|1984 European Cup Final starting lineup.|
Honours Won : League Cup (1984), League Championship (1984), European Cup (1984)
Veteran coach Joe Fagan moved up to the manager’s seat, aged 63, upon Paisley’s retirement, and his first season at the helm saw Liverpool become the first English club to win three major trophies in a single season – the league title, the League Cup and the European Cup.
He remained in charge for just two seasons before handing in his retirement, but his first season (1983-84) saw Liverpool set some of the most impressive records in English football. They won their fourth successive League Cup and their third successive League Championship as well as winning the European Cup for the fourth time in eight seasons, thanks to the efforts of Fagan and his high quality squad which was mostly made up of players from the Bob Paisley era. A significant breakthrough star in the Liverpool team was young striker Ian Rush, who had been signed from Chester in 1980 and after a couple of seasons in the reserves had broken into the first team and established himself as a prolific goalscorer.
In Fagan’s second and final season as manager, Liverpool lost out on the league title to local rivals Everton – with four matches to spare. They reached the European Cup final to face Italian champions Juventus at the decrepit Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium. Before kick-off, a rampage by Liverpool supporters resulted in the death of 39 people who were crushed to death when a wall collapsed. The shockwaves from this reverberated round European football and lead to UEFA banning all English teams from European competitions until 1990.
Fagan retired after the Heysel Disaster and handed over the reins to former Liverpool striker Kenny Dalglish, who was given the role of player-manager. He died at the age of 80 in July 2001 after a long illness.