Image source: Liverpool FC

In February 1974, Bill Shankly’s Liverpool team showcased their resilience and determination as they navigated through a series of challenging fixtures. Let’s delve into the details of how the Reds asserted their dominance on the pitch during this pivotal month in Shankly’s legendary managerial career.

Anfield Victories and FA Cup Progression

Liverpool kicked off February with a bang, securing two crucial victories at Anfield within a span of three days. Substitute Peter Cormack emerged as the hero with a dramatic 90th-minute winner against Norwich City, followed by a hard-fought 2-1 triumph over Coventry City, courtesy of goals from Alec Lindsay and Kevin Keegan. Despite the low attendance, Shankly’s side displayed their fighting spirit and determination to keep pace with league leaders Leeds United.

Notable Performances and Rising Stars

The match against Ipswich Town in the fifth round of the FA Cup highlighted Liverpool’s prowess, with Brian Hall and Keegan finding the back of the net to secure a 2-0 victory. Young talent Phil Thompson showcased his versatility by excelling in defense, setting the stage for a successful career as a center-back at Anfield. The media praised Liverpool’s commanding performance, recognizing their dominance in all aspects of the game.

Challenges and Narrow Victories

A goalless draw against Newcastle United exposed Liverpool’s struggles in converting chances into goals, with teenage sensation Alan Waddle failing to capitalize on opportunities. Despite Shankly’s reassurances, the gap at the top of the table remained significant, with Leeds United maintaining their strong position. However, a late winner against Southampton at Anfield reduced the deficit to seven points, setting the stage for a thrilling title race.

Bill Shankly

Image source: Liverpool FC

Liverpool Career of Bill Shankly

Shankly was made manager of Liverpool in December of 1959. At the time, due to a decline in the 1950’s, Liverpool were competing in the second division. This was due to poor facilities and sub par players currently with the club. During his first year Shankly dismissed 24 of these players. Shankly instituted a number of changes at Liverpool that are still used today.

He started bus rides to Melwood to encourage player camaraderie. Now players would spend most of their time with each other to form more bonds off the pitch to help on the pitch. He introduced fitness training and diet assessment to keep players fit. After practice he would have players bussed back to Anfield to shower and eat a meal together. This helped the players warm down so less training injuries happened.

Shankly’s new regime and agenda helped clinch promotion to the first division in 1961-62 with help from signing such as Ron Yeats and Ian St. John. The following year, their first back in the first division he took Liverpool to eighth place.

In the 1963-64 season, just two years from their spell in the second division, Shankly won Liverpool their sixth top flight trophy. In the 1964-65 season, Shankly led Liverpool to win their first ever FA Cup in a 2-1 victory over Leeds United at Wembley. The next season he led them to win the league title for the second time, Liverpool’s seventh.

The early 70’s brought about a transitional period in Liverpool’s results and squad. Players leaving due to age opened up spots in the squad for Shankly to fill. During this time he brought in other Liverpool greats such as Kevin Keegan, Emlyn Hughes, and Ray Clemence. In the 1972-73 season Shankly brought Liverpool to their eighth league title, his third and final. The same year Shankly took Liverpool to win their first ever European cup against Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Shankly helped Liverpool win their final piece of silver wear by ousting Newcastle United in the FA cup during the 1973-74 season. It was Shankly’s second to last game in charge of the club, and Liverpool’s second FA cup. The final match was a league match at White Hart Lane on 8th May in front of only 24,000 fans. On 12 July 1974, at the age of 60, Shankly retired from Liverpool. The club’s new position was given to Bob Paisley, a former Liverpool legend who had been a part of Shankly’s staff.

Looking Ahead

As Liverpool prepares to face Leeds United in March, the stage is set for an intense battle for the First Division title. With Shankly’s tactical acumen and the team’s unwavering determination, the Reds are poised to challenge for glory in the remaining fixtures of the season. Stay tuned for more updates on Bill Shankly’s final season and Liverpool’s pursuit of success in the world of football. Game on, never say never!


In conclusion, February 1974 proved to be a pivotal month for Bill Shankly’s Liverpool, showcasing their resilience and determination on the pitch. Anfield victories against Norwich City and Coventry City set the tone, with late heroics from substitute Peter Cormack and goals from Alec Lindsay and Kevin Keegan. The FA Cup progression against Ipswich Town highlighted Liverpool’s prowess, with rising star Phil Thompson showcasing his versatility.

Despite challenges, including a goalless draw against Newcastle United, Liverpool’s narrow victory over Southampton fueled hope for a thrilling title race. The gap to league leaders Leeds United narrowed, and as March approaches, the Reds are poised for an intense battle for the First Division title.

With Bill Shankly’s tactical acumen and the team’s unwavering determination, Liverpool remains a formidable force. As the season unfolds, football enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the showdown against Leeds United and the Reds’ pursuit of success under Shankly’s guidance. The stage is set for a gripping conclusion to this chapter in Liverpool’s football history. Game on, and as always, never say never!

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

By Jumana M M

Website writer for Liverpool FC Times

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