The First Football Quarter – Liverpool’s Unique Friendly Rivalry

Liverpool is immersed in football history, it’s something you just can’t escape when visiting the city, it’s infectious and an asset we’re proud to embrace.

But one of the best things about our footballing culture is how truly unique the rivalry between Everton and Liverpool is.

It is the longest running top-flight derby in England, having been played continuously since the 1962–63 season and is known around the world as the ‘friendly derby’.

A relationship like no other, the Merseyside derby is built upon the respect between the fans, which is why Liverpool is the only city that could create the first Football Quarter.

Signature Living are planning to bring The Shankly Hotel and the new Dixie Dean Hotel together on Victoria Street to create the worlds first ‘Football Quarter’ in the heart of Liverpool.

Aiming to boost the city’s tourism offer and create hundreds more jobs locally, this proposal is perfect for Liverpool.

Here are some of the things that make the Merseyside derby so unique and why our fans are the best in the world.

The Friendly Derby

Liverpool's unique friendly rivalry

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the ‘friendly derby’ refers to how the matches are played, far from it. Liverpool versus Everton matches have seen more red cards than any other Premier League contest in the past 20 years.

Instead, this name comes from the history of good will between red supporters and blue fans.

What makes the Merseyside Derby different from so many others is how similar the fans are to each other. There are no political or social differences between the two clubs, their home grounds are just a mile apart, and there are no defining religious differences between the sets of fans. Unlike in Manchester, there is no dispute around one club being from the city and the other being from outside.

Instead there are simply two sets of fans from the same city who support teams from the same city, making a Football Quarter ideal for this close knit city.

Their Histories Are Intertwined

John Houlding

John Houlding

This historic rivalry was ultimately born out of one man’s bitter dispute with his committee in the late 19th century.

Everton President John Houlding was involved in a rental dispute with the club committee when Anfield was the home of the toffees in 1885.

Following the row, the blues were forced to move from Anfield across Stanley Park and found Goodison Park, which remains their home ground today.

John Houlding then founded Liverpool F.C and made Anfield their home ground.

The roots of the rivalry were formed from that point on, however because of the intertwined nature of their history, it has always been friendly and respectful.

 

Reds and Blues are Family

friendly derby

Football is part of the DNA of Liverpool, it has shaped the city as we know it.

In most cities across the world, households will support a single club, passed down from generation the generation.

However, in Liverpool on every street in every area, you will find families and friends whose allegiances are mixed. One will support Everton, the other Liverpool. You’ll find husbands and wives walking to the match together, him in a red scarf, her in blue. Or vice versa.

On Derby day, it’s not unusual for both sets of fans to attend or watch the match together,  sit together and enjoy the game, no matter what the outcome.

No Fan Segregation

merseyside derby

Despite the heated exchanges on the pitch, the Merseyside Derby is one of the few contests that see fans from either side sitting in unity, there is very little segregation in place.

The 1984 Football League Cup Final at Wembley saw almost all sections of the ground mixed and combined chants of “Merseyside, Merseyside” and “Are you watching Manchester?”

There is a huge amount of respect shown from both sides.

Unity in Times of Sorrow

hillsborough tribute

It’s no doubt that Liverpool as a city has been through a lot.

Whether football related or not, one defining characteristic of the community of Liverpool, is unity over everything else.

After the Hillsborough disaster of April 1989, reds and blues came together as a sign of respect, honouring those who lost their lives. Red and blue scarves were tied together and stretched across Stanley Park to connect the two stadiums, held up by fans of both clubs. Everton and Liverpool both reached the final of the FA Cup that year and chants of “Merseyside” could be heard around Wembley.

Similarly following the tragic murder of 11 year old Everton fan, Rhys Jones, Anfield played the famous Z-Cars, traditionally blasted through the speakers at Goodison Park, to greet the Everton players as a mark of respect.

Player Transfers

paul beardsley

Paul Beardsley

Another thing that sets this derby apart is the number of players who have represented both teams.

Throughout the history of both clubs, there have been 30 transfers between the two teams. While that may not seem a lot over a 120-year existence, you won’t find many other derby matches where the teams have had that many transfers between them.

There have been 20 players who have left Everton to join Liverpool, and 10 who have made the opposite journey.

The Merseyside Reign

 FA CUP FINAL 1986 - Everton v Liverpool

FA Cup Final 1986 – Liverpool triumph over Everton

Both teams shared in the glory of Merseyside reign in the 80’s.

From 1980 to 1989, Liverpool won five league titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups and two European Cups. Whilst Everton won two league titles, an FA Cup and the European Cup Winners Cup.

Liverpool is statistically the most successful football city in England, with 27 league titles won by both clubs combined.

If there’s anything a scouser loves, it’s a fellow scouser succeeding. So, with seven league titles, three FA Cups, four League Cups and three major European honours between the two clubs in a 10-year period, there was no doubt that the respect is high from both teams.

