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If you were already a football fan in 2005, the Champions League's final of that year is probably one of the few games you will never ever forget. Even if you are not a Liverpool F.C fan, you would admit that there might have been something more than just football in that game. Something that stemmed from the Club's tradition, virtues and fans. That something that makes Liverpool FC the fascinating club it is.
Liverpool F.C was founded in 1892 by John Houlding, who was the owner of the land property on which the Anfiled stadium stood. Ever since then, Anfield has served as the home of the club. In 1901 Liverpool won its first championship title. In 1990 it won its 18th and last so far. With 5 European Cups, 3 UEFA Cups, 3 UEFA Super Cups, 7 FA Cups and 8 League Cups added to its 18 championships it is no wonder why Liverpool FC is considered as one of the greatest English and European clubs in history. It is still the most successful English club in the European Cup (Champions League).
1959 stands out as the year in which Liverpool's destiny was changed. In that year Bill Shankly, a Scottish ex player with coaching experience in the Scottish league, took the coach manager position at the club. Until that point Liverpool had won the championship 5 times and was playing in the 2nd division to which it was relegated in 1954. Joined by assistant coaches Bob Paisely, Joe Fagan and Reuben Bennet, Shankly put Liverpool FC on the path to glory. With coaching leadership of Shankly (1959-1974), Paisely (1974-1983) and Fagan (1983-1985) Liverpool won 10 championships, 2 FA cups, 4 league cups, 2 UEFA cups and 4 European cups. This phenomenal success was followed with more titles under Kenny Dalglish's management in the late 1980s. In practice Liverpool was The English club of the 1970s and 1980s.
Ever since the 2000s, The club has won the FA Cup twice, the League Cup three times, the UEFA Cup (in 2001) and the Champions League once (in 2005 with Rafa Benitez as manager) in a heroic and an unforgettable match against AC Milan in which Liverpool came back from a 0-3 deficit at half time to win in the penalties shoot out. This victory won Liverpool a fifth European Cup and therefore the cup went to a permanent stay at the club. Liverpool has not yet won the Premiere League Championship (Started in 1992 with its current formation) , and is still waiting to do that. In the last season (2013-14) the club was very close to win the championship, leading the league in its final stages, but succumbed to Manchester City's run for the title.
Two major tragedies in the history of football are related to Liverpool's name and to its devoted fans. The first one is the Heysel Stadium tragedy during the European Cup final against Juventus in 1985. In this horrific event, 39 Juventus' fans were killed due to overcrowding and a wall collapse at the stadium. The major cause for the disaster was attributed to reckless behavior of Liverpool's fans, although it was proved later on that poor stadium conditions and mistakes of the Belgian police were significant factors as well. This tragedy reflected a peak in English fans' hooliganism. As a result, English clubs were banned from European matches for 5 years and Liverpool for even more . The second tragedy is the Hillsbourough Disaster in the semi finals of the FA Cup against Nottingham Forest in 1989. In this event 96 Liverpool fans were killed due to overcrowding. It stands out as the biggest disaster in the history of British football. This tragedy was put on Liverpool's fans blame but eventually (and only quite recently) was admitted by the British authorities to be caused due to poor decisions made by the police. Decisions that caused the overcrowding and in the aftermath prevented efficient treatment for many of the injured which could have saved their lives .
Liverpool fans are well known all over the world for their passionate support for their club. The song "you will never walk alone" became the anthem of the fans in the early 1960s and has become a major characteristic of the club ever since.
Four players stand out most from the glorious days of Liverpool in the 1970s and the 1980s; Goal keeper Ray Clemence and strikers Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush that holds the goal record of the club (346 goals in 660 appearances). The appearances record of the club is held by Ian Callaghan (857) between 1960 and 1978.
A current symbol of the club is the Captain Steven Gerrard who has 676 appearances and 176 goals to its name. At the age of 34 and joined by recent purchase of the club, Mario Ballotelli from Milan, this season might be Gerrard's last chance to win a Premier League title.
Biggest football rivalries of Liverpool FC are the neighbours Everton and Manchester United.
The Anfield Stadium has a capacity of 45,276 seats. Recently Liverpool FC has been given permission to increase Anfield's capacity to about 59,000. Construction will begin next year for completion by the 2016-17 season. Due to its history and due to the fact that seats are so close to the pitch, not forgetting the special atmosphere created by the fans, watching a game at Anfield Stadium is an unforgettable football experience.
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