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26th May


Will

Last-gasp heartache
1989 - Having already claimed the FA Cup in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, we only had to avoid defeat at home to Arsenal by two clear goals or more to clinch our second double in four seasons. The Gunners took the lead in the second half when Alan Smith was judged to have headed in from an indirect free-kick, one of his nine goals against the reds. We held on until stoppage time, when Michael Thomas burst through to grab the decisive, heart-breaking second and take the title back to Highbury for the first time since 1971. Bruce Grobbelaar was playing his 300th League game for the club.

A Busby birthday
1909 - Right-half Sir Matt Busby was born on this day in Orbiston, Lanarkshire. He joined the reds from Manchester City for £8,000 in March 1936, making 122 appearances for us, many as captain, notching three times. He was appointed as coach and Assistant Manager to George Kay at Anfield in May 1944, but he was released by the club the following February after disagreements with the board, taking over as Manager of Manchester United a few days later.
1991 – Reserves left-back Chris Mavinga was born in Meaux, France. He signed from Paris St. Germain in July 2009 but was sold to Stade Rennais for £1m two years later, having failed to break through to the first team.

Final despair
2018 – We lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League Final in Kiev, as keeper Loris Karius had a personal nightmare, with Mohamed Salah being forced off with injury after just half an hour. Karim Benzema scored the most recent of his four goals past us shortly after half time, but Sadio Mané levelled just four minutes later. However, Gareth Bale then struck twice to secure the trophy for the Spanish side for a record thirteenth time. Emre Can came off the bench to make his 167th and last appearance for the reds.

A Philly dozen
1946 - We trounced a Philadelphia Select of American League side 12-0 in a friendly in the Yellow Jacket Stadium. Cyril Done struck four times, with Jack Balmer bagging a hat-trick and Phil Taylor and Willie Fagan both netting braces, and Bob Priday rounding out the scoring.

Opening a new stadium
1978 - We played a game to commemorate the opening of the new Al Nasr Stadium in the United Arab Emirates, beating Al Nasr Club 5-0. Our scorers were fairly unusual, with substitute Colin Irwin and Ray Kennedy both bagging braces, and Alan Hansen also on target.
1980 - We returned to the Middle East to beat a Bahrain XI 2-1 on the Three Fives Gulf Football Tour. This time, Howard Gayle and Graeme Souness got on the scoresheet.

Signing on
2014 - Brendan Rodgers signed a new contract, having just led the reds to within a whisker of the League title. However, the team regressed and he was sacked in October 2015.
2015 - Centre-half Kolo Touré signed a new contract, notching just once in 71 reds games before moving on to join Rodgers at Celtic in July 2016 after this deal expired.

Charnock on target
1994 - Reserves midfielder Phil Charnock scored his first senior reds goal in our 3-0 defeat of Cape Town Spurs in the United Bank International Soccer Festival in South Africa, with Bruce Grobbelaar appearing for the reds for the final time. Robbie Fowler netted the other two. The players were introduced to South African President Nelson Mandela prior to the game.

Select thumpings
1948 - We beat a New England Select side 6-0 at Fall River, with Willie Fagan and Albert Stubbins both nabbing braces to add to goals from Jack Balmer and Bob Priday.
1914 - We defeated a Denmark Select XI 7-1 in Copenhagen.

Fred again
1935 – Fred Howe scored in our 4-2 friendly win at CD Tenerife, so netting in all three of our tour games. Alf Hanson bagged a brace with Tosh Johnson also on target.

Welsh first and last
1949 - Ray Lambert won his fifth and final cap for Wales as they lost 4-0 to Switzerland in a friendly in Bern.
1957 – Future reds centre-forward Des Palmer made the first of his three senior appearances for the Welsh in their 2-0 World Cup qualifying defeat in Czechoslovakia.

2014 – Future red Divock Origi won his first senior cap as Belgium thumped Luxembourg 5-1 in a friendly in Genk. On the same day, Jordon Ibe won his sixth and last cap for England Under-19’s, with Lloyd Jones, Brad Smith and future red Lazar Marković all also represented their countries.
2008 – Future reds loanee Victor Moses won his first cap for England Under-19’s in their 2-0 European Championships qualifying defeat of Poland in Borisov, with future red Andy Carroll also featuring. Feyenoord’s Gini Wijnaldum also featured at the same level that day.

