Left - John Barnes.
Joe Fagan, a long servant of the club succeeded Paisley. In his first of his 2 seasons at the helm, he was to achieve what no English manager had done before. That is to win 3 major trophies in one season. He achieved that by winning the League Cup, European Cup and the League championship. That particular championship was of great significance, it was the 3rd in the row. Thus Liverpool FC equalled the feat of Huddersfield in the 1920s and Arsenal in the 1930s. Everton snapped the title away in Fagan's second season, the Reds finished second in the league and was dumped out of the FA Cup. Fagan decided to retire after the European Cup Final against Juventus that year. Winning the European Cup would be a great farewell present for Fagan but tragedy struck. In Heysel Stadium, 38 fans were killed when wall collapses after rioting by some Liverpool fans. Juventus would go on to win the match by a single goal from French legend Michel Platini. The Heysel disaster caused the ban on English clubs from all European club compeitions for a few years, which effectively halted further European glory for Liverpool.
Kenny Daglish took over the hot seat as player-manager. King Kenny was a great player with Glasgow Celtic and Paisley's Liverpool. Many doubted his abilities as a manager, let alone player-manger. His response to the sceptics - the League and FA Cup double in his first season as player-manger.
Left- King Kenny- In his first season as player-manager in 1986, he scored the goal at Chelsea which clinched the championship helping Liverpool win the League and Cup "double" for the first time.
During Daglish's reign, the fans were also saddened by the news that Ian Rush has decided to sign for Juventus after the 1986/87 season. In place of Rush, John Aldridge, a childhood Reds fan came to Anfield. Barnes was signed during the 1987-88 season joining Steve Nicol, Bruce Grobbelaar and Peter Beardsley who were already in the club. With this awesome array of talents, Liverpool began their 1987/88 campaign confidently by beating Arsenal at Highbury 2-1. Ray Houghton, a reliable midfielder was signed midseason from Oxford United. It was hardly surprising that the Reds won the title that year. With the FA Cup Final coming up, Liverpool was favourite to win the double. But alas, Wimbledon played their hearts out to their credit and denied us of the double. The match ended 1-0 but the match was best remembered for the first ever penalty miss in FA Cup Final history by Aldridge.
The 1988/89 season was a sad season for the club despite Ian Rush's return to the club. During Liverpool's FA Cup semi final with Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough, disaster struck again. 6 minutes into the game, the players were ashered out of the pitch. Apparently a barrier had collapsed and scores of Liverpool fans poured onto the pitch. During this chaos, many fans were strampled on. 96 fans died from the Hillsborough incident. For the second time in 5 years, the club had been associated with a major tragedy.
Liverpool beat Forest in the replay 3-1 in Old Trafford. Meanwhile the club fought hard to chase up with league leaders Arsenal. Liverpool did have a chance to pay their tribute to the fans who lost their lives in Hillsborough in the FA Cup final. Wembley was filled with Merseysiders. It was one of the rare occasions both Liverpool and Everton fans were one. The atmosphere was emotional. "You'll Never Walk Alone" was sung before a minute of silence was observed. Everton and Liverpool truly played one of the most classic finals ever seen. It was also remembered as the one which Ian Rush came on as a subsitute and scored 2 splendid goals to win the match 3-2. After winning the Cup, Liverpool had to play Arsenal in the season's last match to secure the double.
When the title came to the crunch in the final match of the season, Liverpool crumbled. Arsenal had to win by 2 clear goals to nip the title away. Liverpool was losing 1-0 but appeared to have the title wrapped up until the very last minute. Michael Thomas then an Arsenal player scored the killer goal in injury time to deny Liverpool of the championship and the double.
After 5 years in-charge, Daglish captured 3 league championships, 3 FA Cups and also voted manager of the year 3 times in 1986,1988 and 1990. He resigned after a much remembered FA Cup replay against Everton in Goodison Park which ended 4-4. It was the first time in Liverpool's history that it has failed to win after leading 4 times. He cited "stress" as the reason for his resignation in February 1991.
How it all began Pre Shankly days The Resurrection
Bob Paisley's Era Fagan and Daglish A whole new Era