The Merseyside derby is one of English Football’s biggest fixtures and rivalries.

Dubbed “The Friendly derby”, it used to be one of the only derbies that did not enforce segregation in stadiums, allowing Blues and Reds fans to gather together.

Being separated only by Stanley Park, the clubs are very close and many families and households in the city are split, further enforcing “The Friendly derby” title.

The Hillsborough disaster in 1989 was another example of how both sides are close.

The tragedy not only affected Liverpool fans but the whole city and this highlighted there are some things more important than football.

The 1984 Football League Cup final at Wembley was contested between both Liverpool and Everton.

The final was nicknamed “The Friendly Final” as a result of the stands being mixed.

Both sets of supporters also chanted Merseyside in solidarity.

The early rivalry between Liverpool and Everton stemmed from political differences which carried on until the 1950s.

Everton had an abundance of Irish Catholic players whereas Liverpool did not sign any Catholic players until 1979.

It is the longest running top flight derby in the English game.

Since 1962, the two sides have met at least twice every season.

There have been plenty of fierce battles between the two sides over the years with a rich history of legends and moments all making the game special.

Back in 1894, Everton won the first ever Merseyside Derby beating the Reds 3-0 at Goodison.

Since then, both sides have met 238 times with 95 Liverpool wins, 67 Everton wins and 76 draws.

The biggest home win in the Merseyside Derby was recorded in 1935 as Liverpool beat their Blue rivals 6-0 at Anfield.

The biggest away record is held by both teams with a score of 5-0 – Everton in the 1914-15 season and Liverpool in 1982-83.

Perhaps the most competitive period of the Merseyside derby was in the 1980s when both teams were at the top of the English football pyramid.

Without playing down the competitiveness of the fixture in the present day, in recent years Everton have dropped off whereas Liverpool remain at the top.

Back in the 80s, Everton won the league in 1985 and 1987 and tasted FA Cup success in 1984.

Liverpool, meanwhile, had been winning everything in sight and these truly were the reds’ glory years.

In the 1985-86 season, both Merseyside outfits competed for the league title with Liverpool just edging their neighbours who finished second in a thrilling season.

The Merseyside derby is always a fierce affair and there have been some eventful games through the years.

Ironically, ‘The Friendly derby’ has seen 23 red cards handed out in the fixture – the most of any other fixture in the league.

The next Merseyside derby is on Wednesday (December 1) at Goodison Park, kick off 8.15pm.

(Merseyside derby – Author Nigel Wilson from Wikimedia Commons)