, flares, arms, legs all over."
Yorkykopite: "It was the last one in front of the old Kop. Lot of flags that night and loads of red flares. A absolute hum-dinger of an atmosphere. That's why it was such a kick in the stomach to see us leak 3 early goals. And it honestly looked like we might get whacked by a record margin (strange how Souness had no idea how to organise a defence). "

19th March 1995
Rossobianchi: "It was World Cup 94 which first got me into football; I'd kick around on the street pretending to be Kennet Andersson, Florin Radicioiu and Hristo Stoichkov. A year later it was more Cantona, Giggs and Kanchelskis. In that year I remember us beating you 2-0 at Old Trafford early in the season, very vaguely. Think McClair scored a little toe-poke, it might have been two goals in as many minutes come to think of it. But the return fixture that season brings back more memories; we hit a blip where the goals dried up and went to Anfield with Dalglish's Blackburn hot on our heels with about 7 games to go. I was nine-years-old and Jamie Redknapp left me in tears (yes, literally Jamie) as he smashed home a left-footer at the Kop end. A Bruce own goal then followed as we lost 2-0 and ballsed up the league despite your boys beating Rovers on the last day. Ludek fucking Miklosko."

17th December 1995
StevenLFC: "I can't recall the exact year, but I vaguely remember us beating them 2-0 at home, Fowler scored 2 goals, one was a free kick. It was one of my first matches and remember that the crowd seemed much louder than previous games I'd been to."

11th May 1996
Azi: "Think my first memory was the white suits final with cantona scoring the winner in the last minute was 8 at the time and the slagging I got of my 9 year old cousin I’ll never forget."

It seems that Azi's first memory is the one most of us would like to exorcise.
BabuYagu: "The 1996 FA Cup final. Just a dire game of football with the worst possible outcome."
Yorkykopite: "The wretched Cup Final where we lost 1-0 to a late Cantona goal. I don't have to work too hard to bury it though. I was pissed even before the kick-off and stuck on the very back row where I probably dozed off for a while - such was the tedium. "
VdM: "
The low for me was that 1996 cup final defeat, there are loads of reasons why, the cream suits, the fact that we never turned up, that Ferguson sent out his team simply to stop us playing, that it was the confirmation of another false dawn that would set us back another ten years of rebuilding, the cruel nature of the defeat.  Everything.  I think what really made it worse was that ruined what had been such a great day, we'd gone down with mates and we'd arranged to meet some of those aforementioned Man Utd ST holders for a pint beforehand.  I'd suggested a decent pub a few tube stops from the ground and suggested that in previous years it had been mixed and no bother.  In 1996 though the first lads to arrive at opening time had hung a huge Liverpool banner, which quite literally was the size of a pub, from the upper windows of the gaff.  Unsurprisingly there wasn't a Manc to be seen inside apart from our mates who sweltered a balmy late May afternoon away with their jackets zipped up to their chins (most Mancs never take their coats off anyway, I presume they can't afford any decent shirts)."
Terry: "The 0-1 FA Cup final 96 was painful to watch as it was probably the most boring match ever and the result obviously didn't help matters."
Royhendo: "The Cantona goal in the cup final."

1999 And All That
For Rosso obviously these were happy memories.
Rossobianchi: "FA Cup 1999 at Old Trafford, still provides goosebumps watching it back. Ole was an absolute assassin and I knew that was in before he drilled it past James - one of several key moments on the way to the Treble where we looked down and out but turned it around. Rio's goal in 2005 was a nice moment too, a bit of a shite game decided by a last-minute set-piece. Don't like thinking about that year though!"
But not for most of us and it's perhaps a sign of their recent domination that for some of us, our worst memory was of something that for the last few months we weren't even involved in.
Azi: "99 treble season wasn’t bothered that they won but it was 1966 all over again for me media went into overdrive and their fans made me suicidal "
Hinesy: "them winning their 2nd European Cup. Makes me sick to think of it."

22nd January 2002
Hinesy: "Many fond memories, but strangely the one that leaps to mind is Danny Murphy's goal a few years back when we beat them 1-0 at theirs. Don't know why it does stick in my mind but there had been a lot of victories from them over us, and that was a real hold on and win game. I was away on holiday at the time and was listening like mad to the radio.. it's the one memory that sticks out instantly: weird."

2nd March 2003
StevenLFC: "I really enjoyed the 2-0 victory in the 2003 (I think) League Cup Final. It was my first cup final and I was in awe of the Millenium Stadium and how amazing our fans where that day. I remember Dudek playing a blinder that day. "VdM: "I have mixed memories of this one, we stayed somewhere just West of Cardiff and got the train, it was packed with Mancs, we then had to walk through their end of the ground to get to our second home by the City Arms.  They have some vile c*nts following them nowadays it has to be said.  Had to share a train with them on my way back but that was fine I just soaked up and burned up that hate with a beatific smile on my face."

16th December 2007
Rossobianchi: "If I had to pick one fond memory though, it would be O'Shea in front of the Kop. Watched it in a pub in Preston whilst at Uni and the place was pretty much split 50/50, and of course one side of the room went mental. Undeserved and with ten men - a crucial win en route to the title."
As is the nature of the fixture though, one man's banquet is another man's kick in the bollocks...
Terry: "More recently I'll go for their smash and grab late winner, even though they had Paul (can't tackle) Scholes sent off, and to make matters worse it had to be John fucking O'Shea who grabbed the winner. I had about a hundred texts in no time at all. Most of them from bitters saying "well done to your lad for getting the winner" or words to that effect. Anyone who knows my real name will know where I'm coming from."
Garstonite: "Too many to mention! Sitting beside their lot in the Anny Rd for the "John O'Shea game" was a bit of sickener. The hatred and vitriol slung from one side to another was quite something to behold, from a man usually sat in the partisan haven that is the Centenary Stand."

14th March 2009
Terry: "An obvious fond memory. Our 4-1 victory at their patch in 2009. SWEET...   "

Azi: "Fond memory? Got to be the 4-1 demolition coming from the high against real Madrid all I heard from my mates was it was a past it Madrid side so was to be expected and we would get shown up for the poor side we really were so seeing us outplay utd on their turf was sweet especially considering the chance Stevie had which could have made it worse for some reason they were unreachable on for the phone for the next coupla hours..."
Rossobianchi: "Worst memory? The 4-1 without a doubt. Remember being a bit shellshocked; I think partly because we didn't play that bad! 1-0 up and looking OK before Vidic shits himself letting the ball bounce. Then the pendulum swung and your boys took over. That spring period was the best football I've ever seen any Liverpool side play in my lifetime; you just kept winning and winning - the Benayoun goal at Fulham and the dismantling of Villa at Anfield - after those games I thought you were going to win it."[/size]
Rosso is not alone in wanting to forget about that game though...[/size]
Gareth: "The 4-1 at OT. Great individual result, but is it enough to sustain you for any longer than a season or two?"[/size]

So now you know our writers let's see how they think relations between the fans have changed over the years...

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