[WARNING: WE’VE TAGGED THIS SHOW NSFW BECAUSE OF THE HONEST AND FORTHRIGHT NATURE OF THE DISCUSSION AROUND JOHN BARNES AND THE CULTURE OF FOOTBALL AT THE TIME.]
ONE of Liverpool’s greatest ever teams, one of Liverpool’s greatest ever managers, one of Liverpool’s greatest ever players. 87/88, Dalglish and Barnes.
This edition of our flagship history show sees Neil Atkinson and Mike Nevin joined by Gary Shaw and John Mackin to talk about a side which managed to win 4-0 almost every week.
The glory and majesty of this side is explored. John Barnes, Peter Beardsley, John Aldridge, Ray Houghton, Ronnie Whelan, Steve McMahon. The names rattle through the years.
Nevin, Mackin and Shaw also get into the sociological impact of John Barnes – how he changed minds and chants across the city of Liverpool. It’s an honest account and involves some racist terminology which used to echo across English grounds which isn’t safe for work but is in context.
The greatest goal ever scored comes up (says Atkinson) as does the quality of the defending.
What a side. What a team. What a show.
Brilliant program lads. For lots of us this is the best ever season. Your recollections are great entertainment. The racism issue handled very sensitively. Loved the Villa game memories!!! Without doubt the loudest away following I have ever seen- fantastic day and a great kit.
John Barnes was in Australia a year or so ago, and showed us, quite graphically, why some injuries slow players down. Rolling up his trouser leg, he displayed a sizeable gap where a lower leg muscle used to be.
Very charming man and entertaining speaker, talked frankiy about his career and like many of his contemporaries, just adored Bobby Robson.
Fantastic show – love hearing about the parrells between going to the match and society at the time. Fascinating, can’t wait for the next part
Great show. Really proud of you all for tackling the issue of racism head on. It’s a sensitive issue but you’ve dealt with it well.
I knew Jaffa’d get a mention at some stage! :-)
Hadn’t seen the NSFW acronym before. Had to look it up. I assumed it meant not suitable for wankers…..:-)
Again, really enjoyed this. The guests were excellent.
I could have listened to the bit on racism for hours. Hearing the influence Barnes had on society was absolutely fascinating, more so the effect on Everton fans. Obviously I remember the bananas but didn’t pick up on how attitudes were shaped by Barnes joining Liverpool (or more accurately, as was pointed out, being great for Liverpool).
As someone with a passion for human geography where you have to look at the chronology of attitudes or events to understand any given cultural shift, I find the ‘ooh let’s treat this with sensitivity’ attitude a bit strange. It was what is was. They were very racist times.
It still exists today but shifted from blacks to Asians. I see it everyday on fb. The casual racism that I took part in (on Chester’s terraces rather than Liverpool’s) is still going on but it’s moved from the terraces to fb posts.
For the record, I used to sing certain songs and laugh. There was no malice in it. It was just a song to me. I had to be later educated that it was wrong.
No one would make a joke or slur against a black man these days but I often see jokes about the Sikhs who sit behind the dugout at Old Trafford. I know 100% that if a premiership player played in a turban we’d see casual racism, but probably not in the ground. I think it’s good to discuss it. Even today, peoples ignorance is astonishing.
Britain is actually a very tolerant society. Living in a number of European countries confirmed this to me. But, like all countries it does have its share of true racists, usually borne out of confrontation (as was the case in Liverpool in the early 80’s) and casual racists usually borne out of ignorance. I don’t think it benefits anyone to pretend that’s not the case.
P.s listening to this got me thinking. If there’s never been a side so great as Kenny’s boys of 88, which I’d agree with, then I think it would be fascinating to dedicate a whole show to why Liverpool fell from grace so spectacularly. I suppose it might be too uncomfortable ground for you but I think there are multiple reasons that conspired to produce our decline.