Wednesday, September 1, 2010

1 September 1892 - Anfield Turns Red

On 1 September 1892, Liverpool played their first match at Anfield - a 7-1 win over Rotherham Town in a friendly.

In use since 1884, Anfield had originally been the home ground for Everton, whose President, John Houlding, first leased the land, then bought it outright in 1885. Later, a dispute over rent increases led Everton to vacate the ground in favor of Goodison Park. Rather than allow his investment to go unused, Houlding established a new club, Liverpool, to play at Anfield.

Although Anfield had a capacity at the time of over 20,000, only 200 people showed up to watch the win over Rotherham Town. Attendances quickly improved, however, with Liverpool drawing a crowd of 5,000 for their first Lancashire League match at Anfield, a 4-0 win over Lincoln City. The current attendance record stands at 61,905 for a Fifth Round FA Cup match against Wolves on 2 February 1952, when the stadium still included terraces. Since being converted to an all-seater, Anfield's largest crowd was 44,983 for a Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur in 2006.

Anfield has been a good home to Liverpool, who won all of their matches there in the 1893-94 season and went undefeated there for the 1970-71, 1976-77, 1978-79, 1979-80, 1987-88, and 2008-09 seasons.

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