IT weighs in at an arm flexing 2.2 kilograms (that’s a bag of King Edward potatoes in old money). It contains 420,000 meticulously crafted words – and it features more than 1,100 evocative images.
But that’s a little like saying the Mona Lisa is made up of three principal colours.
Because the newly published Liverpool Encyclopedia is a masterpiece.
Created by the engineers of the staggeringly good LFChistory.net website, Icelandic duo Arnie Baldursson and Gudmundur Magnusson, this 650 page reference book (last stat, I promise) is a sumptuous piece of work, a kaleidoscope of facts, figures, anecdotes and opinion put together in a colourful and colossal volume.
From Alan A’Court to Christian Ziege, and every single player who has ever pulled on a senior Liverpool jersey in between, The Encyclopedia references every facet of Anfield life.
There are sections on Flag Days, Attendances, The Fields of Anfield Road, Mosaics and Poor Scouser Tommy – and, of course, mention of our own Ernest ‘Bee’ Edwards, the former Post and ECHO Sports Editor who originally suggested that a bank of new terrace at Anfield should be named the Spion Kop.
That story is a well known one.
But there are plenty of tales hitherto hidden.
Messina ‘Dick’ Allman made a solitary appearance for the Reds in 1909. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t a story to be told.
And our intrepid Icelandic investigators unearthed a corker.
“Messina was in the news in 1925 when his wife Beatrice Ellen Allman was charged with bigamy!” they wrote.
“Messina believed Beatrice was training to become a servant in Newhaven. Beatrice, instead, according to the Western Morning News, went through a form of marriage with a seaman named Stephen Winder.’
“Winder said he thought Beatrice was a widow. She accompanied her second husband to the police station at Brighton and confessed.”
Then there’s the story of Les Bruton, the human tank, Bob Pursell who was signed from Queens Park and instantly suspended for six months because the Reds had tapped him up and “the most technically gifted Liverpool player” Bob Paisley had ever seen.
Kenny Dalglish? Steve Heighway? John Barnes?
No, Jan Molby was the recipient of that glowing tribute.
The best tribute you can pay to the Liverpool Encyclopedia is that it does justice to its subject matter – Liverpool Football Club.
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