Most Memorable Games, No.1 – Wolves (A) 1976
Title-winning mayhem, May 4th 1976
Reds fans of a certain age are fortunate to be able to look back on so many special occasions, crucial games, cup semi-finals and finals, title deciders, at home and abroad, away and at neutral venues. It amounts to a vast back catalogue of fantastic reminiscences, clearly etched in sharp relief against the indistinct blur of the mundane and routine endless procession of ‘ordinary’ matches - though watching the Reds should never be thought of as ordinary. But inevitably, there are some matches that stand out from the pack.
In this series I've tried to pick a few that I was present at - some obvious, some less so - to give TTT readers of a certain lesser age an idea of what it was like to be there, and in doing so to deposit a few more bars into the cultural gold vault that we all share.
I decided to miss out the 2000s onwards, because you'll already know about the many epic games we’ve had since then, focusing instead on those '70s and '80s, when we did rather well.
I was too young to attend the first FA Cup win in 1965, the Inter Milan European Cup semi-final, the European Cup Winners Cup final defeat to Dortmund at Hampden Park, or Shankly’s two title wins in the mid-60s. Those memories are just of grainy black and white TV images, and in the case of the Dortmund defeat, knocking over and smashing a vase from my mum’s coffee table (a Tiny Temper!), and having my pocket money stopped to pay for it, as well as being sent to bed instead of being allowed to stay up to watch Match of the Day! Tough love.
So the ‘70s is my starting point, though my first ever game at Anfield came in 1969, against Wolves (1-0, Roger Hunt!) And Wolves again, at Molineux just over seven years later, seems a great place to start.
Some context is needed. We entered our last game of that season in second position (where we had finished the previous season, Bob Paisley's first, behind Derby County), one point behind QPR, who just had to watch and pray Wolves would beat us. Wolves meanwhile would be relegated unless they won and Birmingham lost at Sheffield United, the only other game going on that midweek evening, in which case they'd stay up and send Birmingham down.
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