Standfirst: Past Life looks back on two legends of Merseyside football who come face to face in a veterans’ match in 1950

Seventy years ago this winter, two footballing giants from Liverpool and Everton shook hands before a floodlit charity match at Holly Park. Leading the former stars of Everton that night was William ‘Dixie’ Dean, arguably the club’s greatest ever player. He scored...

Standfirst: Nostalgia celebrates the career of Bredbury-born impressionist and entertainer Mike Yarwood

Anyone who watched TV in the 1970s will remember the extraordinary group of entertainers assembled by BBC impresario Bill Cotton. They included the comic talents of Dick Emery, Morecambe and Wise and the Two Ronnies – as well as singer Val Doonican and all-rounder...

1958: Manchester United goalkeeper Harry Gregg is pictured days after the Munich air disaster

February 10, 1958: Manchester United goalkeeper Harry Gregg is pictured days after the Munich air disaster of February 6th that cost the lives of eight of his team-mates.  Described as the ‘Hero of Munich’, Gregg pulled Bobby Charlton, Jackie Blanchflower and...

Standfirst: Past Life remembers the 33-year political partnership between Harold Wilson and Huyton

Opposition parties always had a tough time of it in the Labour stronghold of Huyton. Conservatives and Liberals were little more than also-rans in the parliamentary constituency created in 1950 and dissolved in 1983. Even Screaming Lord Sutch, the future founder of...

Then & Now – Liverpool football team

Welcome to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Manchester streets, landmarks and buildings from bygone days with how they look today. Our main image this week shows the rousing welcome the Liverpool football team received on returning from the 1950 FA Cup Final at Wembley.

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Doctor Who

Doctor Who

Doctor Who, the nation’s favourite TV science fiction series, enjoys a powerful connection with the North West. Four actors from the region have played the Doctor since the programme’s launch in 1963 – and three more have appeared as his time-travelling companions…

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Beatles’ Play

Beatles’ Play

Barbara Dickson has vivid memories about auditioning for Willy Russell’s musical John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert at Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre. It was the early 1970s and she was a little-known folk singer at the time. How would she cope with belting out a string of classic Beatles’ songs accompanied only by her piano?

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The Smiths

The Smiths

It’s a commonly held belief that The Smiths started life when guitarist Johnny Marr knocked on singer Morrissey’s door in May 1982 and asked if he’d like to form a group. But there’s evidence that the two met well before then at a Patti Smith gig at Manchester’s Apollo Theatre in August 1978.

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Then and Now

King Street, Manchester

Welcome to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Manchester and Merseyside streets, landmarks and buildings from bygone days with how they look now.

This week our main image shows people trudging down a snowy King Street in the 1970s, probably seeking cover in one of the many shops.

Modern King Street is now home to some of Manchester’s smartest outlets, boasting well-known designer names. A few can be glimpsed in photographer Nicola Mazzuia’s 2019 picture.

But back in Manchester’s Victorian heyday, the street featured the grand Town Hall, which in turn became the Central Library. The original Town Hall was replaced by a new building in Albert Square.

Then Now

Social Nostalgia

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62 years ago, the tragic Munich Air Disaster happened. 23 people died which included 8 Manchester United players.

We have looked back at the rebuilding of the club after the tradegy and how the team went on to win the European Cup 10 years later.


30th January 1967: @PaulMcCartney plays the piano in Knole Park, Kent as The Beatles film the video for “Strawberry Fields Forever”. The song was released in February as a double A-side with “Penny Lane”. The song peaked at number two in the charts.


13th January 1978: Donald "Ginger" McCain, the trainer of three times #GrandNational winner Red Rum, pictured with the famous racehorse at their stables in Birkdale, Southport in Merseyside.


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