As mentioned in previous articles, the 1990-91 season was year zero for me.
In addition to taking an immediate interest in kits, numbering systems were something I also found fascinating and none more so than Liverpool’s.
On the right is the starting 11 from the 4-0 win at home to Manchester United on September 16, 1990, as a Peter Beardsley hat-trick sent the champions clear at the top of the table. Liverpool’s numbering was far closer to the traditional Argentinian way rather than the usual British system with a back four of 2,5, 6 and 3 and its uniqueness was a source of wonder.
Essentially, the team had evolved over two decades or so, with the changing of players’ positions affecting the numerical layout. It’s something that Simon Treanor also found himself captivated by and it’s something that we will examine in depth.
Below is a quick journey from 1970-84 – click on each game for a breakdown, with thanks to Simon for the technical know-how – and then he will look at each season from 1985-93 in greater detail.
On mobile devices, pinch zoom to display the whole pitch.