Photo: John Keith at previous book launch

Southport based author and broadcaster John Keith has written a new book and stage show to mark the looming 40th anniversary of Liverpool’s landmark first European Cup win in 1977.

His souvenir publication Reykjavik to Rome tells the inside story of Liverpool’s quest to become champions of Europe, which began in 1964 under Bill Shankly and had a glorious climax 13 years later when Bob Paisley’s side toppled Borussia Moenchengladbach 3-1 at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.

The 52-page book contains some fascinating images relating to Liverpool’s games on that journey which include their three-match marathon with Cologne, their bitter sweet meetings with world club champions Inter Milan and their brush with rising European power Ajax and their young star Johan Cruyff.                                    

“I was present at Liverpool’s first home game in Europe against Reykjavik of Iceland and reported on the Rome win for the Daily Express and I felt the story of what happened in the years between must be recorded in a book,” said John. 

“It’s not just about the great games and spectacular goals but also the human, offbeat and funny stories that happened along the way.”

The book, price £8, is available from Broadhursts Bookshop, Market Street, Southport (01704 532064) and Pritchards Bookshop, Moor Lane, Crosby (0151 931 1642). Also on mail order at £9.50 including package and posting by calling 07773 715666 or e-mailing john.s.keith@hotmail.co.uk

John’s show The Kop’s Roman Carnival, which celebrates the 40th anniversary of the 1977 triumph, is on at New Brighton Floral Pavilion on Friday, May 26 when he’ll be joined on stage by Ian Callaghan, Jimmy Case and Phil Neal, together with Wirral-based international singer Ian Ross.                                                                                                      

The three Kop legends reveal the inside story of how Paisley’s great Liverpool team fulfilled Anfield’s cherished dream and their stories  are backed by exclusive audio clips and rolling images of significant moments leading to the conquest of Moenchengladbach that finally brought the trophy to Anfield.

A week earlier, also at the New Brighton venue, on Thursday, May 18, John will be joined on stage by the man who starred in goal for Liverpool in Rome, the great Ray Clemence, and his fellow Merseyside legend and former England team-mate Bob Latchford in An Audience With Clem & Latch .

Ray and Bob, Mersey derby foes in the 1970s and early 1980s, are re-united as they face big personal landmarks.

June marks the 50th anniversary of Ray’s £18,000 signing from Scunthorpe by Shankly in 1967 which set him off on a career of Anfield achievement that earned him acclaim as Liverpool’s finest ever goalkeeper.

Bob, who moved to Goodison from Birmingham for a then British record £350,000 in 1974, heads towards the 40th anniversary season of his much heralded 30 League goal campaign of 1977-78 which helped him amass a career total of 138 Everton goals as the third highest scorer in the club’s history.

Tickets for both shows (£20 with £17 concessions) available in person from Floral Pavilion box office or by calling 0151 666 0000. Also on line at: www.floralpavilion.com.


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