I'm in love with the City of Liverpool (very very long)

Posted by koolkamal on March 31, 2009, 08:33:05 PM

Hey everyone, just did a write up on my trip to the UK and Liverpool and Anfield. It's very very very long so be warned. :) Might be boring, not sure, just wrote it as it came to my head so might have missed some bits out also.

PS Mods not sure if this is the right place to put this, if it needs to be moved please do. Thanks
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Ok, So it’s been like 2 weeks since I got back from Liverpool and my first trip to Anfield and the Old Trafford. Was planning to write something about my trip awhile ago, just didn’t get down to it, been sick since I was in Liverpool and was a bit behind on my assignment, so decided to write something now before I start getting busy with work and assignments again.

I’ve been supporting Liverpool for 20 odd years now, I vaguely remember our last title win, I remember crying when we lost the title to Arsenal. Then came the teen years when I understood more about football but we won very little, we may have played some sexy football from time to time but had nothing to show for it. When you’re so young and especially someone from another country you don’t really dream of going to Anfield because of the atmosphere, yeah you want to go to watch your heroes like John Barnes, Fowler, Redknapp (yes him also), Rush, Bruce, Macca and the rest but you don’t really think of how great of an atmosphere there is.

The one game that sort of convinced me that I had to go to Anfield for the atmosphere and it sort of showed me what Liverpool supporters were all about – that was the 3-3 game at Anfield when we were 3-0 down, I remember watching the game on a VHS, can’t remember who recorded it though but I remember thinking holy fuck we’re losing against Manchester United and yet these people keep singing and singing, they were actually drowning out the commentary (maybe it was just the recording that was shite, but that’s the way it sounded to me).  I was stunned, I was 13 years old and never really experienced anything like that, best part I was watching it on a video recorder, imagine what it must have been like to actually be there. It was like all the supporters were actually on the field.

Fast forward some 15 years on, still having never been to Anfield thinking I have to go before the new stadium gets built (we still wonder about that). It’s really tough for us to get to Anfield for any game that time, too costly, South Africa is going through a whole change also breaking free from apartheid, a lot of factors. Nowadays it has become a bit easier but even more costly, but in January when a friend of mine phoned me and asked if there was a way to get tickets for the football, I thought fuck it why not also go with him, I had money saved up, here’s my chance. I can always make more money, so in that first phone call I knew that I was also going to go with.  (“All Dreams can come true, if you have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney)

Going to England, my first trip overseas, went to London first, figured I might as well go to London since Im coming all that way. Flight from South Africa was interesting to say the least. Left from South Africa and we must have been like almost half way to the UK when some guy on the plane almost died. He was get some sort of epileptic convulsions, so the Pilot made a decision to turn the plane around and stop off in Lusaka so that this man could get immediate treatment at a hospital. (Thankfully the man did survive thanks to the airhost/hostesses.) but we were now going to be delayed, we were stopped off in Lusaka for 2 hours maybe a bit more, then when we decided to leave, it was mentioned to us that the Pilot was not allowed to fly for more then a certain amount of hours and that because of us turning back we could not be taken all the way to London. So we were dropped off in Rome (which normally would have been great if we were actually allowed to enter Rome instead of sitting in that airport for like 4-5 hours). From Rome we had a connecting flight to London. So instead of reaching London at 6:30am like we were suppose to, I only got there at 6:30pm. That was one day over, so only had one more day in London so all I did was party, met with some friends that I am studying with and partied some more at a hostel where I was staying. It was a lot of fun and I met some really interesting people.

Come Monday morning, time to leave for Liverpool…. Oooooooooh so excited haha I can’t wait. It’s cold outside so I got my cousins German Military jacket on. I meet my friends and my friends dad at the train station and we depart for Liverpool and a few hours later we’re ‘home’. haha
Getting off the train in Liverpool, nothing feels different, still doesn’t feel like Im in another country, what the hell is going on. I thought I’d have this huge excitement and rush but everything feels normal. Weird. Anyway we get off the train, start to walk with our luggage to get to our Hotel. First thing my friend notices is a sign on the floor “caution wet floor” or something like that and below that someone scribbled John Terrys name. Oh how that cracked me up. I loved it.

The City Of Liverpool…. I’m absolutely in love with that city. Everything about it, it’s so rich in culture in history in art and architecture. The people are some of the friendliest people I have ever met, takes a while to understand what they’re saying, but you don’t care.
It’s like you know when you’re at home you feel like you can do anything you want but if you have to go to some fancy posh mansion the first thing you’re thinking “oh crap, don’t break anything ok’ :D You don’t feel comfortable and you don’t feel at home. Liverpool was exactly the opposite, and maybe that’s why it didn’t feel like I was in another country, maybe it just felt like this is where I’m supposed to be.

