Days A Week 2000 :
THE LEGENDARY MATCH Liverpool FC
vs FC Koln
Plus live music featuring Amsterdam and Steve Kennedy
like never before : JURGEN KISTERS
Film screening of the 1965 European Cup tie between Liverpool FC and
FC Kdln, which after three drawn matches was decided on the toss of
a coin. Films followed by local bands
Saturday 7 October at 7pm Admission £3 The Picket Live Music
Venue Trade Union Centre
24 Hardman Street Liverpool L1 9AX
like never before : JURGEN KISTERS
The quarter finals of the 1965 European Cup: the then German champions
FC Cologne meet the English champions Liverpool FC. There were three
matches, and a soccer drama that even thirty years after isn't forgotten.
The name Liverpool FC is mythical in the history of FC Cologne. For
Liverpool, those three matches mark the beginning of a unique success
story that, from the 1970s, turned the club into a European soccer
giant. After the games in Cologne and Liverpool both ended 0-0, the
deciding game took place in Rotterdam. The score, even after extra
time, was 2-2 and the winner was determined by the flip of a coin
- FC Cologne went out. This unfortunate defeat has become legendary
In 1965, both
Cologne and Liverpool were not only regarded as the best teams in
their own country, but also the best in Europe, which made them favorites
for the European Cup. Both teams boasted a number of young players,
the outcome of efforts by the trainers to build up their teams.
Bill Shankly former Scottish international player, was already surrounded
by a mythical aura. He had led Liverpool (founded in 1892) out of
its long spell in the Second Division into the First Division and
on to win the English Championship: Through football he gave Liverpool
people a sense of pride and solidarity. Anfield, the site of the legendary
Liverpool stadium, became the focus of a unique enthusiasm that transferred
the swing of Beat, of Beatle mania, directly to football.
You'll never walk alone
The famous stand behind the goal at Anfield, the Kop, was the place
for the most ardent fans. It was no accident that the most famous
anthems in football originated there. From the start of the 1960s,
fifty thousand fans in the ground sang and gave new words to songs
by the Beatles and other pop groups, thereby converting them to football
chants. "You'll never walk alone", the sentimental song
by Liverpool band Gerry and the Pacemakers, became the hymn of Liverpool
FC in the mid-sixties, the first football anthem in England. "You'll
never walk alone" expresses, like no other, the feeling of solidarity
that is linked with football in Liverpool. While the days of the week
may be grey and monotonous, the football game on a Saturday gives
life a special point: to win or to lose, and as an individual to be
a part of a larger community. "Football isn't a matter of life
and death. It's much more important than that", Bill Shankly
had said about the meaning of football in Liverpool.
Each match is proof that you can cope with
life, if you are prepared to fight and give your best. If you stick
together, nothing can happen to you, and that is true for the team
and for the fans. Then, in 1965, one could be certain that it was
the same players every week that wore the red kit and ran out onto
the pitch: Tommy Smith, Roger Hunt, Ian St John, Peter Thompson and
Ron Yeats (the team captain) were young players who remained constants
of the Liverpool team for many years.
All in white, like Real Madrid
FC Cologne was the starting point in the career
of several young players who were about to become regulars in the
German national team: Wolfgang Overath, Hannes Loehr, Karl-Heinz Thielen
and Wolfgang Weber. At the start of the 1960s, the club (created in
1848 out of the fusion of two suburban football clubs) was regarded
as the most modern of the German teams. They owned a clubhouse with
pitch and gymnasium on the outskirts of Cologne, which was exceptional
at the time. After Cologne had become German champions for the first
time in their history in 1962, the team also won the newly founded
Federal League Championships in 1964. With so many young, talented
players, the future seemed to be assured for the club, and nobody
in Cologne had any doubts that the team would follow in the footsteps
of Real Madrid. After all, the team colours were all white for both
teams, and Hans Schaefer, who had played in the legendary World Cup
team of 1954, was a member of the team.
