By TTT Subscriber “Red Ed”
My alarm goes off at 7am and part of me begrudges getting up “early” on a Saturday morning. It has been an awful week at work and I’ve lost several hours of sleep this week worrying about an issue, so a nice Saturday morning lie in would have been lovely. Once I’m properly awake then the excitement of visiting a ground I’ve never been to before takes over and I’m desperate to get going.
I’m the luckiest man in the world in that I married a bigger Liverpool fan than I am, so the suggestion of spending most of our Saturday going to Leicester doesn’t need any negotiation and she’s as excited, if not more excited, than I am! We leave the house at 8.30am, leaving behind our cat who sits in the hallway and watches us leave, making us both feel guilty with that look that only pets can give you.
The drive down starts with us listening to this week’s AFQ from the Anfield Wrap to get us in the football mood. We switch over the driving at Tibshelf and my wife takes over the car radio and puts her “Liverpool Playlist” on – a mix of great tunes like Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough” and “Sit Down” by James. Progress down the M1 is blissfully easy until we get to near Leicester and the signs are saying “M1 CLOSED J20 – J19”. We’re getting off at junction 21 and we get snarled up in a traffic jam as we’re coming off.
It doesn’t last too long and we are parked up on the side street that was recommended by someone on the LCFC fan boards. Another family, who look like they are parking there to walk into town for some Saturday shopping, spot our Liverpool shirts and wish us all the best for the game. We walk up a busy main road as Leicester fans are parking up and getting out to walk the same way. It is gloriously sunny and I’m already regretting wearing my thin black Liverpool jacket. As we wait to cross the road, I spot the white metal cantilevers of the stadium and my heart jumps with excitement.
I love football stadiums. I’ve been obsessed with them since I was a child and seeing a new football stadium makes me feel like a child on Christmas Day. We finally turn the corner and start heading to the stadium and I can see the blue and white cladding of the stadium. As we walk up to the stadium, it starts to dawn on me that there’s not much else in the near vicinity. It is 11am at this point and the crowd is slowly starting to build so we take a walk around the stadium, which left me feeling quite disappointed as there was very little of interest to see. It made me thankful that we never moved to the “Parry Bowl” or something similar. It felt a bit clinical and lacking in character. We’re lucky to have Anfield, despite its issues.
The rest of this article is for subscribers only.