Into Europe - an LFC magazine from 1963

From "Into Europe" - an official souvenir of Liverpool Football Club in the 1963-1964 season.

After spending several years in the dark wilderness of division two during the 1950’s, Liverpool often dared to flirt with success but not once achieved it. Liverpool FC eventually gained promotion in 1960-61, promotion from Division two was vital if Liverpool were going to compete with the other well established soccer rivals and project the playing philosophy of our much admired manager Bill Shankly.

Once promotion was achieved, the next goal would be first to stabilise our position, evaluate the playing capabilities of the then current squad and build for the future. It is often said “that there is no sentiment in football” this was sadly proved to be the case for one of the finest players to ever wear the Liverbird upon his chest – Billy Liddell.

This indeed was a transitional period for the reds it was vitally important for Liverpool to at the very least retain their division one status. In season 1963-64 Liverpool FC were crowned “Champions of Division One” this being our 5th division one Championship since entry into the league.

This article is dedicated to the Liverpool management, backroom staff, players and supporters whose memories of the 1963-64 squad still burn bright today.

Some of the people mentioned went on to be “immortals” in the name of Liverpool FC others had their five minutes of glory and were sadly never heard of again. Each and every one of them played their part in the establishing and then spearheading Liverpool’s relentless quest for fame and glory.

A few words from the manager - Bill Shankly.

It hasn’t been easy – success rarely is! But at long last, after close on four and a half years at Anfield, I have achieved one of my top ambitions – to manage a club good enough to win the Football League Championship.

Ever since joining Liverpool in the close of 1959 I have firmly believed that the Anfield club could reach the top. For me the potential was always there. But you’ve got to work hard for success. And from the start everyone connected with the club has played his part. Throughout football I’m known as a fighter. I’m not ashamed to admit it, for I believe that a will-to-win spirit can mean so much when you are reaching out for success. Never give up, I say, and I am firmly convinced that this code instilled into every member of the Anfield staff has helped to bring success.

If the players are fighting all the time and never give up no matter now hopeless it may seem there’s always a chance. With this belief comes a second-to-none team spirit, and this has meant more than anything in Liverpool’s fight to reach the top rung of the ladder. But don’t get me wrong on this. Team spirit alone is not enough. First and foremost there must be footballing ability, and the proof that there is plenty at Anfield is the individual successes of our players at international level.

This is only the beginning, I feel sure. There are still many battles to be won and many opponents to be beaten. So lets get down to business once more – the business of keeping Liverpool Football Club on the soccer map.

Bill Shankly
Born in the Ayrshire village of Glenbuck and one of ten children, Bill Shankly has always been football daft. His big chance came in 1932. Spotted by Carlisle, he was invited for a trial and signed as a professional. At the end of his first season there he was transferred to Preston for £500. At Deepdale he was soon recognised as a top-class wing-half, and during his stay Shankly was capped for Scotland, and helped Preston gain promotion and twice reach Wembley to collect runners-up and Cup-winners medals. During the war years he guested with several clubs, returned to Preston, and then joined Carlisle once more – this time as manager. He held similar posts at Grimsby, Workington and Huddersfield before moving to Liverpool.

The Backroom Boys

Reuben Bennett
Aberdeen-born Reuben Bennett began as a player with Hull City. Goalkeeper Reuben played for a Aberdeen junior select at Hull, was spotted and signed. After he was injured, he moved north again, to Queen of the South, and after was service he joined Dundee, for whom he played eight years. He finished his days there as trainer. The next step was a move to Motherwell, with whom he served as trainer, then it was on to Third Lanark in a similar capacity. Finally, more than five years ago, Reuben returned south of the Border, to Liverpool. And he has been coach there ever since. “They’ve all been good years,” he says, “but the best was when Liverpool won the title.”

Bob Paisley
The inside-forward from Hetton-Le-Hole (Co Durham) had his hopes of football fame dashed when Wolves said: “Sorry, too small.” So back he went to join Bishop Auckland – and as a wing-half, helped them win the Amateur Cup. And in 1939, he joined Liverpool. The war took Bob abroad for more than four years, in which time he played for a Combined Services team, and 1947 saw him win a championship medal with Liverpool. But when the Reds reached the F.A. Cup final in 1950, Bob’s name was missing from the team sheet. After having played in all the previous rounds, he had the consolation of receiving a Wembley medal, however. By 1953-4 season, his playing days were ending, and he took over the reserves as a trainer. In his second year, they were Central League runners-up; the next they finished top for the first time ever. Followed a year coaching with the club, then Bob became first team trainer.