Famous Derbies Around The World

The Derby of Eternal Enemies between Olympiakos v Panathinaikos in Greece is one of tehe most frosty rivalries from around the world.

This rivalry goes beyond the bounds of the football pitch, with Panathinaikos originally representing the upper class and Olympiakos originally representing the working class.

Athens can come to a complete standstill when the two clubs clash and often for days afterwards. The intense battles spill out on to the streets in the form of fighting, riots, and tragically, deaths on some occasions.

Derby of eternal enemies

Similarly the Manchester Derby between United and City often erupts in violence and fights, forcing the police to segregate the fans and cordon off areas of the city.

In Italy, the Derby of the Capital between Roma and Lazio is famous for its heated displays of rivalry that often spills into violence.

In 1979, Lazio fan Vincenzo Paparelli became the first fatality in Italian football due to violence when was hit in the eye and killed by a flare fired by a Roma fan from the opposite end of the stadium. This kind of extreme hooliganism has resulted in both clubs being forced to play games behind closed doors as punishment. Something that has never been seen in Merseyside.

Old Firm Derby

Old Firm Derby

There is also, of course, the Old Firm Derby between Celtic and Rangers. Fuelled by religious sectarianism and it’s very clear that these two sets of fans do not like each other.

Last but certainly not least is the El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid. The rivalry is deeply seated in the political and regional divisions that exist between Catalonia and the nationalist sentiment represented by Real Madrid and stemming from dictator General Francisco Franco.

Rarely has a year gone by where the El Clasico has not been seen as a clash between two of the world’s top teams and a meeting of galaxy of superstars.

The Worlds First Football Quarter

football quarter

With plans to form the world’s first ‘Football Quarter’ in Liverpool’s centre, between The Shankly Hotel and the new Dixie Dean Hotel, now more than ever it has shown the friendly spirit and healthy rivalry between the two teams.

This outstanding proposal will aim to boost the city’s tourism offer and create hundreds more jobs locally.

It would create a draw to the city, a showcase for the hundreds of thousands of additional football visitors and a real tourist destination for footy fans.

The Football Quarter of the city will be a fantastic place for locals, football fans and tourists to come together, enjoy a piece of history and make some fantastic memories.

Liverpool has long called for an area of the city where Evertonians and Liverpudlians can celebrate their combined success in football, and what better place than between two iconic hotels that pay tribute to sporting greats.

It Could Only Be Liverpool

 pierhead

Despite their on-pitch differences, you’ll never find a more welcoming community than those in Liverpool and it’s this friendly rivalry which has helped the city become what is it today.

Looking at other cities and derby’s, it’s clear to see why Liverpool is the only place that could possibly welcome a Football Quarter.

Go to the Manchester Derby, the North London Derby, the Glasgow Derby and you won’t see scenes like you will at a Merseyside Derby. You won’t see opposition fans sitting amongst each other, or family members supporting different teams.

Driven apart by an undying passion for football, but united by a respect and honour for their great city, Liverpool and Everton’s rivalry in the Merseyside derby is a unique one that has roots as deep as any in English football. Rivalries shape footballing identity and culture and in Liverpool, one of Europe’s most distinctive cultural centres, it is no different.

Signature Living Launch an Amazing Chef Summer School

Have you got a passion for food and all things culinary? If the answer is yes then read on, as Signature Living have just launched an amazing Chef Summer School for budding junior master-chefs.

Have you visited the Bastion Restaurant in the Shankly Hotel and been inspired by some of the delicious delights that our amazing chefs cook up?

We are looking for school leavers who have always dreamed of a career in the kitchen and want to kick start their profession with a leading company.

Share our appetite for greatness by applying for our Signature Chef Summer School.

chef summer school

Do you Have the Right Ingredients?

If you are looking to join a fast-growing company, get ahead and learn from the very best, this could be the perfect opportunity to achieve your dreams.

But first you must possess the perfect ingredients for our Signature recipe. You must:

  • Be a school leaver aged between 15-18 years
  • Have a real passion for cooking
  • Be determined, hardworking and creative
  • Excited by the opportunity to join us full time
  • Be willing to undertake further development (1 year if successful)
  • Have no previous culinary training or qualifications

If you tick all of these boxes, Signature Living and The Shankly could be your ideal career path to an exciting future in the kitchen.

Who We Are

Signature Living are a multi-award winning company who own some of the most highly-rated restaurants in Liverpool.

From Carpathia to The Bastion, Alma de Cuba to Arthouse, our team of skilled chefs are responsible for creating imaginative menus, cooking up delicious dishes and upholding our high standards.

chef summer school

Signature Living are constantly on the look out to open new restaurants, offer fresh opportunities and push the boundaries of cooking and culinary talent.

With a host of awards and an ever-growing portfolio, we are excited at the talent we could uncover during our Chef Summer School.