Walking to the Hotel in the cold with our luggage I fall down, don’t know how come, maybe I had to kiss the ground or maybe I was still adjusting to the cold. There were enough people around to give me a helping hand, including my friend. Everything is soo close by. We stayed at the Feathers Hotel. Nice place, met some cool friendly people there. Met some interesting Spaniards who weren’t Madrid supporters but just came for the game.

Tuesday is game day… it’s finally here. We decide since we have some time we go walking around. Went to the Albert Dock first… wow I have to say walking around Liverpool is just so amazing. Everything has such a warm feel to it (even though it was so cold) :D I loved the fact that everything is so old and beautiful but at the same time, they’ve managed to integrate new and modern buildings and ideas to compliment the old.  The Docks were amazing, we didn’t do the tour or anything, that was going to be for another day. Just decided to walk around and take pictures as many as we could.  After walking around the Docks we decided Anfield Store Oh boy… it took some restraint not to buy the entire store out. Everything I seen I wanted, seen a jacket I wanted even though wasn’t my size I was going to buy it, until my friend seen a bigger size haha Nice one.  Bought 2 jackets, a scarf, a beanie, a This Is Anfield Sign I think that’s it, can’t remember, need to check, I still haven’t unpacked my bag. Haha

We come back to the Hotel, time to get ready for the game… wooowoo. Got my new jacket on haha and my scarf and taking my beanie with and got my flag which I brought from home tied it around my neck like superman… tadadaaaa.

We get to the stadium and it’s totally not what I expect. It’s just in the middle of like this rough looking area. I love it. There’s no pretentiousness about it, everything is down to earth. (The peoples club).  We take some photos again as much as we can. I fall AGAIN, legs got tangled up with some other guy I don’t even remember it. Maybe I just had to kiss the ground again, yes, I’m sure that was the reason. Still time for the game so I decide to go to the Albert Pub, Oiii packed, packed, packed, full of Liverpool supporters and Madrid Supporters and scarfs and scarfs galore I think of every team we’ve played in history except for the scum flag, don’t want to dirty the place you know. 

We get some beers and then the singing starts (taking video while we’re all singing) We sing, then Madrid supporters sing, we sing louder still, this goes on and on, it’s like the match has already started, we’re winning though, we have the majority.  Get some more beers (they don’t serve tequila, oh well). Drink up.

Time to go into the stadium… giving our tickets in. The guards tell us they’ve found about 50 odd pirated tickets, whow damn. They look at our tickets, looking at us as if we’ve just given them pirated tickets, heart is pounding (no way). Just joking go right in. Bastards. :D haha (damn my heart is beating fast again now haha).  I got stuck going in, didn’t know how to get through, maybe I was just overexcited, wasn’t really listening to the people talking to me.  Calm down Kamal

We walk in, walk towards our seating… do we go and have a look at the ground first or get something to much on first? Mmm munchies first. We all go together up the steps and HOLY FUCK… Bend over and call me Sparky. Tears, lump in my throat, astounded. Not because the way the stadium looked but because it’s ANFIELD. It looks sooo crisp, it smells so clean, there’s a feeling of power, raw energy and the ground was practically empty.  We were sitting in the centenary, close to the Kop End.  Click, click, click take as many photos as you can (I find it difficult to take photos during the game, it gets in the way of my singing and screaming and shouting and swearing.) The Stadium is filling up, so close to game time, massive flags on the Kop. I think I was one of the very few at our end that had a flag.

You’ll Never Walk Alone – You don’t know how powerful it is until you go to a game. You can’t even imagine it. There are no words that can describe how it feels, about 40 000 fans singing one sing. Most who can’t sing for shit but come together harmoniously. You’re singing at the top of your voice, straining your vocals but you don’t care, singing as loudly as humanly possible. There’s so much heart in the way Liverpool fans sing, heart and passion.

Cheers all round for each Liverpool player mentioned, before I even knew it the game had already started, Im still waiting around twiddling my thumbs, oh shite the games started.

