Best results series: Liverpool defeated at Anfield

An unforgettable day on Merseyside in 1983.

By Nick Szczepanik • 30 June 2022

By The Argus
Albion held out to secure a stunning victory at Anfield.

The magic of the Cup was alive and kicking in 1983, as Albion secured a 2-1 win at Liverpool in the fifth round.

February 20 1983: Liverpool 1 Albion 2 (FA Cup 5th round)

Bottom-of-the-table Albion shocked Anfield and most of English football by knocking the dominant club side of the day out of the FA Cup on their own ground. And it was former Kop hero Jimmy Case who landed the decisive blow.

Liverpool were the reigning champions, league leaders and favourites to do the double. Albion were struggling in the First Division, although they had shown sparks of life in the Cup, winning a tense replay at Newcastle in the third round and brushing aside a feeble Manchester City 4-0 in the fourth. And they had the added boost of being the last visiting team to win at Anfield, Andy Ritchie’s goal earning a 1-0 victory for Mike Bailey’s side 11 months previously.

By The Argus
Jimmy Melia was delighted with Chris Ramsey, after the defender cleared Mark Lawrenson's effort off the line.

Nevertheless, most of the 4,000 Albion fans must have travelled more in hope than expectation that Sunday, the game moved to the Sabbath with Everton also drawn at home to Spurs. 

On Merseyside, there was talk of this being Bob Paisley’s last chance to win the Cup, the only honour to elude him as Reds manager, before he retired at the end of the season. But Albion were unconcerned and took a surprise lead after 32 minutes when Michael Robinson beat former Albion star Mark Lawrenson and set up Gerry Ryan to slide the ball home in front of The Kop. 

Liverpool’s response was predictable and the mounting pressure brought an equaliser after 67 minutes when Craig Johnston hooked the ball in from six yards following a free kick.  

At that point most in the ground probably expected Liverpool to go on to score a second, third or even a fourth. Instead, Albion broke away almost immediately and Case’s volley from the edge of the D took a deflection off Ronnie Whelan to sail past goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar. 

By The Argus
Steve Foster and Chris Ramsey celebrate after the famous Albion win.

Even then Liverpool were handed another chance when referee Alf Grey awarded a penalty but Phil Neal, normally reliable from the spot, hit his shot wide. And when Chris Ramsey nodded Lawrenson’s header off the line Albion were through and Liverpool had lost at home in the FA Cup for the first time since a fifth-round replay against Leicester City in 1969.

Albion manager and former Red Jimmy Melia danced on the pitch, while Paisley declared afterwards that Liverpool would never play on a Sunday again. Case, on being asked how he felt about denying his old boss his last chance to win the FA Cup, replied, “What about me? I haven’t won it either!”