300 minutes for a legend
When the Cologne team travelled to Liverpool
after the first leg in the Mungersdorf Stadium (10 Febuary), which
ended 0-0, few people thought they had a chance. It was almost impossible
for an outside team to win at Anfield, where the fans cheered their
home team fervently for a solid 90 minutes. With the players already
out on the snow-covered pitch on 3 March and pushing the ball across
the white surface, the match was cancelled at the last moment due
to the snowstorm.
On 17 March, the Cologne team returned to Liverpool.
This time the match took place. The Liverpool team attacked again
and again, but between the posts stood a goalkeeper who on this evening
was on the best form of his life. Toni Schumacher, fitter by trade,
thwarted one chance after another for the Liverpool team with his
parries, and he earned himself the nickname "the Liverpool hero".
"Mister Shoemaker" made the headlines in British newspapers,
and this achievement was the reason why, later on, another world class
goalkeeper from Cologne, Harald Schumacher, was given the nickname
"Toni". The second leg ended like the first, 0-0. A deciding
match had become necessary, which took place a week later in Rotterdam
on 24 March.
Schumacher, Pott, Regh, Hemmersbach, Weber,
Thielen, Sturm, Mueller, Loehr, Overath and Hornig were the players
in the Cologne team. On the Liverpool side Lawrence, Lawler, Byrne,
Smith, Milne, Yeats, Stevenson, Callaghan, Hunt, St.John and Thompson.
By the 37th minute, Liverpool had taken a 2-0 lead. By the 49th, however,
Cologne had fought valiantly to stay in the game and managed to level
the score through goals by Karl-Heinz Thielen and Hannes Loehr. The
team was additionally impeded, as Wolfgang Weber had suffered a fibular
fracture at the end of the first half, but he remained in the game
until the end. Fifteen minutes before the end and after another exciting
tackle, the ball wriggled for the third time in Liverpool's net. The
rejoicing was premature, though. The goal was disallowed, as two of
the Cologne players were offside.
At the end of 90 minutes the score remained
2-2; extra-time produced no further goals, and the coin had to decide
the outcome. Penalty shoot-outs did not exist at the time. In fact,
until that day no such game had been decided by the toss of a coin.
When the Belgian referee flipped the coin with red and white sides
on it, it got stuck upright in the mud. The coin had to be flipped
a second time, and this time it fell with the red side up. Liverpool
had won. (They dropped out of the European cup in the next round however,
defeated by Inter Milan in the semifinals, the result of controversial
decisions by the referee.) Although Cologne had lost, this game was
still one of the greatest victories in the history of the club. "Let
me see anyone repeat this: to be trailing two goals behind against
such a team, and then turn it into 2-2 in the end with only ten players",
said Hans Schaefer, who could not play because of an injury, after
the match. Bill Shankly said about FC Cologne: "This team didn't
deserve to drop out through the toss of a coin. I have to be honest.
Liverpool were not the better team."
by Marion Leibl, with grateful acknowledgments to Dave Trafford.
SNOW AND COLOGNE : TONY WAILEY RECALLS
THE ENCOUNTER BETWEEN LIVERPOOL FC AND FC COLOGNE IN 1965,
OPPOSITE, JURGEN KISTERS GIVES A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE ON FOOTBALL
IN THE TWO CITIES
Snow, snow everywhere the last few days. They didn't tell you anything
then, but all roads do lead to Rome. St John writing in the paper
that morning about European fans. Good supporters, but "do they
know about our crowd? Bells, horns and bugles all make a noise but
there is nothing like the Anfield roar", and the walking up Fountains
Road and the queuing. We queued from 5 o'clock, me and the old man.
He'd had -a heart attack the year before so we did not go on the Kop.
Twenty eight thousand heaving on the same terrace, singing and swaying
and roaring under the one roof would be too much for him. So we stood
in lines just by the side wall and waited for the Paddock to open.
