Our ‘Ever Wonder’ series will run throughout the 2022-23 Premier League season and focuses on key stories behind the history, tradition and culture of all 20 Premier League clubs.
Have you ever sat there and wondered why certain chants became iconic at a club? Why a team has a certain nickname? Why they play in those colors? How they were founded? Yep, us too.
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This season we will be digging deep to tell the stories of the rich history, tradition and culture from around the Premier League and give you the answers to things you want to know more about.
Ever Wonder Why ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ became Liverpool’s iconic club anthem?
The spine-tingling song has been sung at Liverpool games at Anfield since 1963, and perhaps even slightly earlier. There are a few reasons why the song, first written and performed on Broadway for a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, became the anthem of Liverpool Football Club.
During Liverpool’s musical heyday as the Beatles, Cilla Black and many others were huge hits across the UK and the world, Anfield was one of the first stadiums in England to have a DJ in the stadium. Before games the DJ would play the Top 10 hits from the UK charts over the sound system.
A version of YNWA performed by local musician Gerry Marsden, who was also a huge Liverpool fan and lead singer of Gerry and the Pacemakers, entered the UK charts in October, 1963. It stayed there for several months, topping the charts for four weeks, and was a huge hit with Liverpool’s fans.
How a tour of the U.S. and the Ed Sullivan Show played its part
There is also a U.S. connection here. One tale states that Gerry Marsden gave legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly a copy of the song during Liverpool’s tour of the U.S. in 1964. After the band and Liverpool FC all appeared on the Ed Sullivan show to sing YNWA together, Shankly was said to be blown away by the lyrics and power of the song.
Years later, Gerry Marsden revealed what Shankly had said to him about the song: “Gerry my son, I have given you a football team, and you have given us a song.”
Shankly decided there and then this would be Liverpool’s club anthem and it perfectly sums up the spirit of Liverpool FC and its fans and it became so much more than a song.
So much more than a song
Following the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 Liverpool’s club anthem took on a whole new significance. It has become the soundtrack of hope for the club, its fans and for the City of Liverpool through extremely tough times. It signified Liverpool’s fight for justice for their fans and it lets the families and friends of those who were lost at Hillsborough know that they will never be alone.
Today it is the most iconic supporters’ anthem in the game. It is belted out at Anfield before every single game in an iconic and symbolic spectacle.
Fans of many other teams (most notably Celtic and Borussia Dortmund) also sing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ but this anthem will always truly belong to Liverpool Football Club. Thanks in part to an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in New York City way back in 1964.