Thanks for your question.
"You'll Never Walk Alone" was originally part of the great American songbook. It was written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II for their 1945 musical, Carousel. However, it was memorably covered by Liverpool group Gerry & The Pacemakers and has a long association with Liverpool and its supporters who started singing the song in 1964. It was Liverpool fans most notably in the Kop section of the ground who started the tradition of singing songs at soccer games and this was one of the first songs they sung. It has also been used by other teams most notably Scottish side Celtic.
In the musical, the song is sung after the death of the lead, Billy Bigelow, to give courage to Julie Jordan, pregnant with child at the time, and is sung in a later scene to encourage a graduation class of which Louise (their daughter) is a member. As a result, it has become a standard, sung by graduation classes in the United States.
The song's popularity arose during the original Broadway production because of World War II, where many members of the audience had husbands, brothers, boyfriends, or fiancés at war overseas, which led to solace in the song's message.
The song was recorded by many artists, first charting in 1945 in a version by Frank Sinatra (#9 on the Billboard charts). Patti LaBelle and the BlueBelles had a #34 charting version in 1964. Elvis Presley's version got to #90 in 1968.
In England, the song's most famous outing was recorded in the early 1960s by Liverpool group Gerry & the Pacemakers, and reached #1 in the UK charts on the 26th October 1963 where it stayed for 4 weeks. It immediately became the club anthem of Liverpool Football Club [and is invariably sung by its supporters at matches. The words You'll Never Walk Alone feature in the club crest. In recent years the fans of various rival clubs have attempted to claim that "they sung it first". It would appear however that "Liverpool have the much stronger claims."
The Pink Floyd song "Fearless", from their 1971 Meddle album, includes a recording of the Liverpool Kop singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" at the end of the track.
The song subsequently spread to other association football crowds, where it is sung variably, such as:
* Scotland: Celtic F.C.
* Netherlands: Feyenoord Rotterdam, Ajax Amsterdam, FC Twente.
* Germany: TSV Alemannia Aachen, FC St. Pauli.
* Greece: AEK Athens (AEK fans adopted a Greek version of the song}
* Japan: F.C. Tokyo.
* Australia: St. Joseph's College, Hunters Hill.
Before the first leg of the 2002/2003 UEFA Cup tie between Celtic and Liverpool at Celtic Park in Glasgow, all the fans were led in the singing of "You'll Never Walk Alone" by Gerry & The Pacemakers frontman Gerry Marsden, who became entangled in his microphone lead. Marsden was to do the same at the return leg at Anfield, but was unable due to a scheduling conflict. Another memorable night during which a rendition of the song was sung was Ian Rush's testimonial at Anfield in 1994.
The song also reached #1 in the UK charts in June 1985 for 2 weeks, a charity record, following the Valley Parade fire at Bradford City on 11 May 1985, and not the more topical Heysel Stadium disaster 18 days later (a common misconception). The song was performed by The Crowd (including Gerry Marsden, Paul McCartney and Rolf Harris).
The song reached #1 in the UK charts for a third time when it was released by Robson and Jerome. The song reached number one on the November 3, 1996 and remained there for two weeks selling in excess of 300,000 copies. The song was released as a single along with What Becomes of the Broken Hearted and Saturday Night at the Movies.
An operatic version by José Carreras, Plácido Domingo & Luciano Pavarotti with Mehta, reached number 21 in the UK charts in July 1998.
I have enclosed some sources for you.
Wikipedia You'll Never Walk Alone
The Guardian "Liverpool or Celtic: who walked alone first" March 12 2003
BBC "Bradford remembers fire disaster" 11 May 2005
· 1 decade ago