How to Apply

If you suit the criteria above, the next thing to do is apply!

Click here to submit your application.

After that you’ll be invited to attend one of our Chef Summer School open days at the Shankly Hotel, where you will learn more about the course and meet some of our friendly kitchen staff.

We will then select the lucky chefs who have been successful and they will be invited to attend the school.

Every chef that successfully completes the course receives £300, plus outstanding chefs who have proved they have what it takes to join the Signature team will be offered an apprenticeship or even a job!

Cook up a Storm with Signature

If you’re looking to work in some of Liverpool’s most notable restaurants and be taught essential skills by top chefs in a fast-paced environment, we want you!

At Signature Living, we are dedicated to investing in the youth of Liverpool by providing young school leavers with the opportunity to learn and develop their skills in specific areas.

Since our conception in 2008, the Signature Group have gone from strength to strength and we are now one of the most successful developers and hospitality businesses in the country.

Throughout our journey, our core values of creating real value for our guests and building long-term relationships have not changed, helping us to fuel our vision and bringing together the very best teams to do so.

We are passionate at providing the youth of Liverpool with realistic springboards to a career they dream of.

You’ll be Rewarded

If you think you have what it takes to rub shoulders with the best chefs in the city,  don’t hesitate to apply to our amazing Chef Summer School.

You will have the chance to work behind the scenes at some of Liverpool’s most notable restaurants and gain invaluable experience.

Every chef who completes the course will receive £300 and the chance to interview for an NVQ apprenticeship position with us.

By the end of the summer you will have new skills, increased confidence in the kitchen and the opportunity to join a fast-growing company.

What are you Waiting for?

Places for the amazing Chef Summer School are very limited so make sure you don’t miss this brilliant opportunity.

Successful candidates must be available for 7 weeks for the course, from 28th July until 12th September 2017 in Liverpool.

So, whether you’ve just completed your GCSE’s and are unsure of which direction to go in next, or you want to jump straight from school into a strong job prospect, Signature have a solution for all of you young budding chefs out there.

Please share with all your friends and family who maybe interested.

For more information or to apply follow this link: http://bit.ly/2tErp0y

The Bastion Bar & Restaurant: Our Chef’s Must-Try Dish

If you’re yet to visit The Bastion Bar and Restaurant, then look no further. We have a recommendation straight from the kitchen and we know you’ll want to give it a try!

Our very own Matt Cox, executive chef at the Bastion spoke to Liverpool Echo this week, sharing his favourite dish from The Bastion menu.

The Bastion: Chef’s Recommendation

Situated within Liverpool’s luxury Shankly Hotel, The Bastion Bar & Restaurant offers a delicious range of fresh, hearty dishes served in style and prepared by our talented chefs back in the kitchen.

Whilst the Bastion serves up a wide variety of dishes, Matt Cox’s favourite is the Bastion’s Slow Braised Ox Cheeks which are enjoyed with Caramelised Shallot Mash, Baby Beets and Creamed and Crispy Carrots.

Matt told the Echo:

“The braised ox cheek dish is my favourite on the Bastion’s A La Carte menu. It reminds me of hearty, home cooked, simply delicious food and takes me right back to my childhood.”

The Bastion Bar & Restaurant

Whether you’re an overnight guest at the Shankly or you visit The Bastion Bar and Restaurant for a meal out, our extensive menus offer something for everyone.

More of our main courses include our Sweet Potato, Spring Vegetable and Chilli Wellington, Roast Lamb Rump and our Pan Seared Seabass Fillet.

The Bastion Bar & Restaurant

Indulge in the exquisite surroundings of The Shankly Hotel as you take in the splendour of the grand building and stylish decor, offering the perfect blend of classic and contemporary.

The Bastion Bar and Restaurant is filled with character and charm. With treasured Bill Shankly memorabilia on display around the restaurant space, dining at the Bastion is a truly atmospheric experience.

Our spacious restaurant allows us to cater for small to larger groups of friends and family. We often welcome groups celebrating birthdays and graduations, ensuring that visitors have a sociable meal with just the right level of intimacy.

Afternoon Tea at The Bastion Bar & Restaurant

Adding a touch of opulence to the Bastion, don’t miss out on joining us for scrumptious Afternoon Tea with our fantastic deals.

The perfect way to celebrate a special occasion or simply treat yourself, gather your nearest and dearest for an afternoon out that you won’t forget.

Tuck in to a range of tasty sweet and savoury treats as we take over and encourage you to sit back, relax and make yourself right at home!

It’s well-worth keeping an eye out for our themed afternoon tea events, held regularly throughout the year.

From the crooning tunes of Swing Afternoon Tea to the dazzling magic of Prince and Princesses Afternoon Tea, we encourage the whole family to come along and get involved in the fun.

To book your seat at the table, you can get in touch with our friendly team on 0151 601 8801 today and they’ll be happy to help.