Today marks the latest in the series of games between one of the Manchester clubs and a Liverpool team. Yesterday (6 February 2021) we saw Everton score an equaliser deep in extra time in their 3-3 draw with United). Much will be made of the Manchester-Liverpool rivalry today and it is true that the two cities have been rivals for over 150 years (it certainly predates the building of the Ship Canal!) BUT the football clubs have not always been rivals.
The footballing rivalries came during the late 1960s but intensified in the late 70s. Prior to this one-off seasons may have seen grudge matches or significant games between clubs from the cities but nothing more than that. In fact for many, many years Manchester United and Liverpool, for example, were extremely close. They once put forward a suggestion to the Football League that all home teams should wear red and away teams white – the rest of football soon got wise to the plan!
There was also the time when United and Liverpool ‘fixed’ a game of football. It’s a long story (amazingly United’s solicitor was part of the ‘neutral’ investigating committee!) and can be read here: https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/01/14/match-fixing-manchester-united-v-liverpool-a-long-read/
The rivalry between the footballing clubs developed in the 60s and there were many significant games between all the clubs in the two cities with several prominent matches (there were significant grudge matches between Everton and City for example in the 60s and at one point Liverpool’s Bill Shankly told the media that City were Liverpool’s biggest rival!).
I’ve covered one particularly bitter moment in the City-Liverpool rivalry from the 80s here: https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/01/14/on-this-day-illegal-jumping-alf-grey-and-manchester-city-sorry/
I hope today’s game between City and Liverpool goes well (for the Manchester side of course) and it’d be great if one of the Blues could score four goals as Fred Howard did on his debut against Liverpool – see: https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/01/18/imagine-scoring-four-goals-for-mcfc-against-liverpool-on-your-debut/ – and Frank Roberts did: https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/01/17/the-flu-limits-mcfcs-selections-but-they-beat-liverpool-5-0-roberts-4-goals/