Hours later, when they opened the gates, we were still well down in
the queue that stretched away to the park. We felt the snow come down
heavier in big blotched flakes and heard the roar when the Liverpool
team came out in their coats to look at the pitch. When we finally
stood in the ground under the floodlights you could see the wind start
to drive the snow that already lay across the pitch.
They were singing over in the Kop and I wished I was in my normal
space high above the goal and over towards the boys' pen. This was
our first season in the European Cup but here and there you could
see the flags of Anderlecht and Reykjavik where we had been before.
The ground was full before seven. There was a moan when they announced
the teams. All week there had been the question on whether Yeats would
play and now the answer was no. Then the referee was out again looking
at the weather, the linesmen with him, and as the snow gusted there
was an army of sweepers across the pitch trying to keep the lines
clear. The singing was louder now and you could see the Kop starting
to sway and the steam rising up under the lights. Then the roar and
the whistling as Cologne came out, all in white, white dancers on
the snow and the dark heavy ball they kicked in with and the storm
of noise as they ran towards the Kop.
Then the referee came out again as the Cologne
players kicked about and the old man looked at his watch. It was just
gone twenty past seven. The snow was driving hard now. You could see
it blowing in under the Kop as if it was being sucked into a slaughterhouse,
and away over you could hardly see the Anfield Road, even with the
The old man kept looking at his watch. Time passed. He said, "There
must be murder outside". Then we heard over the tannoy that it
had been postponed. The Cologne team came onto the pitch once again
and everyone thought the match was on and there was a huge roar. The
Cologne players started to wave and then they went back down the tunnel
and there was a lot of angry booing. Liverpool had never come out.
There was an announcement that we would all be issued 'passouts',
tickets that we could use again when the match would be replayed,
except in the hubbub nobody heard it on the Kop and they did not repeat
it again or if they did, nobody noticed. That's when the madness started.
There were nearly 50,000 in the ground and if you took away the stands
that meant 43,000 passouts had to be issued. We were all right in
the Paddock where there were only 5000 tickets and a *number of turnstiles.
Even then, it took another hour of queuing. I was glad I had come
with the old man. In the Kop you could see the swaying and hear the
angry, frustrated buzz.
We had left the house at four o'clock from
the north end of the city and we did not get back until nearly eleven.
The snow was everywhere and all we had for seven hours out in the
cold was the two swift glimmers-of the Cologne team ard no sight at
all of our beloved Reds. I followed the team home and away until I
went to sea. I knew I would not make the following game as the ship
was leaving in a few days' time to go 'around the land', before the
sugar run to the West Indies. On the way home as the bus crawled and
the snow drove through the streets of. Bootle and Seaforth and Waterloo,
I looked at my yellow ticket then passed it over to the old feller.
At the dock, catering superintendents would be waiting anxiously,
half tide lock gate men with bicycle clips around their ankles, deck
superintendents, customs officials, shore gangs, hangers on, shift
watchmen, all wanting us away so they could get onto their next ship.
Shouting and trying to jump aboard for smokes as we come home. Now
we were costing them money by staying. The ship would go out through
the great churning locks, the blackened wood of the inner gates of
the Canada basin. And never a night when there would not be a dockers
gang to be working under the lights, coats folded against the winter
weather, the sweet smells of ` their tobacco filling the bus home
after the football. Smells that you had grown up with. Stuff that
couldn't be changed, but I wouldn't see that game again.
We did not know then about Oakfield Road where all the shops were
turned into casualty stations, nor the collapsing of the yard walls
in the Kemlyn Road due to the weighf of the crush: We did not know
about the announcement not being heard on the Kop and the milling
about and the confusion, people collapsing with exhaustion. Waiting
to go into the game, waiting for the game, waiting for their passouts
afterwards. Most of the Kop turnstiles were locked after the crowd
had entered the ground. Thousands were being funnelled to the few
left open for the passouts. "You had to be a wrestler to get
in and a hurdler to get out", said one who climbed over tb escape.
