How do you want to reach the pinnacle of your managerial career? In comfort, obviously.

Jürgen Klopp lifted the European Cup in his trademark tracksuit back in 2019, but Joe Fagan preceded him to that feat decades before in such particular attire. 

For the 1984 final in Rome, Fagan became the first Reds boss to ditch the suit and tie for the biggest game in club football. 

He oversaw one of the greatest European nights in the club's history in a grey, red and white tracksuit as his side took down AS Roma in their own backyard. 

In typical Fagan fashion, he blended into the Liverpool bench at the Stadio Olimpico that night.

"That's just the way Joe was," Chris Lawler, part of the coaching staff that night in Italy, tells "He was down to earth."

Roy Evans can't recall the specific decision to wear such clothing in the Italian capital, though believes it may have been Fagan's way of staying true to his coaching roots. 

In diary extracts from his second day as Reds boss, Fagan wrote: "I am also dressed up in collar and tie. It is not my normal gear – but it becomes me."

"I always think they like to wear a tracksuit," Evans says. "Most of the Liverpool managers were like that because they were down on the pitch, being part of the game.

"They'd all come through the football side of it and didn't really want to go into the managerial side because it becomes slightly different. You can become separated if you're the boss and everyone's looking at you. 

"They tried to keep in touch with everybody. Joe, especially, was trying to keep in touch with everybody."

The dress code of Liverpool's coaching staff in Rome was very much in line with Liverpool's preparations for the '84 final: low-key and relaxed. 

With a two-week gap between the end of the First Division season and meeting with Roma, Fagan decided to take the squad to Israel for a week-long training camp.

The justification was to help the team adjust to the humid conditions that awaited them in Rome. The reality, however, was 'a holiday to relax', according to captain Graeme Souness. 

"It was the best thing we ever did really," Lawler says now. "I think it was something unique but it worked. It was somewhere to be together and get your mind set for it."

Even on the day of the final itself, tranquility throughout the group remained.

"The morning of the game, we go for a walk," Souness begins the tale. "It was meant to be a training session but the training ground wasn't very good, so we couldn't train and we'd been stitched up a bit. 

"We came back to the hotel, we were having lunch and after everyone had finished, he tapped a spoon or knife on the glass, like a wine glass, and asked the waiters, 'Boys, could you leave us?' We were all nudging each other, thinking he was going to make a long speech – we didn't have team meetings. 

"So, he stood up and it was obvious after about 30 seconds he was talking to himself. He said, 'Big game tonight. These must be a good team, they're got several World Cup winners, a couple of Brazilians.' 

"Then there was a pause and he said, 'They're not as good as us. And make sure you're not late, the bus leaves at 5.15.' 

"That was his team talk for the European Cup final."

Liverpool, of course, beat Roma that night in thrilling circumstances, in as hostile a venue there'd been. 

It completed a truly historic first season in charge of the club for Fagan, who had guided his players to an unprecedented treble – the European Cup, First Division and League Cup. 

Humble Joe remained his modest self, though. 

Lawler finishes: "We were walking back to the coach and I was in charge of the reserve team then, he had hold of one side of the cup and I had the other. He said to me, 'It hasn't been a bad season for us, me and you.' 

"I said, 'Joe, I've only won a Central League, you've won the European Cup.' 

"He said, 'Ah, we're all in it together.'"

Watch | Kings of Europe: Rome '84