Posted by guest on December 21, 2009, 11:17:51 PM

“The socialism I believe in is not really politics. It is a way of living. It is humanity. I believe the only way to live and to be truly successful is by collective effort, with everyone working for each other, everyone helping each other, and everyone having a share of the rewards at the end of the day. That might be asking a lot, but it's the way I see football and the way I see life.”

I know what you’re thinking. Not another Bill Shankly quotation. Not another call to arms to the digital masses. Not another series of statements struggling unsuccessfully to penetrate the mind of those who have already made theirs up on our manager, our owners, our support and our football club – for better or for worse.

It isn’t as it seems, though.

I quote Bill Shankly, not because we have just passed the 50th anniversary of his appointment, not because I’m making some convoluted comparison with our current manager, not even because he is our greatest manager ever (arguably).

I quote it because it is the best view on socialism I’ve ever read. It’s perfect. I don’t claim to be a political expert but it is a view I subscribe to. It is people helping other people with collective effort – and it’s doing so in football and life.

It isn’t football I’m really interested in. This brief exploration into the hefty concept socialism isn’t about how Aurelio and Benayoun should be helping each other or how the attitude of our captain needs to change. It’s about the fans. It’s about life.

The socialism Shankly believed in was not just limited to on the pitch. He recognised that vital link between the players and the fans, between the city and the football club. They worked with each other and helped each other. The football club would not have 18 league titles or 5 European Cups if it wasn’t for the city or the fans. The city wouldn’t be what it is now if it wasn’t for the football club. That’s unity, that’s collective effort – that’s Shankly’s socialism.

For me, an attack on our football club is an attack on our city. I listened to Portsmouth fans on Saturday urging the omniscient football deity to feed us and let us know it’s Christmas time. That extends further than football ‘banter’ to me – that’s the people of Portsmouth mocking the people of Liverpool. Years of stereotypes against the city regurgitated through the medium of football. And it’s not just Portsmouth. Newcastle, Aston Villa, Manchester United…all the country’s major cities, trying to shit at us at a great height.

But our away end, no matter what shit we get, shrug it off because we’re Liverpool. We represent our football club and we represent our city.

As far as I can remember – and I’m sure the esteemed older gentleman of yesteryear (hello Chopper) can think back even longer – Liverpool has been a target of ridicule and unfair treatment, both the city and the football club. The media and the mayor of dat der London may pass it off as self-pitying but that’s bollocks. Anyone who says the media doesn’t have an agenda against the city or the football club needs to look harder.

But we, the people of Liverpool and the fans of Liverpool Football Club, have never allowed them to hit that target. We’ve united, we’ve stood up, we’ve fought, clawed, battled and rose up against those who tried to harm us. We are a special breed who looks out for one another. We try our best to uphold our traditions. We go away to European cities as football fans and we treat our hosts with respect because we want the world to know why we are different and why what the media and the rest of the country say is a pile of shite.


We are in the midst of another barrage from the media and the country who believe that their word is gospel. Probably the worst I’ve ever experienced. They are trying to humiliate our football club and humiliate our city. They are trying to humiliate the man who has done his best to understand the link between club and city since he’s been in charge. They are trying to humiliate the captain of our football club and therefore an ambassador of our city. They are trying to humiliate the fans who watch their football club every single week.

It does not matter if you want Rafael Benitez to be our manager because at the moment he is. He is part of Liverpool Football Club, he cares about Liverpool Football Club and therefore he cares about the city and its people. There has to be a collective effort to help him – he is one of us and we look out for our own because he’s not one of them.

It does not matter if you want Steven Gerrard to be our captain because at the moment he is. He is part of Liverpool Football Club, he cares about Liverpool Football Club and therefore he cares about the city and its people. There has to be a collective effort to help him – he is one of us and we look out for our own because he’s not one of them.

We as a football club, and therefore a city, must take this latest bombardment and not let us become an easy target. We’ve always fought against the shit we’ve been given and thrown it back twice as hard because we’re Liverpool.

It’s more than football, it’s a deep rooted agenda against us and I’ll be fucked if we’re going to let them win now.

Show Shanks that it wasn’t asking a lot and that his idea of socialism is still in this football club and it’s still in this city, even though the sport and society has changed a lot since then. At times like these, looking after each other is the only thing we can rely on and no matter what your personal belief is, we’ve won battles against them before with our unity, so stick together and get behind our city, our football club and those who have its best interests at heart.

I’m not saying if we do this we’ll win the title or we’ll win the cup. It’s much more important than that, it’s about upholding our integrity and not letting the bastards win. And to let Shankly’s legacy and hope live on:

“Above all, I would like to be remembered as a man who was selfless, who strove and worried so that others could share the glory, and who built up a family of people who could hold their heads up high and say, 'We're Liverpool'.”

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