Joe Fagan
The wheel of soccer fortune has turned full circle for second-team trainer Joe Fagan, who began his soccer career with Liverpool schoolboys in 1935. Between times he played with Manchester City for whom he signed at 17. He helped City in the Second Division title in 1947/8, retired the following season to become player-manager of Lancashire Combination side Nelson. Then he was trainer at Rochdale, moved to Liverpool as assistant trainer in 1958, and in his first four seasons in charge, Liverpool reserves finished Central League runners-up.

Pen portraits of the stars who made Liverpool the team of the year

Tommy Lawrence
Dark-haired goalkeeper Tommy Lawrence was born in a little place in Ayrshire called Dailly. He played for Ayrshire, and joined the Liverpool ground staff at 16. A year later, he signed professional forms. Now Liverpool is his home, and his wife Judy, is a local girl. Tommy’s skill has been honoured by Scotland with an under – 23 cap against Wales, and a full cap against the Republic of Ireland. His ambitions are few, but important. To win another Scottish cap and help Liverpool to further success. The greatest moment in my career was when he saved George Eastham’s penalty in the game which earned Liverpool the League title. His worst moment? – Losing to Leicester in the cup semi-final at Hillsborough two seasons ago. Likeable Lawrence is remarkably agile for all his six-foot, 13 stone frame. And apart from football he has managed to get his golf handicap down to 15.

Gerry Byrne
Liverpool-born, soft-spoken Gerry Byrne has an unusual confession – “as a schoolboy I wasn’t keen on professional football.” Keen or not, Gerry had sufficient skill and enthusiasm to play for Liverpool Catholic boys and Liverpool county boys at left-back. And it was after one game that a Liverpool scout asked him if he would be interested in joining the Reds. That changed things! Gerry took the plunge, and signed on leaving school at 15. When he turned professional at 17, he was still a left-back, but two years ago he switched to the opposite flank, and he “graduated” to become a member of Liverpool’s promotion team. The selectors took notice, and Gerry won an under-23 cap against Wales. His biggest honour, of course, was a full cap for England against Scotland – but it gave him his worst moment, too. For, as he says ruefully: “Scotland beat us at Wembley.”

Ronnie Moran
If they’re not from north of the Border, they’re local-born at Anfield. And a home-grown star is left-back Ronnie Moran, who played for Crosby schoolboys, Bootle schoolboys and Lancashire schoolboys. But the way he came to play for Liverpool was unusual – he was recommended by the postman who used to deliver letters to the club chairman! Liverpool took the hint, watched Ronnie – and signed him as soon as he left school. Club soccer won him Football League honours against the Scottish League and the Irish League, and in the Army, he played in the Western Command team. But on demob., it was straight back to Merseyside for Ronnie – and he has notched about 350 League games for Liverpool. He confesses to his worst moment – “I don’t think I’ll ever forget it .. when I missed that penalty against Swansea, and we went out of the Cup!” But the title success provided him with his consolation. Now he has one ambition – spurred, maybe by the memory of that penalty miss. “I’d like to play at Wembley in an F.A.Cup final.”

Phil Ferns
Versatile Phil Ferns began his career as a wing-half, but played 17 games as first-team full back in Liverpool’s championship-winning season. He has also played at inside-forward in the reserves. Liverpool-born Phil played for Liverpool Boys Associations until he was 18, when he signed professional for Liverpool. While doing his National Service, he met and married a local girl. Jean. Now there are three, with two-year old baby Phil the pride and joy. Footballer Phil has fulfilled one ambition – to play for Liverpool against Everton. Now his main objective is to gain a regular place in the Liverpool first team. His best moment? Knowing he was in the derby game. The worst? “Knowing I had reduce from 13½ stone to 11st 8lb. when I was demobbed;” Phil is still the same 11st 8lb, which suits his 5ft 9in frame, and he lists his hobbies as horse-racing and reading.

