Joe Fagan

Joe Fagan

 

Liverpool were to turn to one of the founding members of The Boot Room, Joe Fagan. Appointing from within the club remained a strong policy with Liverpool, something that distinguished the Merseyside club from others.

Joe Fagan’s association with the Reds started at birth. Fagan was born in Liverpool, and grew up in the Litherland area.

Joe Fagan had remained Bob Paisley’s number two and had the respect of the players. Like the managers before him, Fagan had an eye of talent and could identify strengths and any weakness of a team. To fill Bob Paisleys boots was no mean feat but what Joe Fagan achieved in his time at Liverpool was nothing short of remarkable.

The Treble

During his first season, he led Liverpool to a treble. Liverpool secured their fifteenth league title with Ian Rush finding the net 32 times that season in the league. The League Cup opponents were Everton and after a 0-0 draw the final was to be replayed three days later at Maine Road. With Souness scoring the only goal of the game, Liverpool were crowned winners of the League Cup for a fourth time. Two pieces of silverware had been added to the trophy cabinet and with a European Cup Final still to play, more was to come.

European Cup Number Four

Liverpool faced AS Roma in the European Cup returning to the scene of their first triumph in Rome. Liverpool started the game well and Phil Neal struck a loose ball into the back of the net. AS Roma equalized through Pruzzo and after 120mins the game headed to a penalty shoot out. This was the first time the European Cup was decided on a penalty shoot out.

The first to step up was Steve Nicol who saw his penalty fly past the crossbar. Roma scored with their first and the ever reliable and ‘spot kick’ maestro Phil Neal slotted the Liverpool’s second. The pressure was telling and AS Roma missed their second. Souness, Righetti and Ian Rush went onto convert their penalties. Stepping up to now take his penalty for AS Roma was Graziani. While Graziani was getting ready to take his penalty, Bruce Grobbelaar was beginning to draw the attention of everyone in the stadium and the millions of viewers worldwide.

Des Lynam described it ‘..one of the famous moments in penalty shoot out history..’ In his attempt to distract Graziani, Grobbelaar began to wobble his legs, shake his body and appear a nervous wreck. It certainly did the trick as Graziani blasted his spot kick just clipping the crossbar. Liverpool were now in pole position and Alan Kennedy, the hero of the 1981 European Cup Triumph stepped up to take the next penalty. Alan Kennedy, placed the ball on the spot and with a swing of his sweet left boot, scored the winning penalty, securing Liverpool’s fourth European Cup.

 

It was an incredible season for Joe Fagan who continued the rich traditions of Liverpool FC in ensuring that ‘Old Big Ears’ would take the pride of place at Anfield. On a personal note, Joe Fagan was named Manager of the Season for his achievements. He was the first English club manager to achieve the treble.

Joe Fagan

The following season saw Fagan lead the Reds to another European Cup Final. Fagan had decided prior to the final that he would be stepping down as manager. The tragic events that transpired before kick off on that ill fated night saw the deaths of 39 fans. Liverpool lost the final to Juventus 1-0. Fagan who had experienced the unforgettable highs of the previous year would finish his tenure as Liverpool manager on a low.

Fagan continued the legacy set by Shankly and Paisley. In his first season he won a treble as well as taking the club to two European Cup finals.

Honours as a Manager:

League Cup Winners: 1984
Div 1 Champions: 1984
European Cup Winners: 1984
League runners-up: 1985
European Cup finalists: 1985
F.A. Cup semi finalists: 1985

Joe Fagans Signings:

Gary Gillespie

Gary Ablett

Jim Beglin

Jan Molby

Paul Walsh

John Wark