The Leaving of Liverpool, or the Colour of Money

Posted by Bob Kurac on June 26, 2004, 03:08:52 PM

By John Williams, editor of The Mersey Mouth

If the rumours are true then Steven Gerrard will soon be leaving Liverpool F.C. for Chelsea football club.  To many people this will be perceived as a betrayal of the club and the fans, but I suspect it will prove in the main to be a betrayal of Steven Gerrard. 

He says he wants to join a club that will give him the honours he craves.  So why is he not going to Real Madrid or Barcelona or Arsenal?  Possibly because even they would baulk at making the kind of financial investment that Roman Abramovitch can afford.

No, realistically it has to be the money, because to leave the most honoured football club in English history for the almost trophy free zone that is Chelsea and then claim the move is being made in a bid for glory is about as logical as Sir Ernest Marples arguing that the motorways were built so that people experience the beauty of the countryside.  When Ernie built the M1 great swathes of the English countryside were forever lost while Marples made millions.

Okay, so he’s gone for the money, but in a world where the once deadly sins of Envy and Greed are now held up as virtues is that a crime?  No, but it is possibly an impulsive and catastrophic mistake; a surrender to temporal values that will not countenance the notion that human beings can ever be contented.  The idea that we can be happy with our lot is heresy to the feverish propagators of dis-ease and dis-content.  A man can buy a new car on Monday and by Wednesday he is seeing it rubbished in an advertisement for another car; another dishwasher; another washing powder ad infinitum.

You see Steven, a man once said,
“What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet suffer the loss of his soul?”

Soul?  What are you Williams, a religious nut!

No.  It’s the only word I can find to describe that particular spirit that defines Merseysiders and their irrational pride in belonging to an area that in its short history has been blitzed to near oblivion; almost destroyed by Thatcherism, and which has of late become the target of a nation wide hate campaign that borders on racialism. 
As I write this I am looking at a photograph, taken at Anfield, of Steven Gerrard proudly holding his beautiful baby daughter aloft as if she were the World cup itself.  What will you tell her Steven if she ever asks what she was doing in that citadel of those strange northern people whose accent and dialect is so distinct that it ceases to exist at the very borders of Liverpool?  For instance, where your old home of Huyton meets the ancient English market town of Prescot. 

Will she ever understand the sense of belonging to a people who feel almost as alien to their national culture as any Basque or Catalan? 

We here have survived many major tragedies such as the devastation of the Luftwaffe, and we have endured many minor losses, like, for instance, the loss of Kevin Keegan.  What hasn’t killed us has made us stronger. 

If you go we will miss you Steven, but know this, you will miss us more.  You will privately mourn the loss of the love of you fellow Scousers, because many will revile you and the duration of that hatred will last for many a season.  You see, what was meant to be the Spring of our recovery as a football team will be seen to have been blighted by that very green shoot that gave us so much hope during the long winter we have all endured since Hillsborough.

Speaking for myself, I will always marvel at the irony of a self proclaimed boyhood supporter of L.F.C voluntarily leaving the club, when Robbie Fowler, a boyhood supporter of Everton had to be levered out.

If you mix red and blue you get purple, the colour of the Roman emperors.  Steven, you could be our Caesar.  Don’t bend the knee to a pretend Tsar who has won no glory and will treat you as a mere bauble, a plaything. 

As another Stevens put it,
“Oh baby baby it’s a wild world…
But if you wanna leave, take good care
I hope you have a lot of nice things to wear
But then a lot of nice things turn bad out there”

Take care our kid. 

© John Williams 2004


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