Many tried to leave without tickets, such was the crush. Younger,
fitter ones were jumping back over the high walls to join the file
again. It was hard in there and it was nearly mayhem. Most of the
injured had got that way because they were too tired to do anything
else. Even my old man was blowing by the time we got back for the
bus, and ours had been an easy passage.
All I remember was the snow and the singing and the white shirts of
Cologne and the navy blue pull up collar of the goalkeeper. That guy
played his heart out two weeks later as we stayed glued to the ship's
radio then went ashore in Glasgow. Poor, sweet, devastated Glasgow
where we were bought drinks and shook our heads as we watched the
television highlights of 'Toni' Schumacher making his wonderful saves.
My old man went again and took one of the cousins with him on the
strength of that yellow ticket.
So much was happening that season, not only with the European Cup
but also with the Football Association Cup which we had never won
in our entire history. There were replays and overlapping games every
week. Three days after the Cologne postponement we played Leicester
away and drew in the sixth round, then played them in a replay the
following Wednesday, then a league match on the Saturday, then the
Cologne game again, then another league game, then the third Cologne
game, then the semi-final of the Cup three days later. Apart from
one league game, we won everything. This was the season that we started
to understand what playing in Europe really meant.
The lesson extended to the San Siro where we
lost to more than just two controversial goals, the bribing and later
life suspension of the Yugoslavian referee. We lost some more of our
naivet6 too. We learnt an awful lot from Europe that season but none
more so than from Cologne. They showed us that to draw away was not
always good enough in this company. Some of our greatest triumphs
have echoed this truth. Three decades later it .is only Real Madrid
that could match our nine consecutive seasons in the real champions
It was funny really that one of the ship's boilers developed a fault
and, instead of a straight passage from Liverpool to Barbados, the
Harrison boat had to put into San Nazaire, the port for Nantes on
the west coast of France, where we had first played in Europe in some
Mickey Mouse competition around the turn of the Sixties. It was from
there, with the evening light sweeping the quayside, and the sky across
the Atlantic, with packets of yellow cigarettes, drinks of pernod
and a mountain of small beers before us, that we again saw the highlights,
flickering from a television in the dockers' bar, and Rowdy Yates
toss the coin, and St John hold his head . in his hands. We thought
he'd lost it, then they tossed again after the coin got stuck in the
mud and St John was dancing up and down and being joined by Billy
Stevenson and Rowdy himself. Three Scotsmen all dancing in springtime
Someone wrote later "that Cologne should go down after 300 minutes'
play and after a great rally tonight was a subject almost for tears".
We did not shed any but we knew there had been a fight and we knew
the match would be remembered. Writing this now, the words of the
song by The Beautiful South come to mind, "Everywhere is Rotterdam
and everywhere you roam, Everywhere is Rotterdam in Liverpool or Rome".
It might have been coined for us that night.
Later, while we sat sweating in the Hurricane ports, the old man sent
a letter. He said simply, "That goalie, for a fat man, made some
saves. He must have been wearing the shamrock". It all seemed
a long way from the soldiers clearing the railway lines and the roads
across Merseyside that early March night in 1965. The snow blotching
everywhere, the queues and the singing rising up into the air and
the long walk down Fountains Road with the smells of the ale houses
and the chip shops and the black I ass of the docks below us and the
lights on the river where the ~ mass Harrison boats docked.
The letter was for later. It wasn't snow that blew around the heat
but the dynamite humidity and us now as we sat at anchor and listened
to the BBC's World Service for commentary of the European up final.
Inter Milan might have cheated us, Cologne might have ought us to
the toss, but it was the Reds who should have been n Rome that year.
We would be back.
Liverpool, April 1998 Tony Wailey works at the University of East
He lives in Liverpool at the weekends. His
latest book is Liverpool-Cartagena, published by Northern Lights,