ITV4 to look back at When English Football Ruled Europe


ITV4 will broadcast a new two-part documentary series this March which focuses on the glory years between 1977 and 1984 when English football dominated the European Cup.

In that time, three clubs – Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa – lifted European club football’s most prized trophy seven times.

Airing across two nights, ‘When English Ruled Europe’ will speak to the stars of those teams to find out the inside stories behind those triumphs, and how some of the most colourful characters in the game masterminded their clubs’ victories.

Interviewees include Liverpool’s Graeme Souness and Phil Thompson, Nottingham Forest’s Trevor Francis and Larry Lloyd, as well as Aston Villa’s Gordon Cowans and Peter Withe, and their testimony is interwoven with archive footage from the time to tell the tales of how they were inspired to glory.

Part one covers Bob Paisley’s Liverpool, who sealed their first win in the competition in 1977 and retained the trophy the next year.

Then the mantle passed to Nottingham Forest who, inspired by the charismatic Brian Clough, dumped Liverpool out of the competition and shocked everyone by going on to win consecutive trophies themselves.

The second programme focuses on the break-up of Brian Clough’s hugely successful Nottingham Forest, the re-emergence of Liverpool who lifted their third and fourth European Cups in 1981 and 1984 and the incredible story of Aston Villa who upset all the odds to claim their one and only win in in 1982.

Commenting as part of the documentary, Graeme Souness, three-time European Cup winning Liverpool captain, said:

“In England at that time we had some fabulous players, who sacrificed individual glory to be part of really good teams.

“The modern player wants to be guided through every aspect of the 90 minutes that’s in front of him. We were led to believe you were the best, and you’ll deal with it.”

When English Football Ruled Europe – Two-part documentary airs on ITV4 at 9pm on Thursday, 29 March and Friday, 30 March.

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