Attempt to measure the success of any football club and the number of trophies won immediately comes to mind. At Anfield, however, the contents of the fabled trophy cabinet can only ever tell half the story about what makes Liverpool Football Club unique.
Whilst there are other clubs around the world who have won more trophies and titles, none of them can boast a history that even comes close to rivalling that of Liverpool FC.
From the legendary managers who captivated the imaginations of a city of football dreamers before conquering Europe to some of the most iconic players to ever grace the game, the club’s history is littered with great men - many from humble, working class backgrounds - who helped build Liverpool into the bastion of invincibility Bill Shankly always promised it would be.
Off the pitch and away from the dugout, if you dig a little deeper you get to the true soul of Liverpool Football Club. The background team who used to drink tea and plot the downfall of the great and the good from a tiny little room under the Main Stand; the tea ladies, admin staff and groundsmen who worked at the ground day after day, year after year and the fans who taught the football world how to sing and what it really means to support - truly, passionately, fanatically - support a football team.
It’s not without reason that The Kop is known throughout not just football but all of sport. Away from Anfield, the travels of Liverpool supporters is again stuff of legend. From the largest mass exodus from these shores since the Second World War to reach Rome in 1977 right through to internet tales of planes, trains and automobiles ahead of arriving in Istanbul some 28 years later, Liverpool fans have made as much history as the team they support.
It’s a history that has been written in books, in newspapers and even recently on the big screen but now we’re telling it again - this time through the medium of photographs on Tumblr.
The Reds Gallery, launched on Wednesday night, is a photo blog on Tumblr, the micro-blogging social media site that boasts over 42 million blogs and 18 billion posts.
We’ve launched it to share the history of Liverpool Football Club to a new online audience in the 21st century. Rather than employ endless streams of words in a digital age where the attention span of many online users is shorter than ever, we’re using photographs to tell this unique story - all sourced from a club archive of over 40,000 prints. Some choices will be iconic images you will have seen before but many others have never been published until now.
Yes, of course we’ll publish pictures of Bill Shankly, Kenny Dalglish and Steven Gerrard but we’ll also publish pictures of the backroom staff, cleaners and fans who, all in their own way, have helped shape Liverpool Football Club into what it is today.
Every week, we’ll add a few more pictures for you to enjoy and if you really like them, each photograph is instantly available to order online from the Official LFC Picture Store by simply clicking on the image. Whether you simply want a high quality print, canvas or framed version of a classic photo, the choice is yours. Or maybe, you just want to enjoy the pictures on this blog. Either way, we hope you enjoy looking at the pictures and reading the captions as much as we’re enjoying putting it together.
If you’re a Liverpool supporter, this is your story.
This is history.