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Broomy

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"Days We'll Remember All Our Lives"

Right lads, a few of ye's will remember the old TIA Database I had started a few years ago on the forums... I've a few articles saved on my computer where TIA Forum Members reminisced, recollected and told of past tales, experiences, events and old Liverpool stories that I might aswel share with ye again!

We have witnessed all of the emotion-charged nights, the trophies that have been won and lost by a single goal, the dramatic days that propelled the club to unparallelled glory at home and abroad, the tears that have been shed by bitter disappointments as well as the bitter failures, the heart breaking disasters, the goals which have entered the game's mythology to become shared treasures or moments or finals which will be revered by fans never to be forgotten.

Here's a few old articles from days gone by!! Hopefully this thread will look back at forum members childhood memories, from the 1989 title decider, to the unforgettable 1977 European Cup Final, to Grobbelaar's 'spaghetti legs' in 1984, to the miracle of Istanbul in 2005...

Over the coming days make sure and contribute to the thread with your own personal memories and stories from following Liverpool down through the years....
 

Broomy

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Joined
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Messages
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Robbie Fowler

Date of Birth: 09/04/1975
Birthplace: Toxteth, Liverpool
Debut : v 22nd September 1993 v Fulham (a) League 2nd round 1st leg: won 3-1
1st team games: 369
1st team goals: 183
International caps while with Liverpool: 26
International goals while with Liverpool: 7
Honours with Liverpool: FA Cup (2001), UEFA Cup (2001), League Cup (1995, 2001), Super Cup (2001), PFA Young Player of the Year (1995, 1996)

*****

It's not for nothing that Robbie Fowler was known as God by those on the Kop. One of the most revered figures in Liverpool's recent history, Fowler is also one of the most naturally gifted goalscorers to have graced the famous red shirt. 10 TIA Forum member's share their memories of 10 of their most memorable Robbie Fowler goals...



Robbie Fowler 10 Golden Goal Memories

1) Liverpool 1 -1 (5-4) Birmingham City, League Cup Final (25/02/2001)
This Is THE Year :
"My favourite Robbie Fowler goal was his superb strike from outside the area against Birmingham City in the 2001 League Cup Final. Most people remember Michael Owen's 2 goals against Arsenal in the FA Cup Final more vividly from that season, but this is the goal that really sticks in my mind from that year. A high ball was thumped upfield & Emile Heskey won a header to knock the ball down towards Robbie lurking outside the penalty area. Without hesitation Robbie smacked the ball sweetly on the half volley past the Birmingham keeper & into the room of the net. I will always remember the goal as the first superb step towards our wonderful treble of trophies in 2001!

*****

2) Liverpool 5 - 1 Fulham, Premier League (15/03/2006)
liverpool_singh :
"My selection for his most memorable goal comes from his second coming with us and is in fact the much anticipated 1st goal upon his return. After a great cross from Kewell, Luis Garcia was the first to get to the ball and flicked across goal where an instinctive Robbie was present to calmly head the ball past the Fulham goalkeeper. A fantastic moment and one I shall remember with great fondness. It was the 1st goal of the game and helped us to a comfortable 5-1 win.

*****

3) Brann 1 - 1 Liverpool, European Cup Winners Cup 3rd Round 1st Leg (06/03/1997)
Broomy :
"Liverpool drew 1-1 in Norway in the Quarter Final of the European Cup Winners Cup. Liverpool's goal came in the 9th minute; Robbie Fowler struck with one of his greatest goals ever, flicking the ball over the stranded Norwegian defender before running on to it to volley it past the helpless keeper."

*****

4) Liverpool 3-0 Aston Villa, Premier League (03/03/1996)
DaggerToMyHeart :
"My favourite Fowler goal (well the one of many!) was the piledriver against Aston Villa in the.Premier League back in March 1996. Not much significance attached to it as far as I can remember however the turn on ex-team mate Steve Staunton was genius which was then finished off with a brutal 25 yard shot. Was only a young lad but it left me speechless, and it pretty much summed up Robbie. He could do anything up front!"

*****

5) Liverpool 3-0 Arsenal, Premier League (28/08/1994)
Scrummie :
"A Robbie Fowler moment never to be forgotten started at 3:29pm and lasted a glorious four minutes and 32 seconds. On a bright sunny afternoon in late August 1994, Premier League history was made in just four minutes and thirty three seconds. In that time, Robbie Fowler scored three, yes THREE goals against George Graham's Arsenal. The first goal was a cool, left footed finish in the far corner after Ian Rush's knockdown.

