The Golden Anniversary of YNWA

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With all the turmoil about the LFC Kop site (the old Kop site to be closed and replaced with #thekop) we are likely to miss an important date on October 31.

On October 31, 1963, that is 50 years ago, Gerry and the Pacemakers’ “You’ll Never Walk Alone” became the number one single in the charts and stayed at the top for four weeks.

The song was written by Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein (lyrics) for their musical Carousel in 1945. It was performed in the musical by Nettie Fowler, an aptly named character. The famous version by Gerry and the Pacemakers, was released in 1963 and adopted by The Kop not long after.

British football crowds began singing, instead of cheering and chanting the name of their team, etc, in the early 1960s. Probably inspired by the TV transmissions of the 1962 World Cup, showing the chanting and singing of South American fans for the first time.

Initially this started out with the crowds singing along to current chart songs that were played over the PA systems before the match and at half time. ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ was one of several songs from the charts of around 1963/4 that were popular with Liverpool supporters, and it just outlasted the others.

The nearest match to the release of YNWA at Anfield was on November 02, 1963, against Leicester (which LFC lost 0:1). However, the match also must have brought about the birth of the team’s anthem, and Liverpool FC finished the season of 1963-1964 top of the league.

So every time YNWA is heard at Anfield let us all remember how it all started… and how far Liverpool FC reached in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s!