Manchester United and Liverpool were born to be enemies.
Both emerged in the cultural battlefield of the north-west of England in the late nineteenth century. One a team of railway workers, the other the plaything of a wealthy freemason, the two clubs emerged blinking into a period where the two great civic centres of the north-west were at each others throats over the construction of the Manchester Ship Canal, and whatever else they could find.
When, in the late 1970s, the conflict as we know it today began to peak, Mark Nevin found himself smack in the middle of it. Born to Liverpool-supporting parents, Mark went to primary school a stone’s throw from the Merseyside boundary, grew up among friends who were all the wrong shade of red and even managed to find himself at university in Liverpool as Madchester was raving and the balance of power in football slowly began to change…
This isn’t really Mark’s story. It’s more the story of two football clubs who grew up close to each other believing in very different things. It’s the story of two cities who experienced much the same cultural and industrial changes, but who viewed them very differently and whose values began to be reflected in the two biggest clubs in the history of the English game.
It was a battleground, and Mark was right among the enemy bullets.
All of which gave him a unique - and admittedly very one-sided - perspective on the rivalry: the result is A Deeper Shade of Red.