The second was the pick of the bunch, and classic Fowler. Rush sprayed the ball wide on the left hand side of the box. 20 yards out, Fowler struck the ball ever so sweetly and in it went off the post.. Anfield was raucous and Fowler ecstatic.

But there was more to come, a goal i'll never ever forget.... Not long after, Barnes lobbed the ball and sent Fowler through in on goal. Seaman rushed forward and saved Fowler's first shot in vain.. Fowler was cool enough to trap the ball and stroke the ball home from an ever so tight angle. The Kop were joyous, and still shocked at the record breaking four minutes and thirty three seconds which had just passed before their eyes"

*****

6) Liverpool 5-4 Alaves, 2001 UEFA Cup Final (16/05/2001)
Ste Speed : "Twenty minutes to go and onto the pitch to replace the hapless Heskey comes Robbie Fowler. Loud cheers and God chants mixed with adults only insults directed at Heskey go up round the pub. The arrival of The Growler combined with Alaves taking off their most dangerous player Moreno, seemed to give us a second wind as we began to create more opportunities. Then the ball fell to McAllister who played a tremendous ball through the Alaves defense. Fowler picked up the ball on the edge of the box and we all shouted for him to pass to Owen who was free in the area, instead Fowler decided to shoot and absolutely buried it in the corner. The pub descended into absolute mayhem, my dad was in the bathroom at that moment and came running out the bathroom in time for the replay describing scenes of men pissing on their keks in a rush to see what all the screaming was about. "

*****

7) Charlton 0 - 4 Liverpool, Premier League (19/05/2001)
HarryFloyd :
"May 2001, The Valley Stadium: An awe inspiring overhead kick which floated into the top of the net leaving everyone in the penalty box gobsmacked, much to the delight of Fowler, the team and the travelling Kop. If anyone has difficulties believing that God could conjure up a goal out of nothing they should watch this goal over and over again!"

*****

8) Liverpool 3 - 2 Everton, Premier League (03/04/1999)
howhardgerrard :
"Pretending to eat grass" said Gerard Houllier following my most memorable Robbie Fowler goal. The goal was scored 12 years ago and yet we can all picture Robbie crawling on his knees snorting up the white line following a well executed pen against Everton. That one immortalised moment cost him £60,000!"

*****

9) Liverpool 2 - 0 Manchester United, Premier League (17/12/1995)
Hope in your Heart : "One of my all-time favourite goals happened on 17th December 1995, during our 2-0 victory over Manchester United at Anfield. Free-kick for Liverpool at the Kop End, from around 25 yards, slightly off-centre towards the right. Fowler strikes it with his left peg... the ball seems to be suspended forever in the air, surrounding both wall and Schmeichel, before smoothly ending in the upper part of the opposite side-net. One of the best free-kicks I've ever seen..."

*****

10) Liverpool 4 - 3 Newcastle United, Premier League (10/03/1997)
Chronic :
"Liverpool were 3 nil up at half time and cruising before Newcastle scored in the 2nd half, it was 3-1 and Newcastle scored 2 in the last 10 minutes before Robbie Fowlers last minute header brought Liverpool to within 1 point of champions Manchester United at the top of the League."

*****

And Finally.... A Memorable Goal That Wasn't A Goal...

1) Liverpool 1 - 1 Birmingham City, Premier League (01/02/2006)
Sweeting :
"So technically it isn't a goal, but for me it was a moment of extreme emotions, as I am sure it was for many. I was 9 when Robbie was forced out of Liverpool Football Club, I remember loving the man and worshipping the man, though he was always outshone by Michael Owen in my young mind (I knew nothing of the politics inside Anfield at this time) but as I grew up a little bit, Fowler's stamp on this club became more and more engraved in my mind, I understood how this guy was different - was one of us - Fowler became the player I associated with my childhood. Then there was the infamous incident involving my Dad, Fowler, Steve Harkness and one too many ales...

My Dad approaches Fowler (then playing for City) - shitfaced on a Friday night (Fowler, not my Dad) - with a 12:45 kickoff the next day. Asked for an autograph he said yeah and signs a piece of napkin "To Michael, **** OFF, From Robbie Fowler"... Anyone else I would be angry but it was just a Robbie thing to do... he's just a normal guy!

