Liverpool Change
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Liverpool The Footballer Magazine

 

Let’s take it back a few decades. The demise of a once thriving city in the heart of the British empire, failing to recover from the devastation of WWII. A City in ruin from German air raids and its thriving docklands suffering from the thriving Manchester Docklands.

The 50’s and 60’s brought with it new fortune for a beaten Merseyside. The world would be introduced to arguably the greatest band to have walked this earth, the names John, Paul, George & Ringo were gospel and Liverpool’s global stature began to grow. The red half of Liverpool set off in a surge under the managerial guidance of a certain Bill Shankly. His Liverpool side dominating with its spectators looking on from the infamous Kop stand, named after Spion Kop, a mountain in South Africa which harbored the devastation of British casulaties during the Boer War.

The Kop became a home, or a holy sanctuary to Liverpool fans. Supporters would be queuing up early on to get their match tickets to be in the iconic stand, to witness the redmen of Liverpool playing at Anfield, and with the popularity of a new culture of music for the City, the likes of The Beatles & Gerry and the Pacemakers became household names to Scousers, and in an attempt to entertain the crowds prior to kick off, Liverpool’s new PA system would play chart music.

Then on one November afternoon, moments before Liverpool were about to walk into the field, one of Liverpool’s own, Gerry Marsden, and his band The Pacemakers had their latest #1 echoed out into the expectant Anfield crowd. This the moment that changed the way football would be spectated forever.

As Liverpool’s domination continued, and as John, Paul, George & Ringo’s voices echoed out of the reocrd players around the world, Liverpool’s fate was a complete change to what it was following the devastation of WWII. As Shankly, and then Paisley guided Liverpool to further success, the Anfield faithful continued to sing You’ll Never Walk Alone prior to kick off. It’s tune and lyrics becoming spiritual and iconic to Liverpool fans through their highest of highs, in 2005 at Istanbul and at the clubs lowest and darkest moment, in the Hillsbrough disaster of 1989. It’s meaning becoming more than a song to a club whose roots remain centre to the City of Liverpool.

Originally a theatre song written by Rodgers & Hammerstein, You’ll Never Walk Alone was covered by Gerry & The Pacemakers, and then introduced to an eager crowd of Scousers in November 1963, which to this day remains the day that changed the way crowds interact in the terraces and stands of World football forever.

‘Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on walk on with hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone’

The Footballer Magazine

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This article first appeared at: http://thefootballermagazine.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/from-broadway-to-the-kop-the-tale-of-youll-never-walk-alone/

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