No. 77 – The Night Anfield was covered in a blanket of snow
After the first away leg in Cologne ended in a goaless draw, on 3 March 1965, Cologne travelled to Anfield for The European Cup, Quarter Final Second Leg. Anfield was covered in a thick blanket of snow as kick off approached but the gates at Anfield were still opened with over 45,000 spectators entering Anfield.
However, as the pre-match warm up was taking place in the bitterly cold snow conditions, the referee made the decision that the match was unplayable. Finally an announcement came over the tannoy that specatators who had attended the game could collect ticket vouchers for the rearranged tie which were to be handed out at the gates. However, the tickets for the replay were given out at the turnstiles, so everybody went through the turnstiles to get their tickets!
However, as the spectators quewed to leave Anfield, there were no reversible turnstiles back in 1965 so the only way to leave Anfield was to climb over the turnstiles and then collect your ticket! Even though the gates had eventually been open, nobody was leaving Anfield until they got their ticket….
With the delay getting out of Anfield that night, fans began to filter out onto the pitch to which a snowball match was about to take place between the Anfield Road end and the Kop! Even snowmen were made on the Anfield pitch! There were even reports of Shankly and the team enjoying the spectacle from the directors box.
In a recent interview on TIA with Neil Dunkin author of ‘˜Anfield of Dreams’, Neil described the scenes at Anfield that night:
‘œEveryone had to wait for vouchers for the rearranged tie to be handed out at the gates. While they were waiting, a ball was tossed on the pitch and a kickaround began ‘“ no sides, no rules, just a horde of blokes booting the ball anywhere, chasing it up and down the field.
Absolutely hilarious. No one could stay on their feet because it was so slippy. When the ball stuck in the snow, lads overran it and skidded to a halt in a heap of bodies. As they got to their feet, others came sliding in and knocked them over again, like skittles in a bowling alley. Meanwhile, the ball had been hacked up the other end, chased by the rest of the mob.
One bloke was so bladdered he couldn’t stand up after he was decked ‘“ he kept slipping over. In the end, he gave up and had to crawl across the snow into the paddock. Then the rabble massed in the centre circle and charged the Kop with the ball and belted it again and again into the goal. Imagine Kopites scoring at the Kop end. You’d never forget it.
That was one of the funniest nights ever at Anfield.’
The second leg was finally played a fortnight later which also ended 0-0. Then came another replay in Rotterham which was also drawn, but Liverpool progressed to the Semi Final on the toss of a coin!!