On the March with Kenny's Army: How Liverpool FC overcame tragedy and despair to win the league and FA Cup double - 1985/86 by Gary Shaw
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Summer 1985 and the very future of English football is in question. With hooliganism rampant and depressing and devastating tragedies at Birmingham, Bradford and Heysel, the sport had reached a pitiful and deplorable nadir; English sides banned from Europe; grounds old and decaying; racism on the terraces; attendances in freefall; and, a petty and fractious TV dispute meaning no televised games until January. The beautiful game appeared to be destroying itself from within. Outside of football, the country was doing the same - unprecedented levels of unemployment, rising crime, and serious disturbances in Tottenham, Brixton and Toxteth, were signs of Thatcher's new non-society. Britain seemed increasingly polarised around class, money and geography. In Liverpool the far-left Militant Tendency was in the process of setting an illegal budget - for the second year in a row. Amidst this social and sporting chaos Liverpool FC - trophyless for the first time in 10 years and with a new, inexperienced manager in charge of what many saw as an ageing and failing side - had ended the 1984/85 season with its reputation at home and abroad in tatters. City rivals Everton had won the previous season's championship at a canter and they, rather than Liverpool were viewed as the side of the future. When the new season ended however, it was Kenny Dalglish's men who were crowned champions, beating Everton to the league on the last day, and defeating them again in the first all-Merseyside FA Cup final just a week later. How was this possible! How did Dalglish sculpt a supposedly waning side into one that won not only the League, but also the FA Cup, becoming only the fifth side at the time to do so. Placing Liverpool's season in its wider social context, with match-by-match analysis, fan and player recollections, profiles and numerous photographs, this book tells the in-depth story of this incredible feat for the very first time; the key signings, the new tactics, the TV dispute, Manchester United's 10 game winning start to the season, surprise package West Ham and the sensational and enthralling finish. Few seasons were as riveting as this, and didn't football need it.
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