By Kim Stringfellow
When asked what religion I follow, my answer is always Football, my church being Anfield, if you look back at Liverpool FC’s early history, you’ll see I’m not far from the truth, because, in the very early days, as St Domingo’s, an amateur side, created in the belief that to keep young men on the religious path, a good healthy game of competitive football was all that was needed. This team, with a new name ended up playing at one of the Football League’s original grounds, Anfield. But, it wasn’t under the name Liverpool FC, no, it was actually Everton FC that started off playing at Anfield, on a plot of land owned by John Houlding, Tory MP, Mayor of Liverpool, future founder of Liverpool FC and the one who ultimately caused Everton FC to move from Anfield to Goodison. He was a brewer and owned a pub, The Sandon, which, on match days, the team would use as a dressing room, having to walk through crowds of people just to get onto the pitch, much to the boards dislike, as it seemed Houlding was making money from the players, who were drinking his ale, in his pub, but also from the club for the rent on the land. In 1889/90, the rent for the ground had risen to £250, from £100 in 1884 when they first started renting the land to play on. After the members of the Everton board “offering” Houlding less rent, he refused. On 12th March 1892 Houlding and Everton FC parted ways. The board and most of the members walked out. Houlding and his close friend Barclay, who had been the first secretary for Everton FC had a meeting at Houldings house on 15th March 1892, where it was decided that football would continue at Anfield and Barclay suggested that they should take the name of the city as the clubs name, not just a suburb from the city. Houlding tried some kind of legal take over of Everton by registering a plc with the name but the Football league refused to let two teams with the same name play in the league. Hence Liverpool FC being formed. In 1894 the club adopted the City’s colours and in 1901 adopted the Liverbird as the crest. McKenna had stayed loyal to Houlding, and was to be a director at the club for 30 years, during which time, he served the club as chairman twice, was a member of the FA Council from 1905 and became President of the Football League in 1910 and Vice President in 1928.
Liverpool’s first application to join the league was rejected so they started out in Lancashire League, their first match was on the 1st September 1892, against Rotherham from the middle league, which we won, 7-1 with McVeaan scoring the first ever Liverpool goal early in the first half. Our first game in the Football League was 2nd September 1893, which we won, we also went on to win the League in our first season in it.
This club has had some great highs and some even lower lows, but Liverpool FC always comes good in the end. Our motto, You’ll Never Walk Alone, means just that, if you are a true red, you will never be alone out there, no matter where you are, you will always find another LFC fan somewhere near by. We always pull together when the going gets rough. I think we’ve got a rough couple of seasons ahead of us, but we will pull through, we just have to believe.