LIVERPOOL have travelled all the way to Kazan in Tartastan for their Europa League fixture tonight, with many brave fans making the 2,524 mile journey into deepest Russia. 

The trip has reminded me of a famously ardous Liverpool away tie of the 1990s, when Liverpool were drawn against Spartak Vladikavkaz in the UEFA Cup 1st round in September 1995. One of the few who made the trip was our mate Dave Rawcliffe of Propaganda Photo. Here are some of his brilliant pictures from the trip, which resulted in a 2-1 win for Roy Evans’s side.

European Football - UEFA Cup - 1st Round 1st Leg - FC Alania Spartak Vladikavkaz v Liverpool FCEuropean football was still a bit of a novelty for Reds  in 1995. This was only the third season Liverpool had competed in Europe since the Heysel ban, and they hadn’t qualified the previous two seasons. So a 2,260 mile trip wasn’t going to put off a die-hard number, believed to be 38, from making the trip. As you can see the facilities were hardly 5-star when they got there!

European Football - UEFA Cup - 1st Round 1st Leg - FC Alania Spartak Vladikavkaz v Liverpool FCIt is fair to say Liverpool Airport, now John Lennon Airport Liverpool, has developed a fair bit since then. There was no expense spared when Liverpool jetted off to Russia, with the airport keen to wish them good luck. Although whether that was good luck in the game, or good luck getting there, remains to be seen. Nice shot of bleach blonde Robbie, too.

European Football - UEFA Cup - 1st Round 1st Leg - FC Alania Spartak Vladikavkaz v Liverpool FCA few Russian soldiers demonstrate their footy skills before the stadium fills up. Not sure if they managed to get a game later.

European Football - UEFA Cup - 1st Round 1st Leg - FC Alania Spartak Vladikavkaz v Liverpool FCGreat banner, that. The Vladikavkaz 38 enjoying themselves with a good sing song in the ground. Bagsy not sitting in seat 12. Not sure they are all dressed for the occasion either. It was freezing by all accounts.

European Football - UEFA Cup - 1st Round 1st Leg - FC Alania Spartak Vladikavkaz v Liverpool FCThe Russian boys show how you dress for a cold night of football. Tell you what, I’m having them hats. And, er, are they bullets in the jackets?!

European Football - UEFA Cup - 1st Round 1st Leg - FC Alania Spartak Vladikavkaz v Liverpool FCSteve McManaman scored Liverpool’s first goal of the night. No doubt the UEFA Cup meant something to the Liverpool squad at the time.

European Football - UEFA Cup - 1st Round 1st Leg - FC Alania Spartak Vladikavkaz v Liverpool FCAnd here is a Liverpool supporter ‘congratulating’ Jamie Redknapp, who scored the winner in a 2-1 victory. Watch his neck, mate!

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Liverpool pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda-Photo

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