Joy for Reds in first all-Merseyside final

Joy for Reds in first all-Merseyside final28 March 1984

It was billed as the Merseyside derby of all Merseyside derbies - Liverpool and Everton going head-to-head at Wembley for the first time in history.

Glory and celebration awaited the winners...but for the losers life would be almost unbearable.

The Reds had been the dominant force in the city for over a decade but there was now a fresh wave of optimism amongst Toffees supporters who felt that, under Howard Kendall, their club was on the verge of their first trophy in 14 years.

It all promised a mouthwatering showdown and ticket requests for the clash reached almost unprecedented levels as the allocations of 35,000 per club failed to meet demand.

It paved the way for a Scouse invasion on the weekend of the game, with motorways heading south packed with a mix of blue and red traffic.

The only thing dampening spirits was the rain, and when the game got under way it seemed to suit Everton as they enjoyed the better of the first-half.

Alan Hansen was lucky to escape being penalised after he appeared to handle the ball in the area while the Blues also missed three good opportunities in open play.

Joe Fagan's side needed to respond and had an Alan Kennedy goal harshly ruled out after Ian Rush was adjudged to be offside.

Despite showing improvement as the game progressed, the Reds struggled to break down the Everton rearguard and the match would eventually finish goalless after both 90 minutes and extra-time.

The 'friendly' derby had finished in deadlock and in a show of sportsmanship both sides enjoyed a lap of honour with the fans uniting in their chant of 'Merseyside, Merseyside, Merseyside.'

Three days later and it was round two - the replay.

This time it was at a venue much closer to home, Manchester City's Maine Road ground.

A crowd of 100,000 fans at Wembley had been whittled down to 52, 000 lucky supporters who would have the pleasure - and the agony - of seeing Graeme Souness drill Liverpool in front on 21 minutes.

It was a sublime finish from the skipper and a goal that would prove to be the winner as Everton huffed and puffed without managing to beat Bruce Grobbelaar in the Reds' goal.

It was a win that was celebrated well into the night by the red half of Merseyside as fans toasted Joe Fagan's first trophy as manager at the expense of our closest rivals.