Ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool this weekend, writers from our fan partner United We Stand bring us their memories and opinions of the fierce rivalry between the cities and clubs.
The Liverpool – Manchester United is still the biggest rivalry in English football by a distance. Whilst many pretenders have come and gone, both clubs have maintained a tremendous dislike for all my life; a dislike so strong that you can feel the edginess in the mood and atmosphere on the day of the match as away supporters quietly head towards their positions in the noticeably similar terraced houses around Old Trafford and Anfield.
The hatred passes through players. Those players such as Steven Gerrard and Gary Neville grew up supporting their respected clubs and evidently these matches meant so much more; the runs, the tackles, the exuberant celebrations, the red cards, kicks, and even stamps show that there is no better game to win, and none more frustrating to lose.
Their elation is as torturous as your deflation in defeat and although you may play them again in weeks or even months, you can’t even bring yourself to think about next weekend’s game such is the feeling.
You develop an irrational hatred for everything these players do. You’ve no interest in their playing ability or how they became synonymous with their support, and instead you look for every single stick to beat them with whether football related or personal.
I hate their traditional routines and pride. The two most successful teams in English football, there is a great deal of pride as well as envy at the achievements of the other. A combined 38 league titles and 8 European Cups, trebles and multiple doubles mean this is the rivalry that surpasses all others. Whilst geography inspires some rivalries, this one has that along with a longstanding tussle to be the most successful club in the country.