1-0   The crowd goes wild…. Fernando Torres Liverpools Number 9 Nanananana nana nana.  You hug and kiss anyone and everyone. Madrid supporter sitting in front of us scarf hidden underneath his jacket, turns to me and smiles. Hahaha yeah take that.
2-0   No way, Steve Gerrard Gerrard he’s big and his fucking hard get in the Stevie.
3-0   Is this for real… this can’t be real. I’m waiting to wake up, there’s no way this can be happening for real (hahaha get it real – Real Madrid) haha Oiiii lame ass. Ok so now Im a greedy bastard, whenever we score 2 or more I start to get real greedy and want more and more. Luckily we were rewarded.
4-0   Dossena – wait a minute. Is that right? Yes it is. 4-0. Txted my cuz who was taunting me before the game… no response. Haha.

This is the stuff of dreams, I mean to get to go watch Liverpool vs Real Madrid was good enough for me, but to watch us demolish them, surely if I died now I would be able to rest in eternal peace. (No not yet – there’s still a matter of Man (spit) U at Old Trafford. )

Few more days for that so let’s tour Liverpool a bit, the next day I wake up, ankle swollen so badly, oh shit, how did this happen, maybe when I tripped and fell at Anfield, so sore can barely stand on it but forget that I’m on holiday no way am I sitting around with my foot up, back to Albert Dock. Beatle museum, oh yeah… been waiting for this for so long also. I love The Beatles. Went on the tour and wow, I knew the history of the Beatles but seeing it in pictures and listening to it.. was very emotional for me, more tears and lump in my throat. Damn I’m such a big ol wuss. The complete story of The Beatles really got me emotionally… after that we met some people there, friends of my friends, formerly of South Africa. Lol Went to The Beatles store… oh crap, now I need to show some more restraint. Oh well let’s see if you can show restraint, no such luck. Bought tshirts, and badges, and beanies… enough now, you need to keep some money.

We all live in a yellow duckmarine. After the Beatles tour we went on the yellow duckmarine and took a tour of the city of Liverpool on land and on the water, Tour guide was pretty damn funny also. Have to say it was fantastic, learning so much (Im falling in love). Haha

After that we went to the Cavern for a drink or few, again it’s like just a normal pub, nothing fancy about it, especially considering the people that have played there. Like normally a famous place would have this prestige feel to it, try and make it this high class place but the Cavern is anything but that and I love that.  Went for Dinner to Pizza Express which was awesome and then went to Carras Pub the big one with the tv screens everywhere. Had a desert and a beer fantastic combination, while watching Man U and Inter game. Ok so Man U won, a little worrying but we’ll be ok.  Back to the Hotel, can’t wait at all, have to take a taxi back. (Gotta say though, so far in Liverpool every taxi that I took was an Everton Supporter).

The next couple days were chilled, rested my foot for half a day, just walked around, did some shopping and stuff. Played the british lottery, thought if I had won, I would have stayed in Liverpool. Sadly I didn’t win. 

Went for the Liverpool museum and Anfield tour… that was soooo amazing also. Ok so the history I know, but just seeing everything and being engulfed by all that, the medals, the history, the people was so heartwarming. Got my picture with Shanks (he made the people happy, only the people that matter.) Touching the “THIS IS ANFIELD” sign… never ever imagined I’d ever get to touch that sign.  Listening to the tour guide tell us about the history some of the tactics and mind games that they play was great. Listening to the story about the KOP from someone who’s been there before about how wild and crazy it was. I loved every bit of it. (I got so many pictures of the tour also).

Went clubbing the one night, the ankle was still so sore and swollen but who cares right, it can heal when I get back home to South Africa. I love the fact that the clubs were all so close by and the fact that unlike here I could go with a tshirt and tackies (sneakers) into a club. Here in South Africa clubs it’s mostly collar and shoes. I hate that. Went to like 4 different clubs in 1 night… I loved how everyone was dressed so differently there’s no conforming or anything. Met some really cool friendly people, met couple guys who were in Istanbul, told them about going for the Madrid game and also going to Old Trafford.. they couldn’t have been happier. SING SING SING as loud as you can. Oh yeah for sure, that much I know. I loved that Vodka place where there’s like 20 million different types of vodka, then there was another club with like 2 or 3 different floors (how drunk was I, I barely even remember that, damn). Had a fantastic time, drunk partied, forgot about the painful foot. Walking back to the Hotel, I saw this empty Cathedral it was sooo dark and gloomy I loved it, the night was perfect also, cloudy, just felt like something out of a horror movie.  Took as many pictures of it as I could, came out a bit blurry but just added to the horroresque feel. Haha

Aaah Saturday, time to go to Manchester. Got my Liverpool tshirt on and my hoody on top of that. You hear stories…

We got there early, met up with my cousin (Manchester supporters, there were staying there, went for all the games also). Took some pics… massive Stadium. Matt Busby, it took a Liverpool player to help get Man U to where they are. Oh they owe so much to us. (Shame poor them).
Got inside early… luckily we were sitting with the Liverpool supporters… Damn so many police and the horses were freakin huge. This is going to be insane.. Nerves start kicking in. We get to our seats.. a beautiful stadium I have to say. Massive, very big stadium, very modern.

