Liverpool are long accustomed to helping blaze the trail when it comes to television coverage of football.

Back in 1964, they took part in the first game to appear on the BBC's highlights show Match of the Day when registering a 3-2 home win over Arsenal.

Five years later, the Reds were also involved in the first colour game to be broadcast on the programme on BBC1, defeating West Ham United 2-0 at Anfield.

And in 1992, Liverpool were beaten 1-0 at Nottingham Forest in the first Premier League game broadcast live on Sky Sports.

But there's a lesser-known landmark the Reds have possessed for more than 28 years that will later this month finally be expunged from the history books.

With the BBC having confirmed they will show Crystal Palace's trip to Bournemouth on June 20, it will be the first top-flight game to be shown on terrestrial television since April 26 1992 when ITV broadcast Liverpool's Division One clash with Manchester United.

It wasn't just a regular clash between the two bitter North West rivals, either.

While Liverpool, in their first full season under Graeme Souness, were struggling for consistency and on their way to their worst league finish in more than two decades, United were close to bringing an end to a 25-year wait to win the title.

Alex Ferguson's side had lost only three of 38 matches - this was a 42-game season - to lead the table and be odds-on to claim the championship.

But successive defeats to Nottingham Forest and already-relegated West Ham United inside three days opened the door for Leeds United, who four days later strengthened the grip shortly before United's clash at Anfield with a 3-2 win at Sheffield United.

Suddenly, a Liverpool victory would extend United's wait for the title and hand Leeds the crown with a game to spare.

Ian Rush, who started in attack for Liverpool, takes up the story.

"We had watched Leeds win just before the game, so we knew what this meant for Manchester United," says the Reds' record goalscorer.

"So did our fans. I went out to warm up before the game and the atmosphere was unbelievable. They knew, too."

Manchester United's Ryan Giggs and Liverpool defender Rob Jones do battle in 1992
Manchester United's Ryan Giggs and Liverpool defender Rob Jones do battle in 1992

For Rush, the fixture had particular significance having infamously never scored against United in 23 previous appearances.

"If Liverpool won, it didn't bother me one bit if I hadn't scored," he adds. "But when we lost and I hadn't scored, that's when I thought about it.

"People would always talk about not scoring against United as being a mental block for me, and if I started believing what was being said, I'd have lost confidence. But I never did."

He didn't have to wait long to prove it. Just 12 minutes in, Rush latched on to a John Barnes throughball and clipped a shot beyond Peter Schmeichel into the Anfield Road End goal. The drought was over at long last.

"I remember the crowd were singing my name before the game and in the first five minutes, and that gave me the confidence to go on and get that goal," says Rush.

"I know it's a cliche, but the supporters were like a 12th man that day. And I remember there being a sense of relief when I scored because United was only top flight club I'd never scored against. It was a great moment for me."

United failed to recover. Rush was forced off before the half-hour as a precaution - Liverpool had an FA Cup final date on the horizon - but his replacement, Mark Walters, was on hand to seal a dramatic 2-0 win by netting in front of the Kop with three minutes remaining after Ray Houghton had struck the crossbar.

Mark Walters celebrates with Dean Saunders and John Barnes after scoring Liverpool's second in 1992
Mark Walters celebrates with Dean Saunders and John Barnes after scoring Liverpool's second in 1992

"That was the day the fans were singing 'You lost the league on Merseyside'," says Jan Molby, in midfield that afternoon. "That was the last great hurrah from that Liverpool team.

"We looked at each other in the dressing room that day, the likes of myself and John Barnes and Ian Rush, and said 'we can do this - we can't win the title but we can do this as a one-off'.

"It was almost a thank you to the fans, in a way. Let's delay the inevitable of what's to come."

Rush agrees. "It was a big incentive to stop United winning the league," he says. "We didn't mind if Leeds won it, in fact it would be great for us.

"But it was strange that only a few years earlier it would be Liverpool going to win the league rather than stopping somebody else winning it.

"Maybe it was a little reward for the supporters. We didn't win the league, but at least we stopped United from winning it and hopefully we could go for title again the next year."

However, as Molby had feared, it was a forlorn hope. While Rush scored in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Sunderland in the FA Cup final, the balance of power had soon shifted down the East Lancs Road.

The Reds finished the next season - the first of the Premier League era - in sixth behind Norwich City, Blackburn Rovers and Queens Park Rangers while United held off the challenge of Aston Villa to win the title by 10 points.

"We knew United were a force at that time," says Rush. "Personally, while I understood we were in a period of transition, I thought we'd end up being fine. We went on to win the FA Cup, and I thought that was a sign we were a good team.

"We had good older players and we had some promising youngsters, but we didn't really have many of the players who fitted in between those groups. That's the most important thing a team can have, players in their prime, and we didn't get that.

"On our day, we knew we could beat anyone. But to win the league we had to be consistent. United had that consistency, and that's why they went on to be the team of the 1990s."

How would Rush have responded to being told then that United would win 13 of the next 21 titles while Liverpool were still waiting for number 19?

"I'd have just laughed," he admits. "We felt we had good players, but perhaps too many of the youngsters were playing as individuals at the time. When we played as a team, we did well.

"United had some good youngsters, but they were playing more as a team. Maybe that was the difference."

Now, of course, Liverpool are close to ending their own long wait, needing only two more wins from their remaining nine games to lift a first title since 1990 which, of course, was sealed with a Rush goal in a 2-1 win over QPR.

Jurgen Klopp's side will resume their campaign on Sunday, June 21 against Everton, with both Merseyside teams hopeful the game will take place as scheduled at Goodison.

With no fans allowed, the game has been chosen by Sky Sports to be shown on their freeview channel Pick  - making it the first league derby broadcast free-to-air in the UK since 1989.

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"I've never played in a game behind closed doors," says Rush. "But I think the game has changed. When I was playing, you wanted the supporters there to give you an extra edge.

"That always helps, but I don't think the effect of having no fans will make as much a difference as it might have done when I was playing.

"And I don't think it matters where the games are played. Liverpool's players will be prepared for everything, they are so well tuned.

"With no fans there, it could perhaps feel like a training session. But the motivation for Liverpool to win the league will surely be enough.

"I think showing all the games will help the country and give people a boost. They just have to make sure the conditions are safe for the players.

"But it will be amazing to see how many people watch the derby."