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  • Describe Manchester, the city.

  • Errr...

  • It's like a pirate ship full of scurvy dogs, vagabonds and ne'er-do-wells,

  • and a couple of half-decent football teams every now and again!

  • And a couple of half-decent bands.

  • Much the same as Liverpool, really.

  • Liverpool.

  • Manchester.

  • Identity.

  • Originality.

  • Industry.

  • Radicalism.

  • History.

  • Music.

  • Football.

  • Liverpool the city, if I had to describe it I think I'd just use one word.

  • Famous.

  • To us, the centre of the known universe, innit?

  • Music, fashion, politics.

  • You can't be coming from Liverpool if you're not involved in one of them.

  • It had The Beatles, didn't it? And after that it struggled.

  • It is a prettier city than Manchester.

  • It's just wasted on you lot, innit?

  • And the people here, we're different.

  • Tony Wilson used to say, "We do things differently here".

  • You can't bull**** when you're in Manchester, you've got to be yourself.

  • It's working-class,

  • it's dead cocky,

  • we basically love ourselves.

  • Two of the world's greatest cities, 30 miles apart,

  • so much in common but so much that divides them.

  • Our little corner of England has probably contributed more to sport,

  • to culture, to music,

  • to science, to technology,

  • to industry than any other corner of the world.

  • But we don't recognise that in each other.

  • Ron Atkinson said once, if you go to Anfield it's like going to Vietnam.

  • You just turn into an animal when you're in the ground,

  • you just lose your head, it's embarrassing.

  • If someone filmed you, you'd be going, "That's not me, is it?"

  • But where did this rivalry start, how has it changed through the years

  • and why does it keep getting stronger?

  • 300 years ago Liverpool built the first enclosed commercial wet dock in the world.

  • That's where it all began, I think, for Liverpool, that's where it all went boom.

  • It speeded up the loading and offloading of the cargos

  • and it speeded up Liverpool's trade.

  • This was the second city

  • of the British Empire,

  • a thriving port city.

  • There was that many ships lined up on the Pier Head

  • people couldn't even see the Mersey beyond it,

  • and there was people there from the Americas, from Asia,

  • with these foreign tongues,

  • who brought so much wealth to Liverpool.

  • Herman Melville, who wrote Moby Dick,

  • he likened Liverpool's dock system to the Great Lakes in North America.

  • They were that huge and that impressive.

  • At the same time, fuelled by the Industrial Revolution,

  • Manchester began to boom.

  • We're a people of doers.

  • We invented the whole UK textile industry.

  • Arkwright's Mill, that was

  • the first industrial building on earth.

  • And it became known the world over as 'Cottonopolis'.

  • The hotbed of early labour movements,

  • Marx and Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto for Manchester.

  • A really radical city; the TUC were founded here, Suffragettes, Peterloo Massacre -

  • the history is astonishing.

  • The two cities were even linked by the world's first steam-powered railway.

  • But in the late 1800s, Manchester began to suffer an economic decline

  • and things were soon being pointed at the neighbours on the Mersey.

  • The raw materials that were coming into Manchester had to come into Liverpool,

  • the biggest port in the country at the time, bigger than London.

  • It was costing a fortune.

  • ANDY MITTEN: That was what led to the Manchester Ship Canal being built.

  • They wanted to bypass Liverpool, the greed of the Liverpool merchants,

  • building all your grand houses in the centre of Liverpool,

  • which are still very nice.

  • Mancunians are very proud of the Ship Canal

  • and very quick to say that it effectively brought the sea to Manchester.

  • Xxxxxx you lot off a bit, didn't it?

  • And that's probably the start of the whole rivalry.

  • Football was becoming a regular pastime within northern working-class communities.

  • And one of the many new teams springing up was a certain Newton Heath.

  • Newton Heath started up in 1878, playing in amongst the cotton mills

  • and cramped factories of inner-city east Manchester.

  • For a short time they wore those famous green and gold shirts

  • and were reasonably successful.

  • 14 years later Liverpool FC were formed, in 1892, wearing blue and white.

