‘WHAT We Call History’ is back with an almighty bang as Neil Atkinson, Gary Shaw and Mike Nevin tackle the behemoth season that was 1987/88.
As the dust settled on Liverpool allowing Everton to steal in and win the title the previous year, Liverpool – lead by Kenny Dalglish, took decisive action.
Recruiting John Barnes and Peter Beardsley for £900,000 and £1,900,000 respectively, Liverpool rolled the dice and came up trumps.
Also discussed is the significance of John Barnes signing for Liverpool in what was a strange time both culturally and politically in Britain.
In a season that started with three consecutive away games due a broken sewer underneath the Kop, one of which was the first ever broadcast of British Satellite TV, Liverpool got off to the proverbial flyer.
Gary and Mike, seasoned Anfield regulars by this point, also touch on the impact of the Heysel ban and the impact on Everton and other teams in the league.
In the first episode of another epic season review, Neil, Gary and Mike take you through the blistering start of the season from August to the end of October in which a reinvigorated Liverpool take on all comers.
The birth of the greatest team the world has ever seen? And the rest!
Great show!!!! Loved every second! Well in lads!!! Nevin! Your memory is outstanding!!
This was the best ‘What We Call History’ yet. Was actually getting a bit emotional as the lads recalled the early emergence of Johnny Barnes. I remember just being completely mesmerised by everything about him in the first few months of his Anfield career and Mike and Gary captured this feeling brilliantly. Can’t wait for the rest of the 87/88 podcasts to be rolled out now!
That was friggin excellent. I’ll be honest I’ve missed a lot of these history shows because I spend too much time as it is keeping on top of the stuff relating to the present.
This was my heyday in a sense, in that 86-89 were the years a big group of lads would go from school and in the years after we left. It’s funny but my best mate was a City fan but I remember he came to every game. It’s like was said on the show, such was the appeal. But, my memory is shocking. I can remember little things like the train was always 18p and you could go anywhere on Merseyrail but match details are not in my memory. It’s like say, away at Cardiff in 2014. I remember us going behind a few times but I genuinely can’t remember who scored or what happened. Can’t even remember if it was 5-3 or 6-3. Yet, during that week, that match was one of the biggest events of my life. I only seem to be able to recall the present season.
The point I’m trying to make is, hearing this brought back so many memories that had gone or were probably never there, even though I was there. I mean, I was definitely taking a lot of acid by 87/88, haha so it’s hardly surprising but it kind of took me back to the time, not just the football side of it. I now remember all that when Barnes signed. I remember that song too. It’s mad how you can remember something that wasn’t in your memory.
The strangest thing for me during this was what Mike said about going to watch an exhibition. Football was always about adrenaline for me yet after this show I can definitely remember a change in me that season. I started going to some aways with a lad who wasn’t in my immediate circle of mates but knew everything about Liverpool. He was best mates with Nigel Adderley previously of 5 Live. In school, they were more football connoisseurs and we were more just into Liverpool winning. For the record, Nige was a big Tranmere fan. It’s only just struck me though, that I gravitated away from the unruly crowd into the more cultured set around this time because I wanted more of the beauty side of the game. It was a result of what Liverpool were at the time. I’m slowly piecing together the past in my head. I enjoy doing that so I really liked this show.
The exciting thing is, apart from the obvious thing or two I can’t remember how the season went. I certainly remember being in that central pen in April as later events made it stay with me and I remember big moments in May but little else. I can’t wait for the next episodes. I’m gonna start on the 86 season tomorrow and will probably get through all the whole back issues eventually, such was how much I enjoyed this.
Apologies for the reminiscing, I like it. Just finally, I know I can sometimes get carried away but I think Klopp could potentially return those days and that feeling when the whole country is eulogising over us. We almost had it in 2014 and we’ve had glimpses of it this season after City and Saints. I want it again but sustained. It gives me a really strange feeling of superiority, if I’m honest, when Liverpool are the kings.
Great show guys, possibly the best yet. Well done for tackling the race issue head on.
This must have been the most difficult one to get right because of what we now know and I think you got the tone just about right. It was exciting at the time, the signing of Barnes, Beardsley and Aldridge was almost unprecedented yet the warning signs were already there; Hansen was in decline, Lawrenson and Beglin were crocked, Gillespie was excellent but injury-prone, Kenny didn’t pay enough attention to the defence and the signing of players liked Venison marked, in retrospect, the beginning of our long decline: the replacement of great players with average players (he’d never have got a game under Paisley). Whether he’d have addressed weaknesses at the back had it not been for Hillsborough we’ll never know, whether anyone could have replaced Hansen and Lawrenson is a moot point, but I’m not sure Kenny signed any real Liverpool players (Rushie doesn’t count) after this summer. Indeed I’m not sure we signed a proper Liverpool player until Houllier signed Hyppia and Rafa, Pepe, Xabi and Torres.
Brilliant description of Barnes in his pomp: what a player he was. Beardsley and the oft forgotten Houghton were stars too.
I really enjoy these history pods,
I’m a sucker for nostalgia, I enjoy watching a bit of the (olden times) footie on you tube when im having had a drink over the weekend,
My Son is amazed that I enjoy a random game from 30 years ago with a crap picture and some cases an east European commentator ! I’m even happy to watch a non Liverpool game (the Dundee Utd Euro cup adventures in the 80s are well worth a look),
Trying to explain that it was rare any football was on TV apart from the odd Cup final & some internationals baffles him even more than my obsession with 70/80s footie,
This pod really took my back to a time and place like no other though,
I could nearly smell my old bedroom and can see the exact Liverpool calendar I had on the wall,
Frantically tuning into the BBC radio commentary where at times I’d need to walk around the house lifting this big ghetto blaster high and low in different rooms until you found a sweet spot where suddenly the signal cleared and you could hear the commentator and crowd, it was always a lottery how long the signal stayed good before you were off again on your never ending sweet spot trek,
My best mate was an Arsenal fan back when it wasn’t trendy in Ireland to be a young gun, in my room….. Me elated at Nicols header and him frozen in horror,
Praying that the commentator would say it was a foul or something,
The radio was a bugger for this, stopping you in your celebratory tracks or making a throw in awarded in your favour sounding like a last min bloody winner,
Neil then mentions about this being televised on BSS or something and I got a sudden memory of my Uncle (a ManU fan)
Who lived 30 odd miles away bringing me out a copy of the full match he had taped for me, the legend,
Home from school on a Monday to this tape,
I couldn’t believe it,
The full game, played out exactly how the radio described it two days earlier,
When we signed those three up top that Summer your gut told ya that good business had been done,
When you saw them for the first time,
Well the boys on the show nailed it so I’ll leave it there,
Cheers lads, had a shit week being sick for most of it but this was a decent pick me up,
A tonic of sorts even.
Only just got round to this and I intend to listen to part 2 asap. I wasn’t alive for this season but I know an awful lot about this side and ive seen the videos and stuff. But as great as this podcast was, it hasn’t half made me feel jealous of you lads and those who have commented so far on how great it was to watch that Liverpool team. I nearly had it in 13/14 but this sounds like something else. I never fully realised either how much Barnes was loved as a player. For Mike to say he’s the best he’s ever seen, even better than Gerrard, is some compliment. Great show lads, cant wait for the remaining parts.
How do we go back and listen to all of this??