Liverpool manager historyLiverpool manager history | Sportmob

Liverpool FC is among the most popular soccer clubs in Europe with talented players and professional tacticians. Their stylish attacking tactics and seasoned strategists have made the club boast about a narrated history, getting several titles in English and European matches. Liverpool manager history displays famous and influential figures who have been at the forefront of ascending the club to international recognition. Several coaches have dreamt with the aspiration of taking over leadership of such a prestigious club. Since 1892, Liverpool has seen 21 unique full-time appointed coaches. Some of these coaches have gone through long-term tenures while others left quickly probably to avoid the embarrassment of being sacked publicly.

Who was Liverpool’s Longest Manager?

Liverpool’s managerial list displays a broad tapestry of successes. Across the club’s framework, coaches have significantly contributed to unique tenures. Some of them shone with tangible titles while others left without the long-desired silverware, facing embarrassment. Diving into the annals of Liverpool manager history, we will look at the list of managers, listing their respective command periods and trophies scooped in the course of their tenure showing the varied stories that explain the team’s managerial lineage. Below is an array of coaches since the club’s inception.

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1. John McKenna and William Edward Barclay: 1892-1896

William and John took leadership of Liverpool FC after the club’s formation in the year 1892. The founder of the team spearheaded it with immense determination while William Barclays had the role to manage the administrative tasks. In the course of their leadership, Liverpool won Division 2 Championships.

2. Tom Watson: 1896-1915

His legacy and prominence spanned as the club’s longest leading manager leaving an unparalleled reign in Liverpool manager history. Significantly, he was able to clinch the club’s maiden League title –  something that was a core achievement. In a tragic incident, he passed on in 1915 leaving a remarkable 19-year leadership. Throughout his performance, Liverpool got league titles between 1900 and 1901; 1905 and 1906 and further scooping the Division 2 Championship between 1904 and 1905.

3. David Ashworth: 1919-1923

Just after World War 1, David Ashworth took over Liverpool and successfully helped the team’s resurgence by winning a League title. Nevertheless, his period of command ended abruptly in the course of mid 1922 – 1923 season, not forgetting the triumph roar between 1921 and 1922.

4. Matt McMQueen: 1923-1928

After David Ashworth, Matt McQueen accepted the role of a coach at Liverpool FC for at least 5 years. He spearheaded the team to preserve the League title between 1922 to 1923.

5. George Patterson: 1928-1936

In his 8 years of leadership, George Patterson coached Liverpool without getting a silverware. This became one of the most frustrating moments in the team’s history. By just being a ‘joyrider’ he was rated the least successful tactician for Liverpool FC.

6. George Kay: 1936-1951

It seems George Kay observed the futility of the previous administration and therefore decided to pick up the challenge. There was a rejuvenation of the team’s stature, securing the 5th League title between 1946 and 1947. Besides coaching the team towards the FA Cup of 1950, they were flattened by Arsenal. Unfortunately, World War 2 caused an interruption and sadly the devoted club’s tactician passed on 3 years after leaving Anfield.

7. Don Welsh: 1951-1956

It was a hard time for Don Welsh in managing Liverpool as he faced the initial managerial dismissal. A sacking campaign between 1953 and 1954 causes a relegation to Division 2. Don’s strategies to restore and hoist  Liverpool to the top were cut short. This resulted in his removal in 1956.

8. Phil Taylor: 1956-1959

His period of command was aimed at reversing the team’s lost glory but unfortunately ended without any achievement. Besides well-laid strategies and hard work, his reign brought no trophies in Division 2. This prolonged their famine.

9. Bill Shankly: 1959-1974

Bill is among the most appreciated coaches in English soccer history. Interestingly, he is also regarded as the best manager Liverpool ever had. There was a significant transformation of the club that led to wins in the division. Shankly, won the club’s first-ever FA Cup, 3 Leagues, and the 1st UEFA Cup.

10. Bob Paisley: 1974-1983

Paisley was one of the great achievers and smart managers who scooped 14 titles in 9 years. He led the team in its European Cup inaugural victory in 1977 and cultivated famous players such as Kenny Dalglish, Ronnie Whelan, and Ian Rush. Bob’s accolades consist of 1976, 77, 79, 80, 82, and 1983 League titles. The European Cups were garnered in 1977, 78, and 1981 while UEFA and European Super Cup were secured in 1976 and 1977 respectively.