Willie Stevenson
Edinburgh-born Willie Stevenson began playing for juvenile team Edina Hearts, then moved on to juniors Dalkeith Thistle. He played for Scotland schoolboys three years in a row, and played at Goodison against England. Arsenal’s Joe Baker was the Scotland centre-forward. At 17, Willie signed professional for Rangers, and in his six years at Ibrox won a Cup medal and a League-championship medal, and was in the European Cup semi-final side beaten by Eintracht. Lack of first team opportunity, however, sent left-half Willie to Australia, but he soon came home, and when Rangers granted his transfer request, he joined Liverpool in 1962, since when he has been an ever-present.

Chris Lawler
Liverpool-born Chris Lawler is one of the best reserves in the country. His first team chances at centre-half have been limited because of the form of skipper Ron Yeats, but he gives 100 per cent for his only club. Chris has always been a centre-half, and has always been a football star. He skippered England schoolboys and England youths. And it was natural that he should join his boyhood favourites, Liverpool, as a professional when he was 17. His ambition is to get established in the first team, and he lists as his finest moment, when he went out at Wembley as a schoolboy to help England beat Germany 2-0. As he says “Everything in football is great.” Chris can trap most of today’s centre-forwards, but so far he has avoided being trapped himself by one of the fair sex. Understandable, maybe. For his life revolves around football. In leisure moments, he plays golf, but mostly he is talking or playing football.

Gordon Milne
Famous son of a famous father – that’s Liverpool and England right-half Gordon Milne. Yet it wasn’t always a path of roses for Gordon. This Preston-born lad started as an inside-forward, played for Preston schoolboys and Preston and Lancashire youths. He joined North End, switched to wing-half, and became a professional. And with “Dad” as trainer, there were no favours going! Gordon was understudy to Tommy Docherty, now the manager of Chelsea. But Docherty became an Arsenal player, manager Cliff Britton left, and Gordon found his fortunes fluctuating – and his happiness wasn't increasing. Eventually, Gordon felt the only way was to try his luck with another club and the night Preston played Arsenal, he signed for Liverpool. Even then, he recalls, it took time to settle. But once he did, he made rapid strides towards fame. Now he’s well on the way to a score of international honours. His top moment: his first cap, against Brazil. His ambition: “To play for Liverpool as long as I can.” Gordon and his wife, Edith have a baby son and like team-mate Gerry Byrne, Gordon’s hobby is woodwork.

Ron Yeats
When you learn that centre-half and skipper Ron Yeats served his time for five years as a slaughterman in Aberdeen, it comes as no surprise to see the way he cuts opposing centre-forwards down to size. In soccer, Ron kicked off as a pivot with Aberdeen Lads club, and at 19, signed for Dundee United. He was in the team which lifted the Second Division title on its way to promotion, and played in the first season which saw United back in the top grade. Then came the Army. And he admits: “Army Soccer helped to give me experience for English football.” As a Scottish youth international, he played against England, Ireland and Wales. He was twice reserve for Scotland under-12, four times reserve for the full international side, and once has been travelling reserve. Ron’s soccer highlights? – “Helping Liverpool gain promotion in the first year I came, then helping them win the title. Now all I want is the European Cup or the FA Cup in my third year as skipper – and of course, that Scotland cap.” Off the field, Ron is a family man – he and his wife, Margaret, have three girls aged six, three and one.

Ian Callaghan
Local-born Ian Callaghan started as a right-half with Liverpool schoolboys. An enthusiastic supporter of the Reds as a lad, he signed for them as soon as he left school. But his days as a wing-half were numbered – “I was very small, and I wasn’t doing too well as a half-back.” So he switched to the wing. Six games in the reserves and he was promoted to the first team. The man from who he took over? The legendary Billy Liddell. It was a home game, against Bristol Rovers – and the Reds, as usual, won. Ian admits to having felt a bit nervous – for, apart from knowing Billy had been hero-worshipped by many Anfield fans, Ian was following in the foot-steps of his own soccer idol! Ian’s worst moment was “the day Everton beat us last season.” His greatest? “Winning the title,” Now he hopes to add an F.A. Cup winner's-medal to his trophies. A single lad, Ian collects records for a hobby. His favourites... Who else, but the Beatles? His holiday hobby is camping – in the Lakes or Wales.

