The ground previously belonged to St Francis Xavier, a local school. The area was used as a playing field for the school and Father Melling and Father Woodlock who taught at the school spent hours helping the young boys play football. As a way of remembering the two priests' hard work the ground was named using the first syllables of the names of their names.
Melwood was in a terrible state in 1959, and was transformed into a top class training facility by Bill Shankly. He introduced the five-a-side games that defined his "pass and move, keep it simple", philosophy. Players would meet and change for training at Anfield and then board the team bus for the short trip to Melwood. After training, they would bus back to Anfield to shower and change and get a bite to eat. Shankly thus ensured all his players had warmed down correctly and he would keep his players free from injury. Indeed, in the 1965–66 season, Liverpool finished as champions using just 14 players and two of those only played a handful of games.
In January 2001 Liverpool started work on the Millennium Pavilion, a modern facility for players and coaches, designed in part and heavily influenced by then manager Gérard Houllier. There is a small covered area for invited spectators. Training starts early in the morning with players arriving around 9 a.m. The players go through a morning session and are also required to turn in an evening session.