Well RED: The Good and the Bad

Breaking the Curse of the Cup, Shanks and the lads make history by winning the club's first FA Cup trophy. But with the town celebrating Shankly's Reds, tragedy sneaks in through the back door.



Leeds United. Don Revie. The team of the era in the competition that seemed impossible to crack. When it comes to proving the old maxim that nothing worth accomplishing comes easy, that double whammy must have looked a tall order. Still, knowing Shankly, there would be no way that the team would go into the competition feeling that way.

Before they could get to the pitch, however, there was the small matter of the build-up in the town to the match itself. In what would be a foreshadowing of the darkness to come, the chapter opens on a scene featuring Shankly and club secretary Jimmy McInnes fielding interminable phone calls and receiving mountain piles of mail all requesting tickets for the final at Wembley. Liverpool, if it were ever in doubt, is mad for its football club.

On the pitch, a classic battle took place - complete with rain, injuries and late-game heroics. In the end, the boys in Red took the win and in what has become a rather familiar sight, LFC once again came out as winners in a competition - league winners last year and owners of the FA Cup trophy this season. Celebrations were as raucous as could be expected and the scenes depicted by Peace seem to indicate that the masses gathered during this season's late run-in of games are merely a continuation of a legendary tradition of strong and passionate fan support for the club.

With very little time for a break, Shanks had to turn his attention to hosting last year's European Cup winners at Anfield: Inter Milan. Again, before a vocal and bouyant Liverpool crowd, the Reds shocked the establishment by registering a solid victory. Liverpool had shaken any notions of being a flash-in-the-pan success and were now serving notice to the footballing giants across Europe.

Sadly, the good times gave way to very tragic moments as Jimmy McInnes was found by staffers (and Shankly himself) after having hung himself due to the associated with ticketing. Shortly after this bleak news broke, Liverpool were bounced from the European Cup after losing to Inter in the away fixture.

Paradoxes. Life. And time continues to march on.

Talking Points:

- Heavy, heavy moments. The scenes depicting Jimmy's increasing work-load and the psychological toll that it was taking, balanced with the scene with Shanks receiving the phone call were absolutely heart-breaking. From a literary standpoint, just a great piece of work. From a real life standpoint, utterly devastating.

- Ah, the Anfield crowd!! So many great moments of the City brought to life by the team's success. My favorite moment was being able to draw a direct line from the depictions of the crowd greeting the team coach to the scenes that went viral this year. Next season can't come soon enough!

- If I've got the timeline right, we're on the verge of a little dry spell with regards to trophies. Seems another nifty tip that the heaviness of the events (coupled with being bounced out of the European Cup) were the close of another rather successful season. Foreshadowing, etc. but I also sense that the juxtaposition of events was intentional.

What are your thoughts?

NOTE: Apologies on the rather inconsistent posting of recent editions of Well RED. I'm on the verge of some pretty big life changes (wedding bells, y'all) so the convergence of major projects (personal and work-related) have conspired to limit my ability to get these out on their regularly scheduled time. I just wanted to take a moment to thank the regular readers and commenters for sticking it out as well as let you know that while I intend to finish out this book, it's going to continue to be a little bit more spaced out than the week-to-week expectation at least through the end of August when I return from my honeymoon. Thank you all again (especially the mods here at TLO) for your support of this little passion project of mine and I hope to continue to be a part of the wonderful discussion. Cheers to you lot!

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