Match details

European Cup 2nd R 1st L

Olympic Stadium | Wed 7 Dec 1966 at 20:15

Ajax 5 - 1 Liverpool


  • - Average age of the Liverpool starting lineup: 25.85
  • - Average age of the Ajax starting lineup: 25.56
  • Bill Shankly in his autobiography: "Ajax had the makings of a team then, but they were not yet the great team that they later became. We played them first in Amsterdam, but the match should never have started. The fog was terrible. We were due to play Manchester United at Old Trafford the following Saturday, and that was a vital game for us. We didn’t want to be delayed in Amsterdam, playing on Thursday and not returning home until the Friday. But it was not our decision to go ahead with the match. Leo Horne, the observer for UEFA, European football headquarters, was responsible for that. The referee, an Italian, said, “If we can see from goal to goal, OK. If not, no game.” Leo Horne said, “No. In Holland, if we can see from half-way line to goal, we play.”

    We were 2-0 down and Willie Stevenson and Geoff Strong started raiding. They were stung and went mad and tried to retrieve the game. So I went onto the pitch while the game was in progress and was walking about in the fog, and I said to Willie and Geoff, “Christ, this is only the first game. There’s another bloody game at Liverpool, so we don’t go and give away any more goals. Let’s get beat 2-0. We are not going too bad. Take it easy. I walked on to the pitch, talked to the players, and walked off again – and the referee never saw me!"

Other details

Manager: Bill Shankly
Opposition manager: Rinus Michels
Referee: Sbardella A (Italy)
Attendance: 55,722
Half-time score: 4 - 0
Game number: 2731
Europe game number: 22
Look at the 2nd leg: Wed 14 Dec 1966 (H)

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Related images & files

Match programme
Match programme
Match ticket
Match ticket
Guardian match report
Guardian match report
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Summary of the game
Summary of the game
Opposition profile by Graeme Riley