League Cup Final Of The Day: Liverpool vs Manchester United, 1983
For all the hubris surrounding modern managers, on a European level at least there will only be one Bob Paisley. Paisley was the manager of Liverpool for just nine years, and in that time his club were the champions of England on six occasions, the champions of Europe three times and the winners of the League Cup on three occasions, a golden period for the club that it may never see again. He joined Liverpool in May 1939 and stayed at Anfield until his retirement at the start of 1992, as a player, physiotherapist, coach, manager and director, giving up his position as manager at the end of the 1982/83 season in favour of Joe Fagan, who would take the club on to a fourth European Cup in Rome the following year before retiring after the Heysel Stadium disaster of 1985 to make way for Kenny Dalglish.
By the spring of 1983, it was already confirmed that Paisley would be retiring as the club’s manager at the end of that season. Already out of the FA Cup and the European Cup by the time of the League Cup final, it would be Paisley who would climb the steps to lift the trophy should Liverpool be able to get past Manchester United. The club’s run had seen them beat Ipswich Town, Rotherham United, Norwich City, West Ham United and Burnley. Manchester United, meanwhile, were somewhat surprisingly making their first appearance in the final of the competition. They’d already beaten Bournemouth, Bradford City, Nottingham Forest, Southampton and Arsenal to get there, and would return to Wembley twice at the very end of the season to play Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup final. Commentary comes from John Motson.
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