Jump to content
tlw content
tlw content

"The Heroes of Munich (1980-81)" by Kurt Henriksen

The 1980/81 season saw Liverpool battling to overcome injuries and ultimately struggle with their league form. In Europe, however, it was business as usual and come April they were ready to face Bayern Munich in the semi final of the European Cup.


The first game at Anfield ended in a scoreless draw and with Liverpool missing captain Phil Thompson and left back Alan Kennedy as they headed to Munich for the return leg, the Germans were rated clear favourites to reach the final. 
Liverpool lined up like this: Ray Clemence; Phil Neal, Richard Money, Colin Irwin, Alan Hansen; Sammy Lee, Greame Souness, Terry McDermott, Ray Kennedy; Kenny Dalglish, David Johnson 
After just seven minutes Liverpool's problems increased when Kenny Dalglish had to leave the field following a wild tackle by Calle Del Haye. Bob Paisley then introduced Howard Gayle.  Gayle's only first team experience at that time was an appearance as a substitute against Man C in October, but still it was to be a typical Paisley masterstroke. With his pace and close control Gayle unsettled the Munich defence and he should have earned Liverpool a first half penalty after being fouled by Dremmler.
In the second half Liverpool, against all odds, took control of the game. But Gayle, after an excellent performance, was tiring and had to be replaced by Jimmy Case. Liverpool had made both their substitutions and with both Souness and Johnson carrying knocks, Paisley knew they wouldn't stand a chance if the game went into extra time.
So he pushed Ray Kennedy up front, which was to be another masterstroke. Seven minutes before full time a long clearance from Ray Clemence found David Johnson on the right. He played a great ball to Kennedy, who controlled the ball with his first touch, and with the second hit an unstoppable volley past Walter Junghans.
With only minutes remaining Bayern Munich needed two goals to go through. They managed an equaliser three minutes before the end through Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, but when Ray Clemence produced a brilliant save from Norbert Janzon in the dying seconds, Liverpool were through to the final on the away goal rule.   This was Liverpools 113th game in Europe and probably their greatest achievement to that point. And what happened a month later in Paris, we all know!


Season:  1980/81
Opposition: Bayern Munich
Result: 1-1
Scorer(s): Ray Kennedy
VenueOlympic Stadium, Munich



User Feedback

Recommended Comments

Remember this game well listened yeah listened on the radio ( my lad was amazed European cup semi finals weren't Live back then) I literally went crazy when Kennedy scored, Gayle ran them ragged down the left a cracking result one of the best we ever had IMO


Sent from my C5303 using Tapatalk



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I loved to listening to footy on the radio when i was a kid.Even the most boring game was made out to be a epic by the commentators.Even when i listen to them on the radio now they dont seem the same,the commentators have gone downhill and seem to be auditioning for TV work rather than being good Radio commentators.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If memory serves me right this was the only European game when Bob Paisley man marked a player when he used Sammy Lee to do a job on Paul Breitner.

This was also after a first leg when Breitner had slagged off the way we had played and Munich had also been advertising for their fans on the best hotels to stay on Paris......not a clever idea to do that to Paisley .....

Compare the way Bob reacted to things going wrong in this game with injuries and decisions going against us like the Gayle penalty to how Ferguson had reacted like a demented drunk during the Madrid game last season.

As for Gayle he never quite made the most of his talent but the fact he's still remembered 30 plus years later ain't bad.

I also remember listening to this game on City as well and when Kennedy scored switching the radio off as couldn't take anymore, then watching the highlights on Sportsnight.......happy days.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for postng this. This was one of our greatest European nights. Memories fade a bit now but I recall we were a bit fortunate that the first leg ended 0-0. They hit the bar at the Anny Rd end and we were really up against it going into this. I have vivid memories of the build-up to the game on City and then Tyldesley's classic line "..and that will take us to Paris.." when Kennedy scored. I still have the Midweek Match play-out to this on a cassette - mixture of YNWA and match highlights. Wish I knew how to upload it. It will bring a tear to the eye.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Went to the 1st leg semi at Anfield and I'm sure Kenny hit the bar with one of his edge of the box turn and curlers but not seen any footage since so memory has faded a bit. We were up against it with a lot of injuries that year. Both our form and the Anfield turf was unusually below par that season but we reigned in Europe 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember fuck all about this until as I was only two and a half, but I clearly remember my Uncle would be gone for days every month or so and then would reappear in my Nan's all buzzing and singing, telling me Nan he was off to another European city in a few weeks.


This must be one of the many, many nights of worry he gave my Nan when he went travelling around Europe with the reds. Probably were he got his first pair of Samba as well.


Would loved to have experienced all that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...