We close in on game time, Stadium starts to fill up… the Liverpool supporters start singing, oh yeah. Now we’re talking, not nervous anymore. One thing I have to say, (I may hate Man U but I was totally disappointed by their supporters, I expected much more than that. They can’t sing for shit, useless, like 3000 Liverpool supporters out sang them. They got that stupid sound system, everytime we sing they put it louder and then we sing louder and they put it louder and they got that damn singer there trying to get their fans to sing a long, what the hell is that. I was thinking to myself, are you serious, is this the supposedly great Manchester United fans… haha). 3000 Liverpool Supporters out sang 60 000 Man U supporters by all accounts they should have drowned us out if they could actually sing.

The difference between Liverpool supporters and Manchester supporters, we have heart, come what may, that’s the one thing we have going for ourselves, HEART. (Fergies right your fans are shite).
…and then the game.

1-0   - down Penalty it was so quick, what the fuck just happened. Dammit is it going to be one those nights, should I have went to heaven or hell after Madrid… Hell no, keep singing as loud as you can, don’t stop you idiot.
1-1   – Fernando Torres Liverpools Number 9. Hahaha useless Vidic, Man U fans on the left, Man U fans on the right of us, what now you twats haha. (On  side not something I also figured out, that every supporter has a bit of a hooligan in them, maybe not as hardcore as others but it’s there, your team is in your heart.)
1-2   – Hahaha Evra you clown… Steve Gerrard Gerrard… It’s on now.
1-3   Bye bye Vidic…. And Helloooooo Aurelio I couldn’t even believe that free-kick. It took like a couple seconds to hit me and then I erupted. (Now it’s greedy time again, we want more.)
1-4   Step up Dossena with a pop over Van De Sar (Hugs, Kisses everyone, anyone don’t care, falling over, chairs breaking, coughing like a mad man (forgot to mention I also got sick few days before that, Im still sick from then) haha (5 goals common… oh well it’s ok, Im satisfied with that… Lies I’m not satisfied I’m on a cloud that I don’t think even exists).

What a game… it’s still all like a dream, like I need to go back and watch it again just to make sure I haven’t dreamt all of that. What more could I have asked for, for my very first trip to UK and to Anfield. Liverpool supporters were kept about an hour after the game… but as we walked out I witnessed how rough it can be, even keeping us an hour after the game, there were still Man U supporters waiting there, it was chaotic, so many police but there’s only so much they could do. You’re walking past all this and you’re so happy but you don’t want to say anything… fists flying all over. I heard couple of Man U fans screaming get that scouse twat and in the back of my mind I’m thinking wait a minute you can’t do that, there’s so many of you and just one of him. I really felt so bad, but I can’t say anything or do anything. It was scary (it’s just me, my friend, his dad and sister). You just keep walking straight to the bus stop.

Waiting so long for the bus also in the cold (it was soooo cold that day also.) Only got back to Liverpool that night. As soon as we got into Liverpool… I was smiling, a happy chappy, my foot was aching, my cough was terrible but I didn’t care, I was soooo happy. We went into town, walked around, went to Lennons Pub… had a great time there, after every karaoke song people we singing Liverpool songs, met some cool people there also.  Went to get something to eat and then back to the Hotel.

Checked my msgs on my phone and on facebook and everyone is like… that’s it, it’s settled you’re not coming back to South Africa, you’re staying there, I don’t want to see you back here. Hahaha it was amazing.

The next morning was a rush back to London, and back home to South Africa, straight home and no stops.

We truly are the greatest football club ever.

Overall I had the best time ever. Liverpool really felt like home, I honestly didn’t want to come back and if I had the money I would have stayed much longer. I am totally IN LOVE with the city of Liverpool. I can’t wait to go back, it’s been the greatest experience of my life.
Damn that’s a lot of typing, I wonder if anyone is actually going to read all this haha.

YNWA
JUSTICE FOR THE 96 (RIP)
“To Succeed you Have to BELIEVE”

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