Fowler Photos, Memories & Poem

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Former forward Michael Owen posted on Twitter: “I came to this place 30 years ago. I didn't know it would give me the memories of a lifetime. So many great people have walked through these doors. And so many friendships have been formed. Thanks for the memories. "

His former teammate, former captain Steven Gerrard, shared a batch of old photos, each relating to his own memory of Melwood – like the time he went jogging with Glen Johnson.

Jamie Carragher followed suit, adding that although Liverpool are in the process of raising the sticks, the spirit of their former training base will never leave Liverpool.

Ian Rush has rummaged through the archives to share wonderful footage of the old guard going about his business – himself, Kenny Dalglish, Bob Paisley, Ronnie Moranh and Bill Shankly.

Shankly's presence was and is deeply felt in Melwood, with the iconic Liverpool boss having completely revolutionized the place upon his arrival in 1959.

Described in her own words as a 'desolate wilderness', Shankly made it a priority to overhaul and modernize the Reds' then dilapidated training facilities, turning them into a club-worthy base of operations with championship aspirations.

The Scotsman did just that, with work starting almost immediately on the central pavilion, gymnasium and pitches. Shankly and the “Bootroom Boys” (his legendary team of coaches and backroom staff which included the club's next two managers) quickly turned the also-rans Reds into titans conquering Europe in the years that followed.

Indeed, Shankly's vision of a 'state of the art house' remained in place until 2000, when Melwood was redeveloped and modernized once again by Gerard Houllier.

Lo and behold, two decades later, Liverpool Football Club is advancing more and more – 10 miles from Kirby, to be precise – to start a whole new chapter.

The club's new AXA training center is the epitome of state-of-the-art, built on an eight-acre lot and featuring three full-size courts, various warm-up areas, a full-size indoor court, swimming pools , an advanced hydrotherapy complex and rehabilitation suite.

The whole complex is also as eco-friendly as it gets, with special attention to a fully self-sufficient and self-sufficient field irrigation system – thus avoiding the need to use mains water. According to club facts and figures, around 2.5 tons of grass seed were sewn, making the pitches 97% natural grass.

Will this courageous new era of excellence on the training ground translate into further success on the field for the Reds? Well, history definitely provides a precedent.

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