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"The first of the many (1975-76)" by Frank Dacey


Bob Paisley’s career was so successful that it seems odd that he can ever have been doubted. Yet that was the case when his first season ended without a trophy, after the Reds had won three in the previous two seasons. If Bob was going to prove that he was the man to take over from Bill Shankly then he needed to win something as soon as possible.

As the 1976 season wound down there were two possibilities. We had scraped a 3-2 win in the first leg of the UEFA Cup final at home to Bruges but the away leg seemed a formidable obstacle and then there was the League title which all boiled down to one game against Wolves. This was the last game of the season. A win or a low scoring draw would do; anything else and the title would be won by QPR. Just to add spice, Wolves had to win to avoid relegation.

These days, such an important match would be shown on TV, but not then. Reds who couldn’t get to the Midlands would have to listen on the radio. There was no first half commentary, just score flashes so the agony can be imagined, especially when Steve Kindon put Wolves ahead after 13 minutes. Space was already being cleared in the Harold Steptoe trophy cabinet.

I can remember being completely unable to sit down during the second half commentary, just relentlessly pacing the room as the Reds dominated but just couldn’t score. Finally, with less than 15 minutes to go Kevin Keegan equalised. The title was ours as long as we held on but we did more than that, scoring twice more in the final five minutes. Talk about the agony and the ecstasy!

Inspired by this win, we went on to draw in Bruges to take the UEFA Cup. Sir Bob was up and running!

Clemence; Smith, Hughes, Thompson, Neal; Callaghan, Case (Fairclough 60), Kennedy; Keegan, Toshack, Heighway


Season: 1975/76
Opposition: Wolverhampton Wanderers
Result: 1-3
Scorers:  Kevin Keegan, John Toshack, Ray Kennedy
Venue: Molineux


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6 Comments

Ah now, Frank, you're teasing us with these great memories.

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yes, I remember that game too Frank.  BBC Radio could only broadcast the second half of games in those days, so you'd be itching for the second half to start.  

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As a Red born when I did , I have been very lucky with numerous trophies and memories, but Molineux in 1976 stands level with any of them outside Europe.

 

Sneaking out of school in the mid-afternoon break into my dad's car round the corner , we got down to Wolverhampton too late to get in the ground for kick off.

 

Ended up sitting in the streets outside huddled around a radio until the gates opened at three-quarter time ( Ask your dad !! ) when thousands of Reds poured into the ground.

 

I ended up in one of the home stands and it was that packed that I was stood on a Wolves fans seat without realising it. Most of you will have seen the game footage & the Liverpool fans sitting on the gravel behind the goal we were attacking.

 

I don't think I have celebrated a non-European  goal as loudly as I did Keegan's one & then the other two made it a carnival as the Wolves fans cleared off to digest their relegation.

 

I remember the M6 being at gridlock for hours & at one point a Reds fan walked right over the roof of our car & then over the car in front & with the windows open you could hear YNWA floating down the motorway from the jammed cars.

 

With all of the mega-nights to come it is easy to overlook the importance of the 1976 title, but not for those who were there.

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Was in the ground. Almighty crush,gates gave and suddenly we were all inside.
In the ground. It was chaos. But once Tosh scored, (seemed to take an age to turn), it was some party!
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I remember it well. The kop literally decamped to Molineax - away end - total mayhem with lads sat literally on the touch line - it certainly was the start of massive things......ie European Cup entry for 76/77
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Unfortunately my cousin was arrested in the mayhem (no reason) ....he never went again.
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