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It was a Monday dinner, March 1974, I'd just managed to escape the boredom of another pointless French lesson, I went running towards the dinner hall to meet my mate who'd managed to slip a transistor radio in his school bag, “OI MICK”....”We've only drawn fucking Liverpool” boomed my mate down the school corridor, SHIT! it had to be bleeding Liverpool, why not Burnley or Newcastle?..god how I hated Liverpool, and things weren't about to improve any in the coming weeks, months and years.

The hatred started for me in 1969 when I went to the 5th round cup tie at Filbert Street with my dad but for many more it started at a soaking wet FA Cup Semi-Final at Hillsborough in 1963.
Liverpool had slipped into near obscurity for eight years in 1954, the 'Mighty Reds' had been relegated to the second division and many on Merseyside thought it was just a blip and promotion the following season was a formality, how wrong they were.

Demotion to Division 2 wasn't quite the disaster in those days that it is today, with one particular difference. They swapped places with Everton, who had just spent 3 years in the second division and who were promoted as Liverpool took the plunge.
It wasn't until 1962 that they would return to the top flight, Leicester, of course, had their own little dip into the second division, they were relegated in 1955 but unlike our friends from the North West, they made it back into Division 1 at the second time of asking. A 3-1 win over Liverpool in February '57 helped to see City promoted as champions.

The season 1962/63 started with both teams looking to make a good start, Leicester were especially keen to improve on the previous season's disappointing 14th place. Leicester had certainly made the better start as the two teams met at Filbert Street in the October, City were at full strength and with the forward line in fine form it was no surprise to see City coast to a 3-0 victory.

The two teams didn't meet again until the following year and again it was another victory to Leicester, Keyworth and Gibson scoring in a 2-0 win.​
Liverpool had got a reputation of being a club with fanatical support and also being very sporting, this was put to the test at Hillsborough in late April. The two teams were drawn to play each other in the FA Cup Semi-Final. The game was played in terrible conditions with almost continuous heavy rain. Bill Shankly had been very worried about the threat of Mike Stringfellow, Stringy had run them ragged in the two league meetings earlier in the season and Shankly had pre-warned his team not to give Stringy an inch as he'd score and sure enough after 18 minutes Stringfellow headed home. The game was far from being a classic, City staged a rearguard akin to the Alamo virtually encamped in their own half for most of the second period, Banks was outstanding as City reached Wembley for the third time.
After the game the loveable scallies went into overdrive and turned into a pack of animals, They attacked Leicester fans at will, fights broke out all the was from the ground to Sheffield Railway Station.

Mr Robinson, From Leicestershire, said in a recent interview “The '63 Semi was frightening for a 10-year-old afterwards and l hadn't seen anything as bad as it before. It was scary getting back to the coach and the parking wasn't segregated. They dished out paper hats to both sets of fans on Cup days back then.It had rained so much during the game that those not undercover the ink had run. Hundreds of scouser lads were all around the buses, seeing who they could pick off, with the ink off their red hats daubed across their faces like a horde of Red Indians.

Wouldn't have missed Mighty String's towering winning header and Bank's world-class save from Ian St.John in the dying seconds for all the world though!”

The start of the 1963/64 season quickly around and City once again made a solid started, The first league meeting took place at Anfield in the November and Leicester made it 4 consecutive wins without conceding a goal, Keyworth again finding the net in a 1-0 win.

The next meeting was in the following March and Leicester would face a team that was destined to become Champions. Leicester had turned into something of a bogey side for Liverpool but as they closed in on the 1964 league title the Reds finally broke the spell. Goals from Roger Hunt and Alf Arrowsmith gave the Reds a 2-0 win, but only after the Filbert Street ground staff had re-painted the lines, posts and walls after Liverpool fans had broken into the ground.

Those jovial rapscallions had scaled a wall to get into Filbert Street overnight and daubed walls and doors with pro-Liverpool graffiti as well as the goalposts and pitch lines in Liverpool red which had obviously been bought down especially for the job.

When the ground staff arrived on the morning of the match they found both goalposts and crossbars painted red, the corner flags painted the same colour and rough graffiti on the player's tunnel and surrounding walls and doors.
“Ian St John” “Kop” “Liverpool” and “Roger Hunt” had been daubed in a foot high letters, one piece of graffiti proclaimed that Liverpool would win 10-0.
The staff quickly got to work to remove the paint and all that was left when supporters arrived was some blush pink patches were still visible.

To be continued