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Steve Graves

March 3, 1990, main stand, towards the Anfield Road end. That much I know. Liverpool 1 Milwall 0 definitely happened.

Apparently Peter Beardsley missed a penalty. I don’t remember. Rush scored one – disallowed. I didn’t properly understand the offside rule and couldn’t see anyway but shouted myself hoarse at the injustice.

Then Steve Nicol, second half, jinked through seemingly hundreds of tackles around the edge of the box before slotting home in front of us. Disallowed again – to this day I have no idea why.

Finally, late on, Gary Gillespie started a run of three vital goals in the 12-game title run-in with a back-header from what I estimated to be 60 yards.

Those are, probably, the facts. But while I just about remember the major incidents (small matters like penalty misses aside), they’re shrouded in an unnatural pallor in my mind’s eye.

Perhaps that’s to do with the weather, foggy and bitterly cold even for Anfield in March. The Kop felt miles away, a seething, formless mass I could hear more than see.

The ground seemed hulking, even before the Kemlyn Road stand acquired its second tier and Centenary re-branding. Most of all, in my mind’s eye everything is grey, drained almost entirely of colour.

Why does that day seem so very far away? Perhaps because it was.
Twenty one years, in football terms, is several lifetimes. The careers of the players we saw that day are long since over (although Steve Torpey, in the Milwall squad but unused on the day, was registered for York City last season).

Since 1990, English football at its highest level has changed dramatically in its structure, aesthetics and personnel. The game’s balance of power has shifted by almost tectonic proportions.

My seven-year-old self would never have believed I wouldn’t see a Liverpool title win again before I was 30 (and counting). Nor, I suspect, would anyone in the ground that day.

This memory is an edited version of an article originally published on

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