Liverpool FC’s most famous banner creator Phil Downey passes away

Phil Downey, one of the creators of the Liverpool FC’s most famous banner ‘Joey ate the frogs legs’ has passed away and the Merseyside club has honoured him on social media.

Phil was the precursor along with his best mate Jimmy Cummings in the special handicraft banner unfurled on the club’s first European Cup Final triumph -against Borussia Moenchengladbach- in Rome in 1977.

On that day, the most iconic LFC banner ever was unfurled before the European Cup final at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico. As it is remarked on the video posted by the actual Champion of Europe, “the 24 feet tribute to cult hero Joey Jones would become as famous as the game itself.”

“Joey Ate The Frogs Legs, Made The Swiss Roll, Now He’s Munching Gladbach” was the famous slogan on the banner created by the Reds fans Phil Downey and Jimmy Cummings, in honour of Wales full back Joey Jones and inspired by Liverpool’s opponents on the path to the first European Cup final win.

The 42-year-old terrace message displayed by Liverpool fans at Rome’s Satadio Olimpico has its own story. Phil Downey and Jimmy Cummings, the two Liverpool fans and creators of the banner, gavwethe banner to Joey who, in turn, donated it to the club museum The Liverpool FC Story.

Also, museum curator Stephen Done said: “Because of the banner’s age it was becoming fragile so we decided to have an actual size facsimile made, which is now a feature of our exhibits.”

As part of the exhibition, Ian Callaghan told years ago at New Brighton theatre the inside story of the first star Liverpool FC got in an European Cup competition along with Phil and Jimmy.

“We’d gone very close under Bill Shankly in our first attempt to win the trophy when we beat reigning champions Inter Milan 3-1 at Anfield in the 1965 semi final but we were robbed by incredible refereeing decisions in the second leg. It haunted Shanks for the rest of his life,” he said.

In addition, the giant “Joey Ate The Frogs Legs Made The Swiss Roll Now He’s Munching Gladbach” banner, affectionately known as the ‘Scouse Bayeux tapestry’, was displayed this unforgettable season on The Kop the night that the Special One Football Club Liverpool FC  took on Bayern Munich in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie.

This June, Phil Downey sadly passed away after a long battle with cancer. However, he got to see his famous banner unfurled on the Kop once again and watched the Special One Football Club Liverpool FC reign in Europe.