A Season to Remember – 1983/4
Just the Three Trophies in Joe Fagan's First Season as Manager
If Bob Paisley had had an unenviable task when he replaced Shankly in 1974, then spare a thought for Joe Fagan when he succeeded Paisley in summer 1983.
Fagan, Paisley’s right hand man, faced the little matter of following a man who’d just achieved the quite remarkable haul of 12 major trophies in just nine seasons at the helm - six league titles, three European Cups and three League Cups over the last three successive seasons. Paisley presided over a double trophy season in five out of those nine.
Some act to follow. You’d have thought the only way was down.
But Joe Fagan didn’t make a bad start, writing his name into the record books by becoming the first British manager to win three major titles – the league, the European Cup and the League Cup, then in its Milk Cup denomination - in one season, his first. (17 years later, another Liverpool manager would also when a treble of major trophies, when Houllier landed the three cups in 2001. But in between, that ghastly event in 1999 happened, United’s ‘proper’ treble, accept no imitations, blah blah etc.). Liverpool remain the only English club to have had two treble seasons.
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