Two Tribes

Liverpool, Everton and a City on the Brink

Tony Evans

Cup Final Day, 1986, and the eyes of the world are on Liverpool and Everton as they walk out on to Wembley’s lush green turf. Pumped with pride and passion, the two best teams in Europe are about to engage in a gladiatorial battle in front of 100,000 fanatical supporters. But this is not just another match, another cup final. On this warm day in May, the future of English football – and a city’s reputation – is on the line.

A year before this momentous Cup Final, Liverpool fans had been involved in the Heysel disaster. Thirty-nine people had died in the decaying stadium – a tragedy which cast a long, dark shadow over the sport. English clubs were banned from Continental competition, and football reached its lowest point.

Tony Evans’s Two Tribes recalls the tumultuous 1985/86 season and the titanic struggle for supremacy between the two great Merseyside clubs. Set against a backdrop of social and political turmoil, it reveals the full impact of Thatcher’s policies, the vibrant northwest music scene and the burgeoning anti-establishment vibe on the streets and on the terraces.

Giving voice to players, managers, politicians and musicians, Two Tribes follows the remarkable twists and turns of a season and how Merseysiders took over London for one unforgettable day with deafening chants of ‘Merseyside! Merseyside!’ ringing around Wembley Stadium.

Ultimately, this is the story of Liverpool’s renaissance and Everton’s private agony, masked by a show of solidarity and communal spirit on the day, and how a season which began in shame ended in pride.

  • Bantam Press
  • Published 22nd March 2018
  • 304 Pages
  • 561g
  • £18.99