Given that they are both European giants and have won ten European Cups/Champions Leagues between them, it’s perhaps surprising that this is just the second season in which Liverpool and Ajax have met competitively.
The sides clash at Anfield tonight and their last meeting at the venue, in 1966-67, is notable from a kit point of view for Liverpool.
On December 7, 1966, the reigning English champions travelled to Amsterdam to take on Ajax. Back then, the custom in Europe was for the home team to change kit when a clash arose so Ajax were in all-white (ditching even their red-topped home white socks) as Liverpool wore the all-red strip to which they had inaugurated a couple of years beforehand.
Inspired by Johan Cruyff, Ajax won 5-1 in heavy fog, though Liverpool manager Bill Shankly remained bullish afterwards that the tie was still alive.
When the teams reconvened a week later, Liverpool had to deal with what to wear as Ajax’s famous design clashed with both the red home and white away shirts. A decade previously, Liverpool had worn yellow shirts in an FA Cup tie against Accrington Stanley – competition rules at the time dictated that both had to change – and it was to this colour that they returned, with shirt trim and shorts in black.
Liverpool were better than in the first leg but two Cruyff goals meant that the best the home side could do was earn a 2-2 draw, with Roger Hunt scoring their goals.
At the beginning of the following season, Liverpool wore uncrested yellow shirts away to Arsenal but a third shirt wouldn’t be seen again after that until the 1979 FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United.