Wark on target
1979 - Future red John Wark netted in Scotland’s 3-1 defeat of England in the British International Championships at Wembley. Ray Clemence and Everton’s George Wood were in the opposing goals, while the sides were skippered by ex-red Kevin Keegan and his Anfield replacement Kenny Dalglish. Phil Neal, Graeme Souness and Phil Thompson all also played.
1984 - John Wark and future red John Barnes played in the last ever British International Championships game, with Scotland and England drawing 1-1 at Hampden Park.

God on the scoresheet
2002 - Ex-red Robbie Fowler scored in England’s 2-2 pre-World Cup friendly draw with Cameroon in Japan. Michael Owen was captain, with Emile Heskey, future red Joe Cole and ex-reds David James and Rigobert Song also playing. Meanwhile, future red Djibril Cissé came on as a substitute in France’s 3-2 defeat of South Korea in Suwon and F.C. København’s Christian Poulsen played as Denmark beat Tunisia 2-1 in Wakayama.
1996 - Fowler also played for England, alongside Steve McManaman and future red Paul Ince, as they beat a Hong Kong Garden Select side 1-0 in an unofficial warm-up game at the Happy Valley Stadium before Euro ‘96.

Tosh on target
1971 - John Toshack bagged the only goal of the game as Wales beat Finland in a European Championships qualifier in Helsinki.
2012 – Tosh managed FYR Macedonia as they held Portugal to a goalless friendly draw in Leiria. Ex-red Raúl Meireles featured for the home side.

In charge
2010 - Christian Ziege was appointed Manager of DSC Arminia Bielefeld, although he was sacked just six months later. On the same day, future red Fabio Borini scored his last goal for Italy Under-19’s in their 3-1 European Championships qualifying defeat in Russia. Dirk Kuyt, future reds Dejan Lovren, Nuri Şahin and Luis Suárez and ex-reds Nicolas Anelka and Alou Diarra all also turned out for their countries that day.

2012 – Roy Hodgson took charge of England for the first time, winning a friendly 1-0 in Norway. Martin Kelly and future red Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both made their senior bows, with Jordan Henderson winning his first cap as a reds player. Steven Gerrard skippered a side that also included Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing, winning his last cap while with the reds, and future red James Milner, while ex-red John Arne Riise was on the losing side.

Scoring against Albania
1992 - Ex-red John Aldridge netted for the Republic of Ireland as they beat Albania 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier at Lansdowne Road. Ray Houghton and ex-reds Kevin Sheedy and Steve Staunton also played.
1993 - Staunton was on target as the Irish won the return 2-1 in Tirana. Fellow ex-reds Aldridge and Houghton also played.
1985 - Ex-red Michael Robinson featured as Spain held Ireland to a friendly goalless draw in the only senior international ever to be played at the Flower Lodge in Cork.

Milan also on target
2006 - Ex-red Milan Baroš struck for the Czech Republic as they beat Saudi Arabia 2-0 in a friendly in Austria. Daniel Agger and future red Nuri Şahin also represented their countries that day.
2008 – Baroš played in the Czech Republic’s 2-0 friendly defeat of Lithuania in Prague.
2012 – He converted a spot-kick in a 2-1 defeat of ex-red Yossi Benayoun’s Israel in Austria. Daniel Agger, Dirk Kuyt and ex-reds Xabi Alonso, Robbie Keane, Christian Poulsen and Daniel Sjölund also played for their countries that day.

Pither off
1928 - Left-winger George Pither left Anfield to sign for Crewe Alexandra, after one goal in twelve reds games stepping in for the established Fred Hopkin.

A young Geoff
1957 - Future reds left-half Geoff Twentyman became Carlisle United’s youngest ever debutant, aged seventeen years and 127 days, as they drew 2-2 at New Brighton in Division Three North.

European Cup despair
Two future reds have lost UEFA Champions League Finals on this day in recent years.
2004 - Fernando Morientes played as AS Monaco lost 2-0 to Jose Mourinho’s Porto in Gelsenkirchen.
1999 - Markus Babbel suffered heartache as Bayern München cruelly lost 2-1 to Manchester United in Barcelona.

Bells toll twice
2007 - Craig Bellamy struck a brace as Wales were held to a 2-2 friendly draw in Wrexham by New Zealand, his last two goals in his first spell as a reds player. On the same day, ex-red Darren Potter won his second senior cap playing for Steve Staunton’s Republic of Ireland in their 1-1 friendly draw with Bolivia in Boston, USA.

Pepe the papa again
2011 – Keeper Pepe Reina became a father for the third time, to Luca.

Ed up
2012 – Former Chief Scout Eduardo Macía was promoted by Fiorentina to Technical Director.

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    • By Will
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