Almost 20 years to the very day Liverpool clinched an historic league and cup double against Everton at Wembley, a magnificent crowd of 32,947 turned out to see John Durnin grab a 90th minute winner for Liverpool in a charity re-match of the 1986 final.
Reds and Blues joined forces at Anfield this afternoon to raise money for the Marina Dalglish Appeal as legends from both divides dug out their boots again to restage the first ever all-Merseyside FA Cup final. The crowd had to wait a full 90 minutes before Liverpool could grab the goal that would secure a hard-fought 1-nil victory but there were no complaints from a delirious Kop.
After an emotional minute's applause to remember the lives of Denise McAllister and Brian Labone, it was game on again as 10 of the players who starred at Wembley for the Reds back in '86 (Craig Johnston's place was taken by Steve McMahon) took on their Everton counterparts, captained by Kevin Ratcliffe.
For Kenny Dalglish, the man who organised the day, the action lasted all of 53 seconds! Unable to reach a Jan Molby pass out towards the wing, the Reds Player-Manager made his first substitution of the game himself. As he carried on jogging right off the pitch and towards the bench, laughter rang out from all four corners of the ground.
The substitution did little to dampen Liverpool's goal threat however and the deadlock was almost broken after just three minutes through the unlikely figure of Dave Watson. The Liverpool-supporting defender, who joined Everton three months after the original final was played, spectacularly headed against his own bar with Bobby Mimms easily beaten. Fortunately for Everton, the ball rebounded to safety.
With waistlines a good few sizes bigger and knees no longer as steady, the pace of the game was anything but frantic. Chances were few and far between and while the first-half never seriously threatened a goal after Watson's near-miss, the game was worth watching for Steve McMahon's antics alone. The midfielder had flown in from Singapore to play and in didn't take him long to show he's lost none of his trademark bite. Snapping into every tackle and disputing every decision that didn't go Liverpool's way, McMahon was soon involved in an ongoing tussle with Peter Reid. With the equally competitive Kevin McDonald alongside him, the pair were determined that Everton weren't going to enjoy a leisurely stroll around the Anfield pitch.
Goalless at half-time, Dalglish brought himself back on for the restart and his re-introduction brought the game to life. With Molby pulling the strings in midfield, Liverpool upped the pace and might have taken the lead but for a great save from Mimms when Dalglish found himself with a rare yard of space in the box. The Everton 'keeper was twice called into action moments afterwards when first Rush then Barnes tried their luck in the box.
With the game looking destined to end in stalemate, John Durnin popped up in the 90th minute to score the goal that would win the game and break the Everton hearts. Anfield loved it!
Liverpool: Bruce Grobbelaar, Mark Lawrenson, Jim Beglin, Steve Nicol, Ronnie Whelan, Alan Hansen, Kenny Dalglish, Kevin McDonald, Ian Rush, Jan Molby, Steve McMahon. Subs: Alan Kennedy, Bob Bolder, Gary Gillespie, John Barnes, Ray Houghton, John Durnin, John Wark, Gary Ablett
Everton: Bobby Mimms, Alan Harper, Neil Pointon, Kevin Ratcliffe, Dave Watson, Peter Reid, Trevor Steven, Adrian Heath, Graeme Sharp, Paul Bracewell, Ian Snodin. Subs: Barry Horne, Ian Atkins, Paul Wilkinson, Alan Irvine, John Bailey.