Two Tribes – How Football Saved a City, the next film in the award-winning BT Sport Films series, will premiere at 9pm on Saturday 30 March on BT Sport 1.

Marked by unrest and economic decline, Liverpool in the 1980s found itself disparaged by many. Militant councillor and ardent Evertonian, Derek Hatton, the deputy leader of Liverpool City Council, led a rebellion against government cuts and put the city on a collision course with the Conservatives and with the Labour Party itself. Meanwhile, TV programmes such as Boys from the Black Stuff pricked the nation’s consciousness to the plight of Liverpool’s suffering while unwittingly reinforcing negative images of the city.

Against this backdrop rose the city’s two football teams, with Everton and Liverpool dominating the domestic and European game for the next ten years, offering Liverpudlians fresh hope and an identity that was not limited to Red or Blue. Their sporting dominance reached a high in 1984 when the League Cup Final between Liverpool and Everton became the first ever all-Merseyside Wembley Final. A third of the city’s male population made its way to London allowing 100,000 Liverpudlians to demonstrate civic pride.

The league title stayed on Merseyside for eight out of ten years as performances on the football pitch became the city’s primary form of opposition. But then, in tragic circumstances, the sport that had given its people a voice, shook the city through the disasters at Heysel and Hillsborough.

Together with interviews with those who lived through the era, Two Tribes features rare archive including the 1984 League Cup Final and the Merseyside derby FA Cup Finals of 1986 and 1989. Contributors include Hatton and Lord Michael Heseltine, footballers Peter Reid and Steve McMahon, actor David Morrissey, plus musicians Peter Wylie of the Mighty Wah! and Peter Hooton of The Farm, with archive featuring Holly Johnson from Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Ian McCullouch of Echo and the Bunnymen.

Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “Two Tribes is a thought-provoking examination of how football transcends sport and becomes central to wider society.

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