Earlier last week an account I follow on twitter tweeted a message.
“ First day in a new job today. Got bullied for being a Liverpool fan and couldn’t defend myself”
I’m sure we’ve all had a similar experience, either in school, college or in the work place and been the butt of many a joke or slanderous line. Fans from many clubs (mainly Man Utd) have had more than ample opportunity to have their say at how bad our team is performing. Lord knows we gave PLENTY back to them in 13/14 when we were by far the best team in the league, destroying teams at ease while playing some of the best football in the modern era. Although it all fell apart in the last 3 games and gave them even more ammunition, it showed what can be achieved by a club with togetherness, team work, attitude, skill, bravery, hope, belief and support. Who can forget the crowds amassing on Anfield Road to welcome the team bus to the stadium on the run-in to the end of the season? The vines and videos on social media were amazing, the passion and connection the fans felt with the players at that time was a sight to behold and no doubt inspired the players.
Barcelona have a very famous saying painted on the seats in Camp Nou. “Mes Que Un Club”. “More Than A Club”. This is a mantra fans of LFC should also adopt. To most other fans a club is a club. It plays games once or twice a week for 9 months in a season, see who the club signs in the summer and than start all over again with the hope of staying in the league or pushing for promotion. This is fine for most other clubs and while I have HUGE respect for supporters of lower league and most other Premier League clubs who support their team’s week in week out with little or no success, we are different.
As the song goes WE ARE LIVERPOOL tra la la la la……
So what makes us different??
PRIDE….. this is what should make us different. Pride at being “More Than A Club”. Pride at knowing what our club stands for. Pride in how we handle all situations whether a devastating horror like Hillsborough or a massive triumph like Istanbul. Pride in each other as fans. Pride in our history and achievements. Pride, that no matter where one goes in the world you will meet a fellow red. Pride, that our club can fill ANY stadium of ANY size across the globe, even on a pre season tour. Pride that our hymn is sung in hope, prayer and as an anthem for belief and support by other clubs in other countries. Pride in our fellow fans, strangers you would normally pass on the street, but when a game is on, brothers in football who we have sung, shouted, screamed, cried, hugged, celebrated, mourned and watched in disbelief with at times for a club that we all love. No other club in the world can compare with us. Yes there are clubs that can spend more money and have won more trophies in the recent past than us but VERY few can boast a brother/sister hood like ours. Some of these clubs spend money on plastic flags and pipe fake noise and atmosphere into they’re stadiums through speakers to supplement they’re plastic fans who come to sit and watch but not to support and sing. Even they’re own managers criticise them. They steal our songs and would rather sing about Steven Gerrard’s slip than support they’re own team. The passion, loyalty and togetherness shown by our fans is awe-inspiring. We have been through the mill several times in the past few years but still stick together and can inspire the team make great things happen. It’s something money will NEVER be able to buy.
There are many examples, but instances like Istanbul and the last five months of season 13/14 show how our fan base can help the team achieve great things. Of course we need great players and a style of play to excite fans and support, but it is a testament to us that there are so many fans across the globe that spend thousands of they’re hard earned cash to travel to games every season given our lack of trophies recently. The term “family club” is an over used but in LFC’s case its very apt. We are a family that goes through every emotion together.
There is a banner at Anfield that springs to mind. “NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE”. It almost inspired the team to a league title in 13/14 and should serve as a rallying call to our supporters to get behind the club and get it back to where it belongs. We all want our club to be successful, win trophies and dominate in Europe like we did in the past. It’s a little bit more difficult these days but with the honesty, support and loyalty of our fans anything is possible.
So to my friend on twitter I say…
Have Pride …Don’t for one second feel ashamed. NEVER get bullied. Speak with pride about our club. Tell people what we stand for. Tell them of our experiences as fans, together in a brother/sister hood whether in mourning or celebration. Tell them of our achievements. The great days together either at the games or in a bar watching on TV. The respect we show for other teams/players when they deserve it. The connection we have with strangers who we don’t know personally but are still as one with. Through the highs and lows we are as one, always. Win Lose or Draw we always stick together and support our club as one.
YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE.