Joe Fagan

Date of Birth: 12 Mar 1921

Birthplace: England

GAMES: 131

WON: 71


LOST: 24





League Championship 1983-84

Milk Cup 1984

European Cup 1984


It was almost inevitable that the successor to Bob Paisley's reign as Reds boss would come from within the confines of the club's famous Bootroom.

It was an evolution that had served Liverpool so well when Shanks handed over the reins to Paisley and it would continue to do so under the leadership of Joe Fagan.

A quiet and effective worker behind the scenes, Joe's succession to the Anfield throne was the logical step after he had risen through the ranks under Paisley after Shankly resigned back in 1974.

While many observers felt it was an easy job to oversee the running of a well-oiled winning machine like Liverpool FC, Fagan was faced with some serious decisions on taking charge, and needed all his experience to ensure his installation as boss did not upset the apple cart.

To put it simply, events had transpired that meant he could not take on Paisley's side and expect it to keep winning trophies.  

The Reds had lost the inspirational Graeme Souness to Sampdoria and with other first-team regulars beginning to wane it was clear that astute transfer moves were needed.

Fortunately for Liverpool, Fagan was up to the task.  

Kevin MacDonald and Jim Beglin, who both did their respective jobs with distinction, were brought in as well the then unfamiliar face of Danish player Jan Molby.

Molby went on to become a Kop hero. A cultured player of rare quality, it was testament to Fagan's years of accumulated experience that he could see the enormous potential in the midfielder.

Following Paisley and the impressive range of trophies secured under his tenure was never going to be an easy task. But it was a challenge Fagan more than rose to, leading the Reds to the League, European Cup and League Cup treble.

Furthermore they were finalists in the World Club Championship.

Under Fagan the Reds played with a cool, calculating efficiency, with every part functioning in balance and harmony.

Few would doubt that if history had not intervened, he could well have gone on to win another major honour in his final season. 

After securing a place in a fifth European Cup final, and with a side tipped by all but the Juventus fans to win, he had every reason to be optimistic.

But after the appalling crowd violence and the meaningless deaths of Italian supporters in the crumbling and inadequate Heysel Stadium in Brussels, his retirement was overshadowed by tragedy.

It was a sad end for a quiet and unassuming man.

In his later years he would often show up at Melwood and offer advice to a fellow bootroom graduate, Roy Evans, who always had time to listen to the words of wisdom Fagan had to offer.

He sadly passed away in July 2001 at the age of 80. 

Joe will forever be remembered as a fine Reds manager and a true Bootroom great.