Book Review: Red Odyssey

The Anfield Talk’s Robin (@robbiemac72) reviewed Jeff Goulding’s new book, Red Odyssey.

Red Odyssesy can be purchased here.

  1. When the words ‘History’ and ‘Books’ are mentioned a flashback to school books usually results in a shudder. But relax because this is one history book you’ll love as it’s about our beloved club, Liverpool FC. ‘Red Odyssey’ by Jeff Goulding is out now and it’s a very enjoyable read. Published by Pitch Publishing this is Goulding’s first book already a prolific feature writer for ‘This is Anfield’. This is a book written by a fan for the fans and I highly recommend you buy this one or at least, have it on your want list for Summer holiday reading. This is a book suitable for young and old, filled with stories to be immensely enjoyed by all. It’s a great reminder of the glory days, the birth of a legend, Bill Shankly and how the club came into existence, right up to the arrival of the ‘normal one’, Jürgen Klopp in October 2015 with his ‘Heavy metal’ football and Boom soundbites.

John Houlding back in March 15th 1892 registered with the Football Association a breakaway club from Everton whom he was in dispute with over raising the rent at Anfield. Thus the legend of Liverpool Football Club and Athletics Grounds Limited was born. John McKenna an Irishman from Co. Monaghan was the very first Liverpool manager at a time they played in Blue only becoming ‘the Reds’ after Tom Watson took over in 1896.

There is a piece on how Liverpool became the first English team to win at the Nou Camp against Barcelona in the 1975/76 season under Bob Paisley in the UEFA cup semifinal en route to lifting the trophy that season.

The arrival of the ‘King’, Kenny Dalglish who replaced Kevin Keegan in 1977 is another important piece of Liverpool FC history, a player and future manager who would go on to create history and become an Anfield legend. Currently the only person to win the League and FA cup double as a player-manager in the modern era of the English League. The brilliance of his 1987 signings of John Barnes and Peter Beardsley can never be forgotten along with John Aldridge and Ray Houghton, two double signings from Oxford, played in one of the greatest Liverpool team in history never to win the European Cup due to the ban after Heysel.

The exploits of my personal favorite player of all time Ian Rush are highlighted with his FA cup brilliance in both 1986 and 1989 finals victories over Everton. A phenomenal goal scoring machine with 346 goals in 660 games. Under Joe Fagan he scored 47 in 65 appearances in our 1983/84 season, helping Liverpool become the first team in England to win three major trophies in the same season as they won the league title, European Cup and League Cup. The year of Bruce Grobbelaar’s wobbling his legs in the Liverpool goal in the European Cup Final vs Roma whom we beat in their own home ground which hosted the Final.

The astonishing achievement of the 2001 treble under Gerard Houllier is another personal favourite of mine highlighted in Goulding’s book. The emergence of Gary McAllister as a Liverpool legend and vital cog in this 2001 treble season is also mentioned. A player brought into the club at the grand age of 35 raised questions among fans and at the age of 36 after two seasons, 87 appearances and nine goals for Liverpool he departed as one of the most important players in the modern history of the club.

Other notable mentions are naturally our 2005 triumph in the Champions League over AC Milan, a feat of winning after being 3:0 down at halftime was never achieved in Champions League history before.

This is ultimately a fine read of a book so many gems and nuggets of information lie inside the covers. A story of a unique club with fans like no other in the game of football, with the Kop and the Liverpool anthem of ‘You’ll never walk alone’.

The book fittingly is dedicated to the 96 victims of The Hillsborough disaster. Least we never forget. YNWA.

Robin McNamara

Former journalist Insight Magazine Dublin & published poet. Currently work at Cartamundi Ireland. Liverpool fan since I was 10. Slowly embracing blogging or whatever this is.⚽️👍🏼✨

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