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Why do Liverpool fans sing You’ll Never Walk Alone?

You'll Never Walk Alone is probably the most famous song aired in football stadiums around the world.

For years, it has been a song that evokes emotion and togetherness among football fans of the club that it is sung by. The most famous of these clubs is Liverpool FC, who sing it before, and at the end of, every match they play. They have even had the song title ‘You'll Never Walk Alone' incorporated into their club crest throughout recent history and the initials YNWA have been stitched into their jerseys so great is the connection of the song and the club.

There are, however, many other clubs around the world who sing it, and each with great poignancy, including Scottish club Celtic, the Dutch sides FC Twente, Feyenoord and SC Cambuur, and the German team Borussia Dortmund have also adopted the song.

But where did the song originate from and why did Liverpool fans start singing it, starting a trend amongst other clubs fans to follow suit?

Here is the history of ‘You'll Never Walk Alone'.

Liverpool fans YNWA lyrics

You'll Never Walk Alone lyrics YNWA lyrics
Photo by Icon Sport

The song itself is played in full over the stadium sound system at Anfield, with some fans joining in from the start. Others begin singing when the words ‘Walk On' are belted out and it is then that the whole crowd – except for the away fans – start to join in, making it a special atmosphere just before kick-off.

When the game reaches the 90th minute, Liverpool fans, home or away, will start signing it from the stands, regardless of the score line, win, lose or draw to show the team that the fans are with them through whatever the scenario. Here are the shortened lyrics:

When you walk through a stormHold your head up highAnd don't be afraid of the dark
At the end of a stormThere's a golden skyAnd the sweet silver song of a lark
Walk on through the windWalk on through the rainFor your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk onWith hope in your heartAnd you'll never walk alone
You'll never walk alone
Walk on, walk onWith hope in your heartAnd you'll never walk alone
You'll Never Walk Alone

Liverpool fans YNWA video

YNWA Liverpool Meaning

Liverpool fans hold up a banned reading Respect the 97 Solidarity With Survivors You'll Never Walk Alone
Photo by Icon Sport

The meaning behind the song used by Liverpool fans goes back to the year of 1963, when a Liverpudlian band named Gerry and the Pacemakers did a cover of the song. The band's popularity amongst Liverpool fans and the song's all-round popularity meant it was cemented into the culture and history of Liverpool FC from that year on.

While the meaning of the song can be found by each fan differently, it is meant to show loyalty and strength amongst the clubs fans, players, manager and everyone associated with the club.

Over the years it has been a sign of compassion, and a song of commemoration for disasters such as Hillsborough, with the lyrics symbolising that those who were lost and those close to those who were lost will never be alone and that the club, Liverpool FC, will always support them.

However, in relation to the Hillsborough disaster, this bond stretches across the whole city of Liverpool, with fans of other clubs putting their rivalries aside and showing support to Liverpool and their fans who were going through such a hard time.

Why do Liverpool fans sing YNWA

Well, the popularity of the Gerry and the Pacemakers song was enhanced by the fact Anfield was one of the first stadiums in England to have a sound system in place.

his meant the chart hits at the time would be played at every home game. You'll Never Walk Alone was at the top of the charts for four weeks, and so it was constantly played at Anfield. It's lyrics were easy to learn and that is what the Liverpool fans did, and so it became the club's anthem and was eventually put into the club's crest and on the gate outside of Anfield.

Which football clubs sing You'll Never Walk Alone?

Borussia Dortmund fans
Borussia Dortmund fans Photo by Icon sport

While Liverpool fans were the first fans to sing You'll Never Walk Alone, others followed. Celtic fans took on the song after their visit to Anfield during the semi-final of the European Cup Winners Cup tie in 1966. Ever since then the Celtic fans sing it at Celtic Park, especially on big European nights.

Borussia Dortmund are another big club to have adopted the song, once again after hearing it at Anfield. The two clubs have often shared a bond and displayed banners in support of one another with he song titles name on the banners.

Dutch sides like Feyenoord and SC Cambuur have also adopted the song, but the Lee Towers version is the more favourable one to be used with them.

You'll Never Walk Alone
Photo by Icon Sport

Who wrote You'll Never Walk Alone?

While Liverpool fans took on the song from the Gerry and the Pacemakers version, it was not originally written by the band. You'll Never Walk Alone was written by Oscar Hammerstein II and composed by Richard Rodgers for their musical Carousel, which was released in the USA in 1945. It was from this that various versions have been covered, including the Gerry and Pacemakers version in 1963


Philip O'Rourke

Philip O Rourke is a Dublin-based journalist and author of Forgotten Football Clubs, 50 Clubs Around the World. He appears on the Forgotten Football Clubs podcast and, in his spare time, travels around Europe to different football stadiums, trying to watch as many different clubs as he can.

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