One of the lucky Ones

Liverpool Football Club - General Discussion

Postby andy c legs » Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:35 pm


I wrote this the last time I went to Anfield, and would really appreciate any views at all on it, that is if any of you good people can spare the time...  :;):

January, 2012
One of the Lucky Ones

The game was not up to much but the overall day was good, worthwhile.
A programme, as I got off the coach and a swift walk through a windy Stanley Park and past the still mainly boarded-up houses, past the corner of the Grandstand and past the life size statue of the great Bill Shankly. Then across the road, dodging the taxis and cars, and for a change I go into the normal entrance of The Park, where we would spend most of the time before the game.
Even at this time, about 1pm, there was a fair few in there and we made our way to the top bar.  There was the usual crowd, Aidy, John, and Aidy’s son, Dan, whose birthday it was.  And there was Andy too.  The boys had met him and Jonah on the way to Istanbul in 2005 and they had remained firm friends ever since, with Dean and Dave (who was at home for this one), all good lads.  A quick chat and then a single pint and down we went, back down towards the entrance, to get a good spot.
Andy had had a few already.  He was in the pub early and was well on his way to getting oiled- up, big style!  Dean had got them in and the three of us had full pints.  As I stood there I looked around, all the usual flags and that long banner with the FIVE European Cups on it, indicating how many times Liverpool had won old ‘big ears’. I then looked through the window, across the road and to the world famous Kop. In front of it could be seen the Paisley Gates – put-up in memory of our past manager, Bob Paisley. How ornate they were. There was an almost a reserved quality about them, just like the man himself, who won three European Cups, not to mention 6 League titles in just NINE seasons at the helm. He had taken over from Bill Shankly in 1974 and had exceeded all expectations. Such an humble man..
Everywhere you looked there was history, that would have been enough of a reason to have gone in the pub, apart from to have a beer, but there was another one and that was something which would just happen, sometime soon.
The badge man was there, aptly named because he had all Liverpool badges on his clothes. The commentator Johnathan Pearce had once picked him out during a game, a few years ago and there he was now, in the left-hand corner with his mates.  From somewhere, not too far away, IT started -  the main event.
It was a song, a chant, one of many that day.  It only may have lasted for a minute or two, with only a few knots of fans joining in.  It was a start though, to get the ball rolling.  Then Andy started one and the three of us sang together, supporting each other, with all of us knowing the words.  Around us more lads and lasses sang.  Was it ‘The reds are coming up the hill boys?’, maybe with Andy.  Then ‘Badge Man’ and his mates started one, something like ‘Fields of Anfield Road’ nice and easy, to try and get everyone going.  It was building now.  Like a thunder in the distance, rumbling towards you, you knew what was coming, it was getting louder and magically, no one could stop it.
At one point, I suggested to Andy, one of my favourites and one I always think of him when I recall it, ‘Every other Saturday’ and he quite happily obliged by starting it off, like a conductor, in a loud voice.  It has a lovely lilt to it and I have loved it since I first heard it, in about 2006 I think.  This had a good response and soon after this lower section of the pub was nearly reaching the top of it’s own hill and was going to stride right across it..
It was the Luis (Suarez) song.  That was it.  That one that really hit the spot, just like one of those special goals he can score like versus Sunderland away for example, when he beat a defender on the goal line and somehow angled the ball past the keeper, from an impossible position!  Whatever else he might do or has done, Suarez is class and Liverpool are less of a threat without him.  To the tune of Depeche Mode’s, ‘Just Can’t get enough’, it was like a match was struck and the tiny flame, just ignited into a flaming bonfire which had petrol thrown on top! We all began to chant in unison,   ‘His name is Lewy Su-arez  he wears the fa-mous red, I just can’t get enough, I just can’t get enough, and if he scores a volley or if he’s a head, we just can’t get enough, we just can’t get enough’, then the crescendo, ‘and when he scores a goal, the Kop go wild and we just can’t get enough Lewy Su-ar-ez, dut, dut, dut, der, dut, dut, derr, Lew-y Su-ar-ez!’, and on and on goes the last part, with pretty much not just the lower part of the pub bouncing up and down but as I scan, the whole pub was bouncing, all like human pogo sticks!  