11. Joe Fagan: 1983-1985

Fagan, a loyal Liverpool assistant who brightened under Shankly and Bob for 20 years was hoisted to the position of head coach in 1983. He spearheaded a significant roar for the club during the 1983 to 1984 season. They had one League title, One League Cup, and one European Cup in 1984.

12. Kenny Dalglish: 1985-1991

Liverpool manager history doesn’t end with Kenny. It was another opportunity for Liverpool FC to glow more. His period of ruling brought forth FA Cup, and League wins with titles in 1986, 1988, and 1980. He voluntarily resigned in 1990 but continued to coach for an extra year, earning applause as one of Liverpool’s best players and coaches.

13. Ronnie Moran: 1991

After Kenny Dalglish’s departure, the Liverpool manager history list was filled by Ronnie Moran. His care-taking profession allowed him to manage 10 matches before another tactician took over in 1991. Ronnie became part of Graeme’s technical bench as his deputy.

14. Graeme Souness: 1991-1994

Souness, a devoted player, was a useful tool in assisting Liverpool scoop title triumphs in 1970 and 1980. Here is he now experiencing an incredible career that helped the team secure the FA Cup. His reign also witnessed a deterioration against competitors. In the absence of previous dominance that featured Liverpool’s achievements.

15. Roy Evans: 1994-1998

Here went another Liverpool player who played well under the reign of Bob Paisley. In 1994, Roy was elevated from being a player to the club’s manager just after Souness. Roy met some standing blocks that made him lose the FA Cup to Manchester United in 1996 despite the team winning a League Cup in 1995. He narrowly missed on the 1995 to 1996 and 1996 to 1997 League titles.

16. Gerard Houllier: 1998-2004

Houllier became the team’s caretaker after Roy Evans in 1998. He worked well to secure a tremble in the 2000 to 2001 season. Unfortunately, Gerard was conflicted by health problems in 2001 but this didn’t stop him from guiding the club until 2004. From the list of trophies, he accumulated various trophies as follows; 2 League Cups in 2001 and 2003, the FA Cup in 2001, the UEFA Cup in 2001, the European Super Cup in 2001, and the Charity Shield in 2001.

17. Rafael Benitez: 2004-2010

This tactical figure oversaw an orchestrating historic event that secured the 5th European Cup. The interesting comeback from 3-0 down at halftime with AC Milan resulted in a draw of 3-3. This clinched the win on penalties. His period of rule birthed the Champions League in 2005 and an FA Cup in 2006.

18. Roy Hodgson: 2010-2011

In one year the famous English manager, known for coaching multiple players, faced a disappointing campaign. This led to Liverpool dropping to the 12th position in the League table under his reign. He later tasted the dismissal cake.

19. Kenny Dalglish: 2011-2012

With humility, Kenny rejoined the Reds in 2011 and was able to secure a League Cup in 2012. His presence fell short of the Champions League qualification. Unfortunately, his second leadership period expired.

Liverpool Manager Before Klopp: Brendan Rodgers

The Reds were revitalized by Brendan Rodgers gearing them toward the top position contention. He instructed a talented team consisting of Steven Gerrard, Philippe Coutinho, and Raheem Sterling. The coach was capable before leading Liverpool in pursuit of the first League title in 1990, 2013, and 2014. He was later dismissed in 2015 following a draw and a loss. Jurgen Klopp took over Liverpool’s leadership.

Who is Jurgen Klopp?

From 2015 to the present, Jurgen Klopp has been with Liverpool through thick and thin. His landing gave a new breath into a long-struggling club resulting in a concrete squad that touched the 2016 Europa League finals. His reign since then has helped Liverpool secure the 2019 Champions League and Premier League titles. This was a cool season with an 18-point lead in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. His contract ends in 2026 and by that time the club will have boasted about multiple trophies in the Liverpool manager history.

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YNWA (You’ll Never Walk Alone)!
The Liverpool FC Times Team

By Solomon Githinji

Solomon Githinji is a dedicated writer for Liverpool FC Times, bringing the rich history and dynamic present of Liverpool FC to life. A lifelong fan, Solomon's insightful articles capture the triumphs, challenges, and spirit of the Reds, connecting with and inspiring a global community of passionate supporters.

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