32 Flags is celebrating Derby Week. This week, we are going to cover both the Merseyside and North London Derbies. Stay tuned with 32 Flags as we’ll have articles throughout the week, culminating with us live tweeting both games on Saturday on our @32flags Twitter account.
#1) Origins of the Merseyside Derby
The Merseyside Derby started after Everton moved from Anfield to Goodison Park in 1892. Because of the move, Anfield was empty so former Everton chairman, John Houlding, started Liverpool and played in the vacant Anfield. Because the two stadiums are within about a mile from each other and the circumstances with Everton and Houlding and the subsequent formation of Liverpool, it created a natural rivalry between the two teams.
#2) Why is it called “The Friendly Derby?”
For two days out of the year, Liverpool fans and Everton fans get to be rivals. For the other 363 days, these fans work together, go to church together, socialize together and may even be related to each other. The rivalry is still there and no one wants to lose to the other team but most local fans know that they’re all Scousers at the end of the day.
One such example of The Friendly Derby is the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster 25 years ago. Even to this day, Everton has pledged their support toward Liverpool and joined them in their mourning and the fight to find the truth at Hillsborough.
#4) The Merseyside Derby may be friendly, but it’s not that friendly
The Merseyside Derby is known for being the most physical matchup in the entire EPL. Since the start of the EPL in 1994, there have been 20 red cards given. This is an extremely physical game and is tough for any referee to control.
#5) This is the 223rd Merseyside Derby
The Merseyside Derby is one of the most played match ups in soccer. In the previous 222 games, Liverpool has 89 wins, Everton has 66 wins and there are 67 draws.
#6) Players who have played for both teams
In the 122 year history of the Merseyside Derby, 44 players have played for both Liverpool and Everton. Of those, only two players (David Johnson and Peter Beardsley) have scored a goal for both sides in a Merseyside Derby match.
#7) Plenty of hardware to go around
Liverpool and Everton are two of the most successful teams in English soccer. Except for Manchester United and Liverpool, the Merseyside Derby boasts more trophies than any other rivalry in English soccer. The two teams combine for 27 First Division titles, 12 FA Cups, eight League Cups, 24 Community Shields and five Champions League titles.
#8) Merseyside Derby in Cup Finals
There have been six Merseyside Derbies which were for a trophy. Liverpool won four of those games, Everton won one and they shared the Charity/Community Shield in 1986.
1966 Charity Shield (Liverpool won)
1984 League Cup (Liverpool won)
1984 Charity Shield (Everton won)
1986 FA Cup (Liverpool won)
1986 Charity Shield (Draw)
1989 FA Cup (Liverpool won)
#9) Longest running derby
The Merseyside Derby is the longest currently played derby in English soccer. Liverpool and Everton have played at least once a year since 1962.
#10) Famous players in the Merseyside Derby who grew up supporting the other team
One great thing about the Merseyside Derby is that both teams take pride in taking the best local players from Liverpool and putting them on the squad. While it’s every kids dream to be playing for the team they support as a child, sometimes players wind up playing for the team they grew up supporting against. Notable players who grew up Liverpool fans but played for Everton include Peter Reid, Dave Watson, Mike Newell, Nick Barmby and currently, Leighton Baines. Notable players who grew up Everton fans but played for Liverpool include Ian Rush, Michael Owen, Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Jamie Carragher and currently, Adam Lailana.