Eight Days A Week 2000 : THE LEGENDARY MATCH Liverpool FC vs FC Koln
Plus live music featuring Amsterdam and Steve Kennedy
Football 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

Football 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 Cologne.

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.

Liverpool manager 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."

Translated by Marion Leibl, with grateful acknowledgments to Dave Trafford.



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 lights.
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 league.
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 Rotterdam.
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 London.

He lives in Liverpool at the weekends. His latest book is Liverpool-Cartagena, published by Northern Lights, April 2000.



web site: Tony Knox