Alternative title: Merseyside United, but these days sadly not. Years ago though it was a different story…
There are a some places that have areas where the residents are supporters of a certain team but in the city of Liverpool it is not the same. There are instances of families with one sibling following the blues and another, the reds. It is not uncommon to walk down a street and see one house with Liver Bird regalia and next door with The Toffees.
Liverpool and Everton fans co-exist together and it was a friendly rivalry. So much so that when the two teams met in 1984 for the Milk Cup Final (the sponsored-named League Cup), both sets of fans travelled down in coaches to Wembley together and even stood together to watch the game.
Granada TV even made a short documentary about it:
The match ended in a draw and nobody was really bothered about that. Out for a nice day down to that London. There was a replay at Maine Road in which Souness scored in the 21st minute and Liverpool took the cup home.
Two years later the two teams met again for the FA Cup Final and again it was the same. Friends, rivals, families again travelling together. This time the game was more contested with the final score 3-1 to the reds.
Granada TV were there again to record another mini-doc:
There was some music recorded and released for the 1986 final. The singer, Larry White, even set up a record label called Mersey Magic Music. The title of the label was also the song:
There was also released… This single by Frank O’Connor.
The singer was a member of a band who performed regularly at The Cavern at around the same time as The Beatles. In later years he became a DJ on Radio Merseyside under the name Frankie Connor. The inspiration for the song came from his brother Freddie, who published a book with that title. It was a photographic journal of all the old crumbling Liverpool building which were being torn down at the time.
“Released by Home Movies by arrangement with BBC Radio Merseyside
Summarisers Emlyn Hughes and Mike Lyons
The Friendly Final – The Milk Cup Final 1984
At Wembley: Everton 0 – Liverpool 0 (aet) Sunday 25 March 1984
At Maine Road: Everton 0 – Liverpool 1 Wednesday March 28 1984″
And then in 1989…
There was a single released, a cover version of a Gerry and the Pacemakers song. It featured The Christians, Holly Johnson, Paul McCartney and Gerry Marsden – the original composer of the song. All money raised from the sale of the single went to The Hillsborough Disaster Fund.
The B side was an audio recording from one of the memorials:
“Abide With Me” Liverpool & Everton football teams and representatives were in the congregation
Taken from the six o’clock evening mass at Liverpool’s catholic cathedral on Sunday 16th April 1989
This recording appears courtesy of Granada Television.
For the FA Cup Final it was Merseyside united together. Brothers and sisters in arms remembering those relatives and friends who were not there for that day.
But it was still a football match and a cup to be won ! This time it was Match Of The Day reporting from back in Liverpool with some people who couldn’t get a ticket for the final:
The reporter there was one David Davies, who was originally a presenter on the regional news magazine programme Look North West before leaving and eventually becoming a big cheese at the F.A.
» » Fast forward to 2012 and after the Hillsborough Independent Panel, started in 2009 and published their report three years later (which we know wasn’t the end of it) – The singer Paul Kappa along with his friend Roger Jones and Liam Rice, all survivors from then released this song in memoriam:
Paul Kappa and Roger Jones along with the drummer in their band, Liam Rice survived the crush in Leppings Lane at Hillsborough, the Sheffield Wednesday football stadium disaster in an F.A. cup semi final between Liverpool F.C and Nottingham Forest F.C. on April 15th 1989. This song was not recorded until the Hillsborough Independant Panel published it’s findings in 2012. The song reflects the gloomy sense of injustice and muted outrage we felt at the Police cover up, sanctioned by the British establishment and voiced by certain sections of the press who gave voice to the lies that shaped ‘history’ and tainted the name of Liverpool as a city and as a football club.
Late addition: This was released in 2012 by a group called ‘The Livertons’
» And there was this charity single in memory of the late, great Gary Ablett who sadly died that year. The song was a re-worded version of a Frankie Goes To Hollywood tune.
Wrapping this up and going back in time to 1966 with this very, very curious single.
Red Blue Tribes is an exclusive charity recording with all proceeds from the sale of this 4-track CD going towards the Variety Club Sunshine Coach Appeal, to provide a coach for the children of Liverpool, in the name of Gary Ablett.
Gary is the only player to win the FA Cup for both Liverpool and Everton, and is fondly remembered and sadly missed by the whole of Merseyside.
As you can see on the record label the artist for this single was: _ _ _ _ ? Which led to lots of discussion on 45cat as to who it was who recorded these songs. (Click on that link if you want to see the answer). The more curious thing wasn’t that though. It was because of this previously mysterious Liverpool-based group and the sound of a band famous back then, that they tried to emulate. The band and that sound was:» Roarin’ and Scorin’
The other side was more… that other group:» The Toast Of Merseyside
The catalogue number for this record was MAJ 1.
The next release from the Major Records label had the cat no: MAJ 2/MAJ 3. It was a spoken word album with ‘A Tribute In Sound – Liverpool’ on one side and: ‘A Tribute In Sound – Everton’ on the other. In the notes for the Discogs entry it says:
“Exerpts to mark Everton’s progress to winning the F.A. Cup Final in 1966 and Liverpool being 1966 Division 1 Champions and reaching the Cup Winner’s Cup Final”