  • While Liverpool were on the up, Newton Heath were on the slide.

  • In 1894, the year the Ship Canal was opened,

  • Newton Heath were rock-bottom of the First Division.

  • To save their skin, they entered into a playoff against the Second Division champions.

  • Liverpool were the champions of the old second tier,

  • and it was a one-off game, a playoff,

  • and Liverpool won 2-0.

  • That was the first really when we put one over on United,

  • or Newton Heath as they were called.

  • By 1902 they became Manchester United,

  • and by 1909 they moved to Old Trafford.

  • The first game at Old Trafford was against Liverpool, I forget the score...

  • I can't remember the score.

  • Liverpool came to town and beat them 4-3.

  • They must have been a bit sore about that, they probably owed us one from an early time.

  • The next notable meeting between the teams would go down in history.

  • But for the wrong reasons.

  • On Good Friday 1915, United were facing relegation, and Liverpool came to their aid.

  • United won 2-0 and avoided the drop,

  • but later investigations found that players

  • from both sides had rigged the game.

  • It was an infamous episode

  • in the history of both clubs.

  • Liverpool won two league titles in the 1920s, while United stagnated.

  • Then, in the wake of the Second World War, the rivalry changed forever.

  • Matt Busby played about 120 games for Liverpool,

  • but I think his Liverpool career was disrupted by the war,

  • and afterwards he was assistant manager to George Kay,

  • but this opportunity arose at Manchester United to be a manager in his own right,

  • and he went for it.

  • Matt Busby wanted to be the Liverpool manager,

  • but he was only offered a coaching role.

  • When he left, I think there was a bit of animosity there,

  • because they usually give them a going away match, or testimonial match,

  • and it never happened.

  • And I think if you talk to Liverpool fans of a certain vintage,

  • they've got an awful lot of respect for Matt Busby.

  • A full salute for Matt Busby. If you read about him, one of the nicest people,

  • doesn't matter who you support, you'd never say a bad word about him.

  • I think - and I'm ashamed to say this -

  • I was probably 16 when I found out he'd played for Liverpool.

  • Which is a remarkably late time to know such a fact.

  • Especially if we consider that, in the 1960s, he was voted by Liverpool fans

  • to be their captain in their perfect team of the last 100 years.

  • I've always maintained this to United fans - his heart was in Liverpool.

  • Under Busby, United continued to blossom.

  • They won the league in 1956 and 1957.

  • They had a young team that people tipped to go on and achieve greatness,

  • But then, disaster struck.

  • I can remember the moment when I heard about the Munich air disaster.

  • I think that was the first time I ever saw my father cry.

  • The city was numb, as it would be if it happened now to any major football club.

  • It's a terrible thing to happen.

  • I think Liverpool, like a lot of clubs at the time,

  • said they'd lend players to United in the aftermath of Munich.

  • And rightly so.

  • It was on the front page of the Echo.

  • That generation of Liverpool fans would have remembered Matt playing for Liverpool,

  • so to find out he was part of that would have been awful.

  • The 1960s saw Liverpool and Manchester United competing directly for honours

  • for the very first time.

  • Matt Busby's old friend Bill Shankly took over at Liverpool

  • and hauled them out of the Second Division.

  • Busby and Shankly were born between 30 miles of each other.

  • When Shankly first arrived at Liverpool,

  • it was Matt Busby that kept convincing him not to leave.

  • In 1963 United won the cup. The following year Liverpool won the league.

  • In 1965 United won the league and Liverpool won the cup,

  • in '66 Liverpool won the league,

  • and then the following year, in '67, United won the league.

  • So at this time, in a sporting sense, the two clubs are really going up against each other.

  • There was definitely a competitiveness there between the two teams,

  • but I think, again, for fans of that generation there wasn't the same edge

  • I don't think that there was with Leeds.

  • The rivalry was there, but the hate wasn't there then.

  • It wasn't there then.

  • My first away Liverpool match was April 1963.

  • You could go where you wanted, so we just went into the Kop.

