Books

Inside Bob Paisley's Liverpool

John Williams

Many years have now passed since the greatest period of European dominance by any English football club came to an end. Between 1977 and 1984, Liverpool won the European Cup an unprecedented four times and established themselves as the number-one team in Europe. It was during the successful European Cup campaigns of 1981 and 1984 that the unlikely figure of Alan Kennedy came to dominate the headlines.

Folk-hero left-back Alan Kennedy - nicknamed 'Barney Rubble' by fans after The Flintstones character due to his straightforward, no-frills approach to the game - scored the winning goal in the 1981 European Cup final against Real Madrid, as well as the nerve-twanging winning shoot-out penalty against AS Roma in 1984, a feat which secured his position in European football history.

Kennedy's Way examines Kennedy's footballing career under manager Bob Paisley (and, later, under Joe Fagan) and provides a retrospective account of Liverpool's dominance during those years. Drawing on Kennedy's memories of the period, as well as those of other players and backroom staff involved with the Reds at that time, it is an irreverent, revealing account of the dressing-room culture at the club while it was at the height of its powers.

The book concludes with reflections on Kennedy's post-playing life and on the trajectory of Liverpool since the Heysel and Hillsborough tragedies, in 1985 and 1989 respectively, right up to recent events at the club, including the exit of Gérard Houllier and the team's dramatic return to the pinnacle of European club football under new manager Rafael Benítez.

Into the Red

John Williams

After a decade in football wilderness, weighed down by the legacy of unmatched domestic and European successes in the 1970s and ’80s, Liverpool Football Club – under new French coach Gérard Houllier and forward-looking chief executive, Rick Parry – face up to the huge challenge of building a new team and a successful modern club at Anfield fit for the twenty-first century.

But change is never easy and a rough ride lies ahead. Hard-headed and controversial, Houllier and his policies are proving contentious: changing the dressing-room culture which has been central to the club’s earlier successes and his policy of player rotation, to name just two. So how does this new coaching guru, with a strong personal attachment to both the city and the club, see the future of the game and Liverpool’s place in it? And do the fans of the club – its lifeblood – share Houllier’s vision of a borderless international football squad and a more pragmatic, less flamboyant approach to playing the modern game?

Into the Red charts the place of football in the city of Liverpool, along with some of the reasons for the club’s dramatic fall from grace. It also reports on the extraordinary ‘revival’ season for Liverpool FC in 2000–01 as the club battled, uniquely, in Europe and at home for honours across four different fronts, and on season 2001–02, a dramatic one for Houllier in particular. It includes comment from some of the key protagonists at Anfield as Liverpool FC begins to build, on and off the pitch, an exciting new footballing era for the club, dragging it into the new millennium and ultimately challenging the great football epochs of the team’s history under legends such as Shankly, Paisley and Fagan.

Red Men

John Williams

Red Men is a unique and exhaustively researched history of Liverpool Football Club. The key figures of the club are featured, including the side's first great manager, Tom Watson; Elisha Scott, the darling of the Kop in the 1920s; and, of course, Bill Shankly, who won that elusive first FA Cup in 1965.

The recent tragedies that have shaped the club's contemporary identity are covered here, as are the new Continental influences at Liverpool and, of course, the glory of Istanbul in 2005 and the return to the club, as manager, of Kenny Dalglish in 2011.

Red Men is the definitive history of a remarkable football club from its formation in 1892 to the present day, told in the wider context of the social and cultural development of the city of Liverpool and its people.

Rafa

John Williams (and others)

In 2004, Rafa Benítez decamped from success at Valencia CF to become manager of Liverpool, bringing with him a platoon of Spanish players and designs on the club's first league title since 1990. In his first season in England, Benítez offered both hope and misery to Liverpool supporters. In Europe, the club battled to a memorable victory in the Champions League in 2005. Domestically, though, Liverpool faltered.

An FA Cup win in 2006 could not hide continued failings in the Premiership. Could Benitez yet turn Liverpool around and learn from his early mistakes? And could Liverpool overcome their own structural and ownership problems to deliver a new stadium and a team that would finally match their supporters' ambitions? Another Champions League final in 2007 and wealthy American owners at Anfield point to another exciting new direction for Liverpool FC and its ambitious Spanish coach.

Rafa examines the developing connections between the English and Spanish game and focuses on Benítez's attempt to bring European success and the Premiership title to Anfield. It also uniquely offers a detailed account from Spanish academic Ramón Llopis of Benítez's rise in the Spanish game, including his terrific work at Valencia.

The much coveted Rafa Benítez has brought a distinctly Iberian flavour to Liverpool Football Club, and this engrossing book reveals all you need to know about the man, his football philosophy and the new Spanish fury at Anfield.

Groove Armada

John Williams (and others)

In 2004 Rafa Benítez decamped from success at Valencia CF to become manager of Liverpool, bringing with him a platoon of Spanish players and designs on the club's first league title since 1990. In his first season in England Benítez offered both hope and misery to Liverpool supporters. In Europe the club battled to the final of the Champions League in 2005 and, against all expectations, won. Domestically, though, they faltered.

Could he yet turn Liverpool around and learn from his early mistakes? And could Liverpool overcome its own structural and funding problems to deliver a new stadium, new investors and a team to match its supporters' ambitions?

Groove Armada examines the developing connections between the English and Spanish game and focuses on Benítez's attempt to bring the Premiership title to Anfield in the 2005-06 season. It also uniquely offers a detailed account from Spanish academic Ramón Llopis of Benítez's rise in the Spanish game, including his terrific work at Valencia.

Rafa Benítez has brought a distinctly Iberian flavour to Liverpool Football Club, and this engrossing book reveals all you need to know about the man, his football philosophy and the new Spanish fury at Anfield.

Kennedy's Way

Alan Kennedy (and others)

Many years have now passed since the greatest period of European dominance by any English football club came to an end. Between 1977 and 1984, Liverpool won the European Cup an unprecedented four times and established themselves as the number-one team in Europe. It was during the successful European Cup campaigns of 1981 and 1984 that the unlikely figure of Alan Kennedy came to dominate the headlines.

Folk-hero left-back Alan Kennedy - nicknamed 'Barney Rubble' by fans after The Flintstones character due to his straightforward, no-frills approach to the game - scored the winning goal in the 1981 European Cup final against Real Madrid, as well as the nerve-twanging winning shoot-out penalty against AS Roma in 1984, a feat which secured his position in European football history.

Kennedy's Way examines Kennedy's footballing career under manager Bob Paisley (and, later, under Joe Fagan) and provides a retrospective account of Liverpool's dominance during those years. Drawing on Kennedy's memories of the period, as well as those of other players and backroom staff involved with the Reds at that time, it is an irreverent, revealing account of the dressing-room culture at the club while it was at the height of its powers.

The book concludes with reflections on Kennedy's post-playing life and on the trajectory of Liverpool since the Heysel and Hillsborough tragedies, in 1985 and 1989 respectively, right up to recent events at the club, including the exit of Gérard Houllier and the team's dramatic return to the pinnacle of European club football under new manager Rafael Benítez.

Biography

John Williams has written a number of books on football culture and is also the author of two books on Liverpool Football Club: Into the Red and The Liverpool Way.