The chapter covering Joe Fagan is the shortest in Dynasty, and therefore the easiest to translate in full to the internet.
In many ways ‘genial Joe’ was the least interesting manager to write about, simply because of the brevity of his time in charge, and the fact that he was an uncomplicated character; nothing controversial really happened regarding his management (Heysel being an issue relating to the fans and a faulty stadium). Liverpool barely changed between 1983 and 1985, in terms of personnel, training methods, playing style and achievements on the pitch. It was business as usual.
As far as I’m aware, Fagan is the only Liverpool manager never to have a biography written about him, and unlike the other managers, good quotes were very hard to find. Also, I first attended Anfield during Kenny Dalglish’s reign, so I have first-hand experience of the reigns of five of the eight managers covered; while Shankly and Paisley’s ideas were very well documented, Fagan’s weren’t.
However, Joe did oversee one quite stunning year in the history of the club. We all know that the term ‘Big Brother’ has been taken away from George Orwell after he coined it for his seminal dystopian novel; equally, there’s no denying that ‘1984’ has its own, far sunnier significance to Liverpool fans. Rather than the time of doom that Orwell prophesied, for LFC, in purely football terms, it was a year of incredible jubilation.
To read the chapter in full, visit LFCHistory.net, which has also added some fine imagery.
This will be the final sample chapter of the book presented on the internet, and the only one in full. However, a small section of the Bob Paisley chapter is earmarked for the website dedicated to the great man.
Extract © Paul Tomkins 2008
“Tomkins not only shows why he is a prolific, talented writer but also cements his status as very knowledgeable and passionate Red. In my opinion this is Tomkins’ best work to date; a thoroughly excellent read.”
Vic Gill, Shanks’ son-in-law and former LFC trainee
“The project that Tomkins has taken on here is highly ambitious: assessing each of Liverpool’s managers since Bill Shankly. He does this in his own irrepressible style of analyzing in detail every area that falls within a manager’s remit. And whilst Tomkins has a talent for such a task, where he excels here is in approaching each manager without any apparent pre-conceived ideas.”
Paul Grech, Squarefootball.net
“A unique analysis of the club’s managers, which is no mean feat given the extensive bibliography of the club… informative … another perspective on the last 50 years at Liverpool.”
Programme & Football Collectable Monthly