Think of Liverpool and you immediately think of one, or more specifically, four names.
The Beatles’ success of the 1960s reflected the city’s growing identity at the time. Sitting on the banks of the River Mersey in the north west of England, Liverpool – which is home to just under half a million people – has always viewed itself as different from many of its near, English neighbours. An historic port city, it has heavy Irish and Welsh roots – which can be detected in the local ‘Scouse’ accent.
An American influence, specifically New York, is also apparent, and it was when The Beatles – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr – first ‘cracked America’ in the early 60s that this really began to take hold. These days, only McCartney – now Sir Paul – and Starr are around, and remain Liverpool’s most famous exports.
Collectively, it is the city’s two thriving football clubs which continue to promote Liverpool.
Everton FC – the Blues – were the first to form in 1878, before a split in the club saw Liverpool FC – the Reds – form 14 years later. Playing less than a mile away from each other in the north of the city at their Goodison Park and Anfield stadiums, the clubs have won 27 English league titles between them, with Liverpool adding a further five European Cups to make them the continent’s third most successful club behind Real Madrid and AC Milan.
These days, Liverpool are managed by club legend Kenny Dalglish whilst Everton boss David Moyes has recently celebrated 10 years in charge of the Blues. Both clubs have had many star players during their storied histories, but on the Red side it is local players such as Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher who presently rule the roost alongside foreign stars like Uruguay’s Luis Suárez. Everton are captained by Phil Neville, whilst their most recent headline acquisition in the Croatian forward Nikica Jelavić.
The clubs are owned vastly differently, with Everton in the hands of local theatre impresario Bill Kenwright and Liverpool owned by Fenway Sports Group, the Boston-based US owners of Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox. Liverpool’s principal owner is John W Henry whilst their chairman is Tom Werner.
The Merseyside area has produced many talented footballers, with perhaps none as well-known as the current Manchester United and England forward Wayne Rooney, who started his career at Everton. Wayne is married to the tabloid star and television personality Coleen Rooney.
Liverpool – whose current Lord Mayor is Frank Prendergast – has a thriving arts scene, with several theatres, galleries and museums, and so it is perhaps no surprise that many actors, singers and comedians have come from the city.
As well as The Beatles, Liverpool has produced the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Elvis Costello, light entertainment star Cilla Black, singer and record producer Ian Broudie, Gerry Marsden, who famously sang You’ll Never Walk Alone – Liverpool FC’s anthem, and the Platinum album selling current star Rebecca Ferguson. Television, film and music producer Nigel Lythgoe is also from the city.
The city is famed for its’ sense of humour, with veteran star Ken Dodd – who has a statue of himself situated in Liverpool’s Lime Street train station – the first real mainstream act to break through. Later, alternative comic Alexei Sayle was a regular feature on British TV screens, whilst presently stand-up star John Bishop has kept up Liverpool’s comedy roots.
Acting is a major part of the city’s heritage too, with long-established television faces such as Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston coming from the city.
New star Stephen Graham has found fame in Martin Scorsese films, Paul McGann is best known for his portrayal of ‘I’ in Withnail and I, David Morrissey is another regular British TV face whilst Jason Isaacs – Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films – is another from Liverpool.
As you can see, Liverpool is definitely a place worth checking out with an abundance of talented people that you can meet. With the help of Directly.me, you can connect to any of the above mentioned influential people and ot hers like the famous Doctor Who actor Matt Smith, movie star Elijah Wood, and rapper Eminem.
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By Mark Jones