  • Can you imagine Liverpool fans now

  • going around the ground and getting involved with Man United,

  • or they come round to the Kop? Cos that's what they used to do years ago.

  • All the Liverpool supporters were bothered about - "Can you see the pitch, son?"

  • You've got this little lad from Higher Openshaw

  • on the east side of Manchester being looked after by the Kopites.

  • Just imagine that happening today.

  • It just wouldn't happen, put it that way!

  • I used to speak to my dad about it when he was alive,

  • and he said there was never any rivalry against Liverpool per se.

  • I remember watching Liverpool against Arsenal 1971, Steve Heighway,

  • didn't they go 1-0 up, Liverpool?

  • COMMENTATOR: Still Heighway, dangerous indeed - oh, goal!

  • We supported Liverpool, because they were nearer to Manchester.

  • You speak to my old man - "I had time for Liverpool,

  • "great team, great manager, Bill Shankly."

  • Loved Roger Hunt, amazingly, what a great player he was.

  • A real chance for Roger Hunt!

  • He'd always say, my dad, that the best player he ever saw at Anfield was George Best.

  • If not the best player that ever lived, he's equal to the best player that ever lived.

  • Real chance here for Best!

  • I think I once read that Bill Shankly thought the same.

  • In 1968 Manchester United found themselves on the cusp of greatness

  • when they became the first English side to reach a European Cup final.

  • A feat Liverpool were denied three years earlier by Inter Milan.

  • I think it caught the imagination of the nation,

  • because of what had gone on 10 years before.

  • As kids we didn't really think too much about it,

  • we just thought Liverpool were a great team

  • and United had won the European Cup.

  • We weren't thinking, "They've won the first European Cup",

  • that wasn't in our mindset, because Celtic had done it.

  • It was sort of the end of an era, the end of Sir Matt Busby's dynasty.

  • Because after that United drained away.

  • Football fan culture was changing.

  • The gentle mockery of the 1960s terraces was giving way to something entirely different.

  • Society changed, factor in social issues such as football hooliganism

  • and the rivalry became very heated.

  • Huge rivalries between football clubs started when people were more mobile.

  • When they started to go to away games.

  • All right, there was a trickle at first,

  • but then it became a fashion.

  • Opposition fans started singing on the terraces.

  • By people singing, that's identification.

  • We shall not, we shall not be moved! ♫

  • You can go the match with your mates and stand with them and scream with them.

  • My first trip to Old Trafford was with my dad in November '72,

  • and I couldn't understand the level of animosity.

  • As a youngster you're thinking, "Don't say anything, Dad",

  • because I knew the danger.

  • You look at the average attendances,

  • United and Liverpool were becoming the best two supported teams in England.

  • With that came animosity.

  • We were the biggest team of the sixties, then we had no successor to Busby,

  • so the whole thing fell apart. And then you came in, you were already planning,

  • with Shankly, so to us there's got to be some resentment, hasn't there?

  • Shankly delivered the league title, the UEFA Cup and the FA Cup,

  • then he left.

  • United's demise, however, was confirmed four months earlier.

  • They were relegated.

  • When they went down in '74, obviously we were all laughing about it.

  • That was a shock. You don't expect teams like Manchester United to get relegated.

  • It's very hard to believe Manchester United ever played in a lower division.

  • I think we were also thinking,

  • "How are they gonna cope with them in the Second Division?"

  • And suddenly, from nowhere, the Red Army was born.

  • They came from everywhere.

  • Wherever you went - Cornwall, Wales or whatever,

  • the local hard knock would be a United fan, because of their reputation.

  • One of the first games of the season they had in the Second Division,

  • all you could describe as Bay City Rollers fans get off the train,

  • because they were all tartaned up. Liverpool never really adopted that,

  • so we felt as teenagers, "Oh, my God, have you seen the state of them?"

  • Manchester United were promoted in 1975,

  • and the rivalry was about to pick up where it left off.

  • What looks like the biggest crowd of the season here at Anfield,

  • for a renewal of old rivalries.

  • One thing I'd say about United is, they always turned up at Anfield.

  • Not many teams did.