It was so intoxicating, so addictive, so alive, as though there was an invisible drug in the air and we were all breathing it in.. It was incredible, just an hour or so before everyone was just chatting and then, it was like everyone was in a happy state of frenzy!!  At this point it was dangerous to hold a pint in your hand, especially a full one, as despite covering it with your hand, it would inevitably be spilled, going up and down in motion to the tune, or in the case of Aidy and Dan, bottles of lager were sprayed towards each other, mimicking champagne celebrations on a podium but the difference was it was now in a packed pub.  This time was not the best to try and wriggle from the bar and carry a round to the lads but it was all part of the experience and I loved it!! 
Following straight on from this, there was a great chant, ‘We’re not racist, we only hate Mancs! We only hatte Ma-nks, we only ate maa-nks, we only ha-te Manks!!”.  This was in response to Luis Suarez allegedly racially abusing Man. Utd’s  Patrice Evra and getting an 8 match ban because of it.  It was clear to see how much support Suarez was getting from the way the song was chanted.
There were many other songs and chants sung and a lad near to us began a classic Kop song in the form of ‘Poor Scouser Tommy’.  This appears to be a long song on paper but it can be sung very quickly, again starting slow and ending up with a quick beat.  The lad was seemingly struggling for support and as it’s one of my favourites. I lent him an hearty Welsh hand and others soon joined in too.  ‘Rush scored one, Rush scored two, Rush scored three and Rush scored four’, coming at the end of the song, in celebration of Rushie’s FOUR goals in the famous 5-0 derby win over Everton, in early November, 1982.  No wonder I love it so much!!
There was also a song about Brazilian Lucas Levia.  “Oh we liked him, now we f***ing love him, woah, woah,”, with everyone’s hands going up in the air, in an almost half salute and a wave along the way, in respect of our midfield ‘cruncher’.  The song itself was testimony to the way in which Lucas had improved in his time at Anfield, since arriving in the summer of 2007.  He had been a bad player and seemingly every Liverpool defeat in which he played, was blamed at his feet, especially with those mistimed tackles.  However, he has developed and become a vital player and a confident one.  It was a genuine loss to the side when he suffered an injury earlier on in the campaign and it had side-lined him for the rest of the season.  I was gutted for him because he has worked so hard at his game and no one has a bad word to say against him now, hence his song and the genuine feeling behind it.
At one point Dean turned to me and said, “You’ve missed this, haven’t you?” and I agreed that I had.  There was something about being there, never mind actually going into the match.  I’d spent great times in the place, in a short few years before I stopped going regularly and the old feeling was back again, that sense of belonging, right from the heart, no one could take that feeling away.  It was so strong, whatever happened in the rest of the day, I’d experienced ‘it’ again, amongst like- minded people...
An handshake and an hug, Andy had been Andy, he was un-missable.  Football, or more precisely Liverpool had brought him into Dean’s and Davie’s lives and consequently mine.  He was a Liverpool fan as much as anyone, if not more because he was so vocal.  “I got my education from The Kop”, he proudly said, more than once to us but it was the fans as one that mattered the most, as everyone there knew whether they were young or old, male or female, black or white, for there was such a cross-section of society there and it was great to be part of that. 
Young Dan came out with me and he went the one way and I headed up the street.  The burger vans were there on the left hand side and on the other side of the road was ‘The Albert’, one of the other singing pubs around Anfield.  Then I looked up the road and glanced at my phone, for the time and decided not to try and chance the Chinese, as it was less than fifteen minutes to kick off.  However food was gained from a corner Kebab shop and across the road I went, to the ground and through the Kop turnstiles, which I’d been so lucky to have entered more than several times in years gone by.  I was totally in the dark as to what would take place within the confines of the stadium as it was not scripted and that was what would make it unique, whatever happened..

