If it was not for one man, Liverpool Football Club would never have been born. When Everton left Anfield in a dispute over rent in 1892, the ground's owner John Houlding was determined to see football continue at the site. With a handful of supporters and three of Everton's players, he started a new club from scratch, chose the name Liverpool and created a legend in the process.
Yet not even the ambitious Houlding could have predicted how successful his venture would be in the centuries that followed. Indeed, no other English club can match Liverpool's honours list: 18 times league champions, seven-time FA Cup and League Cup winners, champions of Europe on five times and UEFA Cup winners three times.
*Birth of an institution *On 15 March 1892, Liverpool FC was born. However, the club's first official name was Everton and Athletic Grounds Ltd, or Everton Athletic for short, but this was changed to Liverpool a few months later after the FA objected to the name.
Liverpool applied to become founder members of the Football League in 1892, but their ambitious bid was refused, as the club had never played a competitive match. Instead they joined the Lancashire League, winning the title in their inaugural campaign. Membership of the Football League followed a year later and in 1900/01, they won their first league championship.
Making of a legend
1 December 1959 is a date that will forever be etched in the annals of Liverpool history. It was on this day that the club appointed Huddersfield Town boss Bill Shankly as their new manager. The Reds had suffered relegation from the top flight in 1954, and were desperate for a return to the upper echelons of English football.
No one knew at the time, but Liverpool was set to enter its most exciting era as Shankly set about transforming the club's fortunes. During his first year, he released 24 players and re-shaped the squad. Liverpool returned to the First Division in the 1961/62 season. Two years later, they celebrated their first title in 17 years and in 1965 won their first FA Cup. A first taste of European success followed in 1973 when the Reds defeated Borussia Monchengladbach to win their first European trophy, the UEFA Cup.
A year later, Shankly's assistant Bob Paisley assumed the mantle of manager. In his nine years at the helm, Liverpool won the league championship six times, the League Cup three times, the UEFA Cup once and the European Cup on three occasions with victories over Borussia Mönchengladbach in 1977, Club Brugge in 1978 and Real Madrid in 1981.
Just as Shankly had been succeeded by Paisley, so Paisley handed the reins to his assistant, Joe Fagan, who was 63 when he became manager in 1983/84. In his first season in charge, Liverpool became the first English club to win three major trophies in a single season: the league title, the league cup and the European Cup against Roma. The Reds reached the European Cup final again in 1985, where they met Juventus at the Heysel Stadium, yet this match which Liverpool lost 1-0 was marred by violence, resulting in the deaths of 39 Italian fans. English clubs were consequently banned from participating in European competition for five years, with Liverpool receiving a six-year sentence.
Fagan resigned as manager following the events at Heysel and was succeeded by Kenny Dalglish, the club's first player-manager. His reign saw the club win another three league championships and two FA Cups, including a double in 1985/86. Dalglish was also the man to steer Liverpool to their last title success in 1989/90.
*The present day *Liverpool have maintained their status as a domestic and European force since the Premier League began in 1992, rarely finishing outside the top positions and securing seven major trophies in the process, including an unprecedented FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup treble in 2001.
The club's last major piece of silverware came in May 2005 when they defeated AC Milan to win the UEFA Champions League final on penalties. The Reds were 3-0 down at half-time, but clawed three goals back after the interval to set up a tense period of extra time, followed by the ultimately successful shoot-out.
Liverpool's Anfield Stadium is one of the most iconic in world football, probably due to its celebrated atmosphere and '12th man effect' during European matches. Liverpool have a large and generally loyal fanbase, with virtually all home matches selling out.
In 1906, the banked stand at one end of the ground was formally renamed 'the Spion Kop', after a hill in Natal, South Africa. The hill was the site of the battle of Spion Kop in the Second Boer War, where over 300 soldiers from the Lancashire Regiment (many from Liverpool) died. At its largest, the stand could hold 28,000 spectators, and was one of the largest single-tier stands in the world. The stand was considerably reduced in capacity following its rebuild in 1994, with capacity now at 12,390. The stand is so popular that Liverpool fans often refer to themselves as 'Kopites'.
During the 1960s, it was the Kop who adopted the club's anthem, 'You'll Never Walk Alone', Originally from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel and famously recorded by Liverpool pop group Gerry and The Pacemakers, which later became the club anthem and has since been adopted by clubs all over the world.