Author claims famous Liverpool anthem started at Manchester United


You'll Never Walk Alone is synonymous with Liverpool Football Club but the co-author of a new book claims it started at Old Trafford

The co-author of a new book that examines the fierce rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United claims that Anfield's most famous terrace song has it's football roots in the Stretford End.

When the two most successful clubs in English football go head-to-head at Old Trafford on Monday evening, one of football's most intense duels will resume. It is a relationship of mutual intense dislike that has been examined in a new book called Red on Red , written by BBC Sports journalist Phil McNulty and Telegraph columnist Jim White.

And after discussing the new publication in an interview with Irish podcast Off the Ball , it emerged that Manchester United supporter White has a rather controversial theory on the terrace origins of Liverpool's long-standing club anthem You'll Never Walk Alone.

Supporters on the Kop at Anfield have become world renowned for singing the musical show tune that was covered by Liverpool band Gerry and the Pacemakers, since the 1960s. But White believes that it was lifted from an earlier rendition at Old Trafford.

Speaking on Off the Ball , he said: "In 1959, if think it was the New Mills Operatic Society, were rehearsing Carousel, which includes You'll Never Walk Alone, just after the Munich air crash, they went to Old Trafford and they started singing it in the Streford End and everyone started picking up on it. That's the story. I wasn't there of course!"

McNulty, who has written the new book covering the two clubs alongside White, said: "You can see me smiling, because I'm convinced that's a version of 'Would I lie to you?', with Jim trying to convince people that that's actually true. He's actually convinced himself that this is true and he's now on the hunt to find a Liverpool fan who will actually believe him. That's the problem.

"He's very convincing. He's sort all almost convinced me that it's true."

Although ill-feeling between the two hugely successful clubs feels like it has been around forever, both White and McNulty believe that the intense rivalry that is spoken of only really came to fruition in the 70s and was later intensified by Manchester United's success under Sir Alex Ferguson.

White said: "The rivalry is one that in a way has not been around forever. It's strange. We talk about Liverpool and Manchester and people talk about the Ship canal and all of these historical incidents, but actually, back in the 60s Manchester United and Liverpool respected each other very highly. They had two managers who were great friends in Bill Shankly and Matt Busby.

"We discovered during our research that it really started to boil up in the 70s. These are the two most decorated clubs in the English football but they have very rarely been in opposition at the same time. They've met in two FA Cup finals, two League Cup finals and they've met once in Europe.

"So we were looking at the points of these grand coming togethers and what made them difficult, tense, interesting occasions is because they were so rare. We start in the 1977 FA Cup final when United pricked the balloon of the Liverpool treble (attempt). United fans have been living off it ever since and Liverpool fans have been bitter about it ever since."

Despite White's claims about You'll Never Walk Alone, it seems unlikely that United supporters will be adopting the song as their own anytime in the near future.

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