Roger Hunt
Opposing defences have good reason to fear the blonde head of Roger Hunt, as the inside-forward's 33 Cup and League goals last season testify, and it has always been so. Former Leigh Grammar-schoolboy, Roger played for Stockton Heath, and in 1958 signed amateur forms for Liverpool, taking the plunge into professionalism the following year, when he left the Army. Since then, he has been capped by England and twice played for the Football League, and his remaining ambition is to play for Liverpool in a Cup final. Talking of the Cup, Roger remembers his worst footballing moment as the losing semi-final against Leicester. His best: beating Arsenal to clinch the league title. Roger’s wife, Pat, and son David (4), occasionally lose him to a game of golf (handicap 15). Says Roger: I help Dad out too, in the office of his haulage business, and sometimes I drive for him.

Alf Arrowsmith
Inside-forward Alf Arrowsmith is the almost-local boy who made good. Born in Manchester, he was keen on all sports, but apart from school “kickabouts”, he played little football as a boy. On leaving school, he played as an amateur for Ashton United in the Lancashire Combination and his scoring feats reached the ears of many professional clubs. League scouts formed a fair percentage of Ashton followers. Offers came pouring in for his signature, but in 1960, on his 17th birthday, he signed as professional for Liverpool – “and that was one of the best moments of my life,” he says. First-team opportunities were not easy at Anfield, but another moment always to be remembered was on his FA Cup debut, when he scored four goals against Derby County. Alf, who won a senior place only midway through last season, has two ambitions – to play for England Under-23, then to gain a full cap. His most disappointing moment came in the F.A. Cup quarter-final, when Liverpool were beaten by Swansea. Alf, who has been married only a few months, collects pop records, and in the summer switches from soccer to cricket.

Ian St. John
An epidemic of influenza gave Ian St. John his chance to stake a claim for soccer fame – and he’s never looked back since. St. John the schoolboy began his footballing career as an inside-right, and when he left school he played for a works team, a boys club, and junior club Douglas Water Thistle. Finally he was called up by Motherwell. Ian got his first-team chance because flu’ had laid out current star players. He was never dropped – and at the end of the following season, collected his first full cap, against West Germany. Now he can boast four Scottish League honours, four under-23 caps, and a score of full internationals. Ian recalls his worst moment in soccer – “Losing in the FA Cup semi-final to Leicester. I had become obsessed with getting to Wembley.” Winning the title made up for that Cup of bitterness – but Ian still has a hankering to walk up the Wembley steps. He’s also got hopes of Liverpool making their mark in the European Cup. As for hobbies – “I like all sports.” Two of his favourites are golf and boxing – he goes to all the big fights possible, and he knows what’s what, for he used to box.

Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson has progressed from playing for Carlisle boys to the Everest of football ambitions, playing for his country. Before he was 15, Peter had worn the colours of Carlisle boys, Cumberland boys and England boys. Preston nipped in smartly to sign him as a 15-year old, and as a full time professional at 17, he made his League debut against Arsenal – at centre forward. Twice Peter has been named for the England Under-23 team – and twice he refused to play... once for a Cup replay, and once to help Preston out of relegation trouble. But he won Young England caps against Germany, France and Scotland, and his move to Liverpool last August was the start of a glorious season in which he collected a championship medal and his first full cap against Portugal. Beating Arsenal to clinch the title was his best footballing moment: losing to Swansea in the Cup quarter-final was his worst. During the summer, he spends a lot of time in his caravan business in Preston, with a little time off for golf. He also likes pop records and - yes,he is a Beatle fan.

Gordon Wallace
Dapper Gordon Wallace is the odd-man-out among the Anfield Scots. For he speaks with a lilting Welsh accent. He explains; “I was born in Lanarkshire, but my family moved to Llanelly when I was five.” Another odd thing is he played Rugby mostly as a schoolboy, managing a game of soccer only on Saturdays. His skill at inside-forward in the Carmarthanshire League soon brought him to the notice of Huddersfield, who invited him for a trial. Just after his second trial at Leeds-road, the Huddersfield manager left to become boss at Anfield. And it was manager Shankly who persuaded Gordon to join up with him at Liverpool. So on his 17th birthday, he signed as a professional. Gordon is engaged to a Welsh girl in Llanelly, but his greatest ambition is to play for Scotland against England at Hampden. His no. 1 thrill to date was his League debut against West Brom, but he will never forget his first game in a Liverpool shirt. It was in his first season, and he broke his leg. His hobbies? – Reading, golf, and stamp collecting.

