As we approach the forthcoming game with Liverpool it’s good to recall that the fixture has produced some significant results in previous fights against relegation. The Great Escape of 1966 was triggered that February by an unlikely 2-0 victory over the Champions elect. Safety was secured in May 2007 by Clint Dempsey’s first goal for the club that was also assisted by Liverpool resting several key players ahead of a Champions League semi-final. Neil Warnock would happily supply any further details- the poor lamb has never quite got over it.
However, perhaps our most memorable game with them was more due to the circumstances surrounding it. Johnny Haynes, our greatest ever player had died suddenly in the week prior at the age of 71. Before the match, there was a wonderful minute’s silence for the departed maestro, with the club unveiling a giant number 10 shirt as the players gathered. We had made a slow start to the season and hopes weren’t particularly high of victory that day. However, perhaps the players were subconsciously motivated by the thought of not letting our old hero down. Collins John put us in front in the 30th minute but the visitors were putting us under increasing pressure in the second half when Mark Crossley pulled up lame. Liverpool born Tony Warner came on and made a couple of brilliant saves to keep his boyhood team at bay. Luis Boa Morte then clinched the points in stoppage time after Steed Malbranque had set him up to seal the perfect tribute to our departed legend. It would be nice to think he’ll be looking down on a similar victory on Sunday.
Fulham: Crossley (Warner 63′), Volz, Goma, Bocanegra, Jensen (Rosenior 69′), Malbranque, Claus Jensen, Diop, Boa Morte, Elrich (McBride 76′), John.
Unused Substitutes: Rehman, Helguson.
Liverpool: Reina, Kromkamp, Carragher, Hyypiä, Traore (Luis García 59′), Kewell (Crouch 75′), Alonso, Sissoko, John Arne Riise, Morientes, Cissé.
Unused Substitutes: Carson, Warnock, Hamann.
Fulham boss Chris Coleman: “It was a special day for us because we were paying tribute to a Fulham legend and a football legend.
“It was great to round it off with two great goals and a wonderful display.
“I’m thrilled with the players. Liverpool had a lot of possession, but we were patient and when we attacked we did so with purpose.”
Liverpool boss Rafael Benetiz: “The result is not good. They created maybe two chances and scored two goals.
“We created a lot of chances and didn’t score. The best player in the second half was their goalkeeper.
“Gerrard was almost fit. Two days ago he was training, but yesterday he felt something again.”
What the fans said:
very poignant memories for me, Johnny Haynes had died and seeing Tosh Chamberlain in tears, the minutes silence, (the #LiverpoolFC fans were superb in their observance) where all you could hear were the turnstiles eerily clicking & the scarf my Mum knitted for me as a kid on TV.. pic.twitter.com/8mabCe3cyd
— LBNo11FFC (@LBNo11FFC) March 12, 2019
Possibly my proudest moment as a Club servant, carrying from the pitch the Johnny Haynes wreath.
— MarkMaunders (@MarkMaunders) March 12, 2019
I remember it well. A day to remember the great man and celebrate his life. The win was in some ways coincidental.
— Brian Tea ?? ⚽️ (@brian_tea) March 13, 2019
Mostly that it was the first time we beat the reigning European champions.
(The second time being the 2-0 over Man Utd in 2009)
I’m too young for Johnny Haynes so didn’t have much emotional engagement in that.
— Douglas (@DougieFFC) March 12, 2019
Such a sad day ?but players really stepped up in JH’s memory beating Liverpool, still got the t-shirt ?
— Lloydrović (@lloydt1) March 12, 2019
I wore my free JH t-shirt for ten years until it fell apart 🙂
— JimbobFFC (@JamieWFFC) March 12, 2019
Poignant day, minutes silence observed impeccably by all fans & Reyna the Liverpool keeper putting his arm around Tosh Chamberlain who looked like he was in bits bless him
— HILLINGDONFFC (@JustinCorbin4) March 13, 2019
We did it for Johnny
— Monopoly Dog (@DogMonopoly) March 13, 2019
Hugely underrated day to be a Fulham fan. Beating the then European Champions and saying goodbye to our greatest legend. https://t.co/HevHdrqN61
— Michael Cox (@MichaelCox3792) March 13, 2019