I grew up in Kettering, a market town some 150 miles or so from the hallowed turf of Anfield. I have no connection with Liverpool, and had never been there until I was 22.
So why do I support the Reds? You’d have to ask my dad, who is also a ‘Pool fan. “Because they’re the best” he answers whenever I ask him why he chose them. Thank God he started following football in the 1970s and not the 1990s…
As a child in the 1980s there was little football on television, and this is where my dad really played a blinder. He would only let me watch ‘The Match‘ on a Sunday afternoon if Liverpool were playing, as he had no interest in watching other teams. I therefore had little choice but to become a Red, and here I am blogging about it some twenty-five years or so later.
Yet my dad had no interest in actually taking me to a match, and I didn’t have the means to make it myself, and so at 21 I had still not seen my beloved team play.
But finally my old man came up trumps in October 2001. Leicester is only about half an hour from Kettering, so a fair few of our townspeople support the Foxes, and my dad managed to bag me a ticket for a Liverpool match at Filbert Street from a drinking buddy who had a season ticket there. My first time watching the Reds, and I’d be sat with the opposition support.
I didn’t care though, and couldn’t wait for the big day, not least as I wondered what team acting manager Phil Thompson (the match took place one week after Gerard Houllier’s heart attack) would select for ‘my’ Liverpool debut. Luckily for me, Thommo picked a strong team featuring most of my favourites of the time:
Wright – Carragher – Hyypia – Riise
Gerrard – McAllister – Redknapp – Murphy
Fowler – Heskey
Subs: Kirkland, Smicer, Berger, Barmby, Litmanen (Quite an attacking bench!)
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