Jimmy Melia – An old boy
One can sense a tinge of regret as Jimmy Melia says: “I’m glad the lads pulled it off.” Liverpool-born Jimmy speaks with the accent of his native city, and was regarded as a key man in the Reds fight for honours last season. The regret, no doubt, was occasioned by the fact that he wasn’t around for the final moment of triumph. For now he wears Wolves' colours. Inside-forward Jimmy, one of the top men in the country at his job, kicked off for Liverpool and England schoolboys, went on to Anfield, and at 18, made his first-team bow. In Liverpool’s Second Division days, he had mixed fortune, playing in and out of the first team. But the year the Reds won the Second Division championship, Jimmy played in all 42 games. Youth and Army honours were behind him when, the year Liverpool regained Division 1 status, Jimmy was capped for England. “One of those things that happens in football” saw Jimmy leave Liverpool. Dogged for a spell by injury, he fought his way back into the Reds first team, but after talk of other clubs being interested, he had to make the big decision, when Wolves came.

Phil Chisnall – A new boy
New signing Phil Chisnall has an unusual claim to fame: he was a regular at inside-forward for the England Under 23-team, yet he was only a reserve for Manchester United. Football has always been Phil’s life. He played for Lancashire schoolboys, then graduated to the England schoolboy team and was capped against Scotland (twice), Germany, the Republic of Ireland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. He joined Old Trafford straight from school as a 15 year old, and signed professional at 17. An in-and-out career in the United first team did not stop him winning four England Under 23 caps. His greatest moment was playing against the great Real Madrid at Old Trafford - “I scored in our 3-1 win,” he says proudly. Now Phil is looking forward to playing for Liverpool, whom he joined only in April. He lists as his hobbies, horse and dog racing, and playing or watching all kinds of sports.

Bill Shankly about his plans to conquer Europe.

Europe here we come! This is our first appearance in the European Cup tournament, and we aim to become the first English team to win the trophy. We will leave nothing to chance in our efforts to succeed where so many other English teams have failed. We will bring to Europe the same determination and spirit which helped us to our Championship success. Of one thing you can be sure: we will not under-estimate our opponents. European Cup headlines have been hogged by such famous teams as Real Madrid, Benfica, Milano and Inter Milan. But Reykjavik, while not quite so famous, must be treated just as seriously as the glamour names. Every team entered for this tournament will be hard to beat. When you have emerged as champions of your country, you must be regarded as a top-class team. My aim and the aim of everybody at Anfield – is to make Liverpool THE BEST OF THEM ALL.

We will not have a set pattern of play. Our style, as always, will be flexible. We will adapt ourselves to suit the style of our opponents. We had an example of the tight marking of the Continentals during our recent tour of America and Canada. We played the German team, Meiderich, three times, and in the first game, which we won 4-1, little Gordon Wallace was the star turn, tormenting the Germans with his brilliant ball-play. The Germans obviously regarded him as our dangerman, for in the second game they detailed one of their inside-forwards to follow Wallace all over the park. I suppose it could be called a successful move, because they held us to a scoreless draw. But, at the same time, they weakened their scoring chances by playing only THREE effective forwards. If they had played for 10½ hours, they would never have scored!

But, well as our reserves played, I am certain that if we had had the services of our England men – Gordon Milne, Peter Thompson, Roger Hunt and Ron Yeats, we would have won. This competition is new to us: travelling around Europe will be new, too. But we will not be completely blind to what lies before us. Reykjavik are the first hurdle, an unknown quantity to some extent. If, as I hope, we beat them, we face new challengers. My brother Bob, as manager of Dundee, has sampled this competition. He piloted his club to the semi-finals in 1962-3, and if I think he can give me any advice, I will ask him. I am sure managers Bill Nicholson (Spurs) and Matt Busby (Manchester United) England’s two most experienced authorities on Continental football, will be only too willing to give me advice on such things as food and hotels etc, all of which play an important role in the winning of football matches. Whenever it is possible, I shall watch our opponents and form my own opinion of their strength and weaknesses. Continental football from what I have seen, is purely defensive, nowadays, and I will work out my own methods on how to combat it. You can be sure that Liverpool will go into Europe well prepared for anything. If we don’t win the Cup, it won’t be for want of trying. Now let's prepare to travel... and we aim to go a long way.

Transcribed by Robbie "Mottman" Ashcroft


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