Title won for sixth time

18 April 1964

After a season of consolidation following promotion from Division Two, Bill Shankly completed a remarkable turnaround in the club's fortunes by bringing the League Championship back to Anfield.

It might have been our sixth title, but it was the first of what would become an unprecedented era of success as Liverpool conquered England and Europe.

The campaign began with a 2-1 victory at Ewood Park, a game which saw the mercurial Peter Thompson make his Reds debut. At £37,000, the former Preston winger hadn't come cheap, but after finishing the title-winning season as one of three ever-presents (the others were Ian Callaghan and Gordon Milne), no-one was in any doubt that Shanks had spent wisely.

The Blackburn game was followed by consecutive home defeats before a bore draw at Nottingham Forest – hardly championship form. Luckily, star striker Roger Hunt was about to hit a purple patch which would see him net eight goals in seven games.

During this period, Wolves were dispatched 6-0, with fellow Midlanders Aston Villa also thumped 5-2. The campaign was back on track.

Here was a side full of future legends: Tommy Lawrence between the sticks, Ron Yeats, Chris Lawler and Tommy Smith seemingly impregnable at the back, and Thompson and Ian Callaghan flying down the wings to set up Ian St John and Hunt up front.

The latter went on to net 33 goals in all competitions throughout 1963-64, including four against Stoke City. Not to be outdone, teammate Alf Arrowsmith matched the feat in the following game against Derby.

Shanks' pre-season proclamation that his squad could win the league was turning into a reality. Not that the word 'squad' was strictly accurate, for the gaffer was a man who didn't believe in injuries, and it would come as no surprise to star players when they were sent out onto the pitch with an aggravation which in later years would warrant weeks on the sidelines.

It was a season of goals, goals, goals, with 60 plundered in front of a jubilant Anfield faithful alone. Fans saw their heroes net five or more goals on an incredible seven occasions throughout the season, including a 6-1 thrashing of Sheffield United in the first game of 1964.

It was a run of seven straight wins through March and April which ultimately secured the title, a time in which Shanks' watertight defence proved its worth by conceding just two goals.

The key points were picked up with a 5-0 win against Arsenal on April 18, 1964, a day when the turnstiles had to be locked an hour before kick off because the ground was already full. Those lucky enough to take their place in the ground witnessed goals from Hunt, Arrowsmith, St John and Thompson (2) – and it would have been more had Callaghan not had a penalty saved by former Reds stopper Jim Furnell.

The post-match celebrations saw captain Yeats walk to the touchline and kiss a female fan before receiving a bottle of champagne to start the celebrations.

With the famous trophy in the bag, it hardly mattered that Liverpool lost two and drew the other of their last three games. The gap to second-placed Man Utd stayed at four points, with Mersey rivals Everton in third.