How Many Times Have Liverpool Won the Double?

In football, clubs across the world dream of winning the double in their respective country. Traditionally, to achieve the double clubs must win the top division and the main cup competition in that country in the same season. For English football for the double to be won a club must win the Premier League (or, prior to that, Division One) and the FA Cup this is known as the domestic double, something which is not easily done. In this article, we’ll give details of whether Liverpool have ever won the double (hint: they have!). We’ll also delve into the times they won alternative versions of the double.

When Is a Double Really a Double?

The first club to ever achieve this in English football was Preston North End in the 1888/89 season, and since then only seven clubs have managed to do the same. A more modern version of the double in football is one where a club wins both their league and one of the main European competitions.

Many football fans are split on whether this counts as the double and is still debated to this day with many older fans, not regarding a league title and a European cup as a double. Others still suggest that winning two cups of any kind, domestic and/or European, constitutes a double, but we think you have to win a league title for it really to count. Anyway, enough debate, let’s take a look at when Liverpool won the double.

Liverpool’s Only Domestic League & Cup Double – 1985/86

Liverpool winners
cchana |

Liverpool have only managed to win the domestic double – the top division league title and the FA Cup – once, in the 1985/86 season. This season Liverpool boasted many of their club’s legends and star players, such as Alan Hansen, Ian Rush, Kenny Dalglish (as the player-manager) and Jan Mølby.

In the league, Liverpool managed to win with just six defeats from their 42 games and beat their rivals Everton to the title by a margin of just two points. In their journey to win the FA Cup Liverpool beat teams such as Norwich, Chelsea, Watford, and Southampton. In the final, Liverpool played Everton winning by 3-1. The goals were scored by Ian Rush, who bagged a brace, and Craig Johnston.

Liverpool’s Near Misses

Although Liverpool have only won the domestic double once, they have come close on countless occasions. Since the 1900/01 season, Liverpool haven’t been too far away from winning the double on plenty of occasions, as we summarise in the table below.

Season League Position FA Cup
1905/06 Winners Semi-final
1946/47 Winners Semi-final
1973/74 Runners-up Winners
1976/77 Winners Runners-up
1978/79 Winners Semi-final
1979/80 Winners Semi-final
1984/85 Runners-up Semi-final
1987/88 Winners Runners-up
1988/89 Runners-up Winners
1989/90 Winners Semi-final
2000/01 Third Winners
2005/06 Third Winners
2021/22 Runners-up Winners

Early Misses

The first of these came in the 1905/06 season when Liverpool won the league but were knocked out in the semi-finals of the FA Cup where they lost 2-0 to Everton. The Reds managed the same again in the 1946/47 season but this time losing to Burnley 1-0 in the semi-finals. After this, Liverpool had a rather quiet time in terms of chances to win the double until the 1970s when they came close four times.

The 1970s

During that decade, Liverpool managed to come second in the league and won the FA Cup in the 1973/74 season. They then came first in the league and second in the FA Cup in the 1976/77 season. Then they were first in the league again in the 1978/79 season, but only managed to make it to the semi-finals that season, which they did again the following season.

The 1980s

They also next came close in the 1984/85 season, coming second in the league and getting knocked out of the FA Cup in the semis. During the season after this, Liverpool managed to win the domestic double for the first and only time. Liverpool then had two seasons where they came agonisingly close. In the 1987/88 season, the Reds managed to win the league but only managed second in the FA Cup, just losing out to Wimbledon 1-0.

In the following season, Liverpool then did the opposite and won the FA Cup but lost out in the race to win the league title. To make this loss even more painful, they had the same points, number of wins, draws, losses and goal difference as Arsenal who were the winners that season, but lost due to having scored fewer goals than Arsenal.

Nearly Managed Back-to-Back Doubles

Had Liverpool won the league that year they would have been the first team in English football to win back-to-back doubles. This shows just how hard this feat is. Even in the season after this, Liverpool again managed to win one but not the other. In the 1989/90 season, Liverpool again won the league but got knocked out once again in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Recent Times

The Reds challenged again in the 2000/01 and 2005/06 seasons but came up short in both only managing to win the FA Cup in both seasons and coming third in the league. Since then, Liverpool has struggled to achieve anything close to the double with their closest attempt to date being in the 2021/22 season where Klopp’s men won the FA Cup and came a painful second in the league.

This shows that in over 100 years of football, even a team as strong as Liverpool has only managed to win the double once, showing just how hard it actually is. There are only two teams in English football history that have managed to win the double more than once, that being Arsenal and Manchester United, both having won three times each. There is no doubt in the minds of the fans that Liverpool will win the double once again, but the question is when?

Liverpool’s Other “Doubles”

Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool
Jürgen Klopp (cchana |

Although we have focussed on the domestic double above, here are the times Liverpool have won other “doubles”. We won’t count the Charity/Community Shield here, but we wil include the FA Cup, the League Cup and the various European competitions.

Season Trophies Won
1972/73 Division One Title & UEFA Cup
1975/76 Division One Title & UEFA Cup
1976/77 Division One Title & European Cup
1977/78 European Cup & European Super Cup
1980/81 League Cup & European Cup
1981/82 Division One Title & League Cup
1982/83 Division One Title & League Cup
1983/84 Division One Title, League Cup & European Cup
2000/01 FA Cup, League Cup & UEFA Cup
2005/06 FA Cup, UEFA Super Cup
2019/20 Premier League Title, UEFA Super Cup & FIFA World Club Cup
2021/22 FA Cup & League Cup

As you can see, depending on the exact definition of a double, it could be argued that Liverpool have won plenty of them over the years. But for the purists (and fans of rival teams), Liverpool have only ever won one proper double.