Who Sang ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ First: Liverpool or Celtic?

An introduction

To simply answer the question right away, it is the Liverpool fans who sang the world-famous song first. After Gerry and the Pacemakers released the song in the early 1960s, Liverpool fans were the first to adopt “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as a football anthem and began singing it at Anfield. This can be confirmed through BBC video recordings.

shankly gates 'You’ll Never Walk Alone'

There are many anthemic songs that people tend to associate various clubs with. “You’ll never walk alone” is a good example of an already popular song becoming synonymous with not one, but two big clubs – Liverpool and Celtic. It’s hard to imagine a context in which both Liverpool’s and Celtic’s club anthem is used for anything other than a way of, with the lack of a better term, “hyping up” the crowd and the players before each game. 

Historically speaking, popular songs tend to be associated with certain clubs for several reasons – whether that be the connection between the artist and the city that the club plays in or something completely different like an internet meme. We’ve been witnessing an increased number of various internet trends becoming the basis of something that will most likely be a fundamental part of many game activities in years to come. The popular chant “Mitro’s on fire” being one of them.

The origins

liverpool fans singing 'You’ll Never Walk Alone'

‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ is a show tune from the 1945 musical “Carousel”, written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. It has become a popular anthem for various sports teams and has been covered by numerous artists over the years.

The Reds have been using ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ as their official anthem since the 1960s. The song has become synonymous with the club and is often, as mentioned briefly in the introduction, sung by the fans before matches at Anfield.

According to several different sources, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ was first adopted by Liverpool FC during the club’s success in the 1960s, under the management of the legendary Bill Shankly. The song was played over the loudspeakers at the home ground before matches, and, just like with any other song associated with a club, Liverpool’s fans began singing it as an expression of their support for the team.

The impact 

The song has since become an integral part of the club’s culture and has been embraced by generations of Liverpool fans. It has also become a symbol of unity and support, both within the club and among its fans

The song’s lyrics, which encourage perseverance and offer support and encouragement in times of adversity, have resonated with many people and made it a beloved and enduring anthem. Its universal message of hope and solidarity has contributed to its popularity and enduring appeal.

To give a better perspective, let’s take a look at the lyrics and see why the song has become so impactful over time:

“When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high, and don’t be afraid of the dark,” 

And also:

“For you’ll never walk alone, you’ll never walk alone.”

These words of encouragement and support have resonated with people all over the world, making the anthem a quite unique and powerful way of starting a game.

What about Celtic?

celtic fans singing 'You’ll Never Walk Alone'

Celtic Football Club, based in Scotland, has also used ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ as its official anthem. Their home stadium, Celtic Park, has been yet another home of the world-famous anthem since the song is played at the stadium before every game.

Unfortunately, it is hard to tell exactly when the song has been sung by Celtic fans for the first time, but just like we briefly mentioned at the beginning of the article, it is Liverpool who sang the song first. 

So, both Liverpool and Celtic have used ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ as their official anthem, but the song was originally written for the musical Carousel in 1945, and it wasn’t originally meant to be used as a football club anthem. 

Other world-famous club anthems

Every single club anthem is often played over the public address system before or after the match, or during breaks in play. Some of the most well-known anthems in English football include “Blue Moon,” which is associated with Manchester City Football Club and was written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart; and “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles,” which is associated with West Ham United Football Club and was written by James Kendis, James Brockman, and Nat Vincent.

Anthems and songs can play an important role in the culture of a football club and can help to create a sense of unity and solidarity among the fans. They are often sung with great passion and enthusiasm and can help to create a memorable and electric atmosphere at matches.


To have a club anthem isn’t a necessity, but you probably wouldn’t be able to find a single club in England that doesn’t have some sort of an official or an unofficial club anthem. “You’ll never walk alone” has become so big and popular that many people who haven’t even watched a single football game ever could recognize it, and to some extent, relate to it.

If you decide to go and watch your local team, chances are you will most likely be able to hear the fans singing their lungs out before, during, and after the game. That’s one of the reasons why the fans are a vital part of every single football club in the world.