It was good to be ‘home’.  It felt as though I’d never been away but it had been April since I’d set foot on that appropriate red coloured floor.  Then I went up to the steps, for block 205, not 204, where my season ticket had been.  For this occasion I was using Miller’s ticket, again, so fortunate that I knew people whom I could turn to if I wanted or could afford to get to see ‘My other Bird’.  I clutched my carton of curry, chips and sausages and ate most of them before thinking that I had better go to the toilet, while I could.  I passed my chips to a lad standing by me and asked him to mind them for me, just completely trusting him.  There was no problem as he had looked after them for me and as I finished them off, I could not believe the names that were running along the bottom of the screen.  ‘King Kenny’ had elected to play three centre backs and two wing backs.  No problem but only one up front and that was Kuyt.  Liverpool’s best forward, without Luis Suarez, was Craig Bellamy and he was on the bench, along with, surprisingly, Carroll.  Stoke were the opponents and they were hardly renowned for their attacking system of play.  It had me scratching my head, surely all-out attack would have been the best policy for a Liverpool side who had already drawn SIX games  at home..
I got the seat,  Milller’s was right on the end of the aisle, near the one exit, so handily placed.  It was a good spec, looking just above the Kop end goal.  The teams came out of the tunnel, to the left of me and Stoke were wearing their light blue and dark blue strip tops, with dark blue shorts, Liverpool wore their traditional all red strip.  Pretty soon the emotional and heartening, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, was belted out, with gusto and scarfs were raised along with flags which fluttered.
Liverpool won the toss and defended our end.  They did not need to do much defending though as Stoke were under the cosh for most of the game.  The reds, for all their possession and control, could not break the visitors down in the first half.  Passes being sprayed from one side to the other but not much cut and thrust.  Gerrard’s shot went over, as did an effort from Henderson and Downing.  One superb cross went begging, from the right but no one was on hand to convert, there was just not enough, if any, bodies in the box.  It was so frustrating..
At half-time, there was a pleasant surprise.  Sami Hyypia made an appearance on the pitch.  The tall distinctive, blond haired Finn, got a rapturous round of applause and I lustily sang his name.  He was a legend, having spent ten seasons at the club.  An elegant centre-half who had a powerful head allied to skilful feet, Sebastian Coates, who was making his League debut, on this day, could have not asked for a greater role model to aspire to, though Jamie Carragher was quite inspirational.
Little changed during the second half, unfortunately.  Liverpool huffed and puffed but could not blow the Stoke house down.  The home side lacked a cutting edge. For all his off the field problems, Suarez was severely missed.  By the midway point of the half, Dalglish had Carroll and Bellamy on the pitch.  Carroll made little difference as all he seemed to do was fall over and get in the way of shots coming into the six yard box.  Bellamy should have started from the off though because he would have made a difference. 
I did enjoy it, getting something from out of the game.  For about ten minutes or so I was up on my feet, engrossed in the drama, urging the boys on.  The roars around me made me feel ‘alive’, the game being a living thing, un-controllable.  It was, on reflection, fabulous to be a part of it. It was akin to having been in the pub and all it needed was a goal and Anfield would have exploded!  A cross came over from my left, one which had the ball just longingly wanting to go into the net.  Kuyt should have provided the vital touch but, alas, his header went wide of Sorenson’s left post, much to everyone’s annoyance..  It was a gilt edged chance, the only one of the match, if only the in-form Welshman, Bellamy had been on the end of it. Liverpool continued to press right up to the last but to no avail.  As the old fella’s around me so rightly said, ‘That’s seven home draws now’.  It was just not good enough, not good enough at all..

By half nine I was in Newport and nearing home.  It had been a long day but it had been worth it.  The Luis Suarez song bounced around in my head and the image of Liverpool attacking the Kop, under the floodlights, no one would not  have been able have captured that picture in their head – if they had not been there. Maybe on another day it will be better, there had at least been days when it had been, plenty of them, the bug was there in me, the feeling of wanting to go, no matter what the result, just to watch them, to be part of it, of the whole event, to have experienced it once was maybe enough but once experienced it was addictive, despite the cold, the disappointment, the travelling or for the locals, just a short hop across the city, or even a short walk from Oakfield Road maybe, everyone experienced the same thing, no matter where they had come from and on this day, I had been one of them people.. I thought of myself as one of the ‘Lucky Ones’..

January, 2012 (edited July 2014)

Andy C Legs
[b]I am and always will be in love with them...
andy c legs
LFC Basic Member
Posts: 125
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:38 pm
Location: pontypool

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