Anyway, January 2006, the impossible happens - Robbie returns! It just so happened that I had got tickets to the game on the 1st February against Birmingham for Christmas. The day comes and Fowler passes a late fitness test - we stand expectantly on the terraces - barely watching the game but instead the touchline, every move Robbie makes is greeted by a roar and a cheer... late in the game, Fowler takes off his jumper and approaches the line. The tension is unbelievable, the entire crowd have their eyes on him and then, to the loudest cheer any substitute has ever recieved... God returns.

Literally minutes later, Liverpool win a late Riise throw in. Drawing 1-1, time is running out. The ball drops into the box, not cleared, Hamann nods it goalwards to which Fowler produces a moment of magic - a brilliant overhead kick, pure instinct, flies into the back of the net. The roar is immense - I imagine that's what a Celtic battle cry sounded like in 10ad as they charged the Romans... then it fell flat, Fowler was offside. Hysteria to disbelief. Disbelief to grief. But Robbie was back."



 

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Broomy

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Robbie Fowler


How do you remember Robbie Fowler? What match epitomized his grit and determination? What were his strengths/weaknesses? What are your best memories of him as a player? Is it his loyalty and passion towards the club? Those mesmerising Goals? How will he be described in generations to come? In detailed analysis, describe and let us know here how you will always remember Robbie Fowler during his Liverpool career?
 

Broomy

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A Scouser, an Icon, a Legend. God.

Back in December 2013, ThisIsAnfield's Aaron Cutler profiled one of Liverpool’s all-time greats, Robbie Fowler, over on the ThisIsAnfield website.



Written by Aaron Cutler
Every kid needs a hero, someone to inspire, imitate and idolise. For myself and thousands of other Liverpool supporters who grew up in the 90s that man was Robbie Fowler. On the surface The Toxteth Terror was an exceptional striker, probably the best finisher this country has ever produced. But to us he was so much more. To us he was a kindred spirit, a direct link between The Kop and the first team. To us he was God.

I began watching my beloved Liverpool at the start of 1996/97 season, shortly after an FA Cup Final defeat to Manchester United. I had just turned seven years old and found myself drawn to the game and team my father obsessed over. A lifelong red, my dad did not hesitate to indoctrinate me. One of my earliest memories is previewing a home game with Arsenal and him allaying any doubts I had about the result by promising they could not handle Fowler.

Ironically Robbie failed to the score that evening, his great mate Steve McManaman instead helping himself to a double. Nevertheless the confidence Fowler bred stuck with me and I soon realised why he was held in such high esteem. That year he plundered 31 goals, the third successive season he had recorded 30 plus. He also notched his 100th strike for the club in a 5-1 trouncing of Middlesbrough, in which he scored four. That master class in finishing meant he reached the landmark one game quicker than Ian Rush, testament to his early brilliance.

To an impressionable kid who had quickly become obsessed with all things LFC, he was all-powerful. Not a game would pass; it seemed, without Fowler helping himself to yet another goal. It became standard practice. One of the most memorable that season came in another 4-3 epic against Newcastle, where he leapt above Phillip Albert and Steve Watson to head a 90th minute winner. The hero of the hour, yet again.

Inspired I soon found myself copying his every move. His name and number decorated both kits, I wore Puma King Boots that matched his, at one point I even donned a plaster across my nose!

I also began to appreciate the special bond Fowler held with Liverpool supporters. Though too young to properly understand the significance of his shirt in support of sacked Dockers, I knew it was symbolic, a sign of unity. There was a reason, beyond his talent alone, that he received the heartiest cheers whenever that first X1 was announced.

The fans identified with him, realising he was cut from the same cloth – only living their dreams. He was also mischievous … dropping his shorts in celebration, name dropping Gary Neville when asked about things he loathed … devilish yet harmless behaviour in which our support joyfully revelled.

Liverpool finished fourth that season and were mounting a title charge the following year when disaster struck in February. Fowler sustained knee ligament damage in the 90th minute of the Merseyside Derby at Anfield after colliding with Toffees keeper Thomas Mhyre. Not only would he miss that summer’s World Cup but a gut-wrenching seven months of football. A defining moment, many argue things were never quite the same.

During his absence Michael Owen took the world by storm and became the latest wonder kid on the bloc. No longer golden boy, Robbie endured an arduous road back to competitive action and public reckoning.

Finally recovered he scored twice on his comeback against Charlton the following September and added another 16 before the season’s end. In spite of this people began to question his general fitness and whether injury had robbed him of that razor sharpness. The looming departure of Roy Evans also brought-about a changing of the guard and a break-up of the ‘Spice Boy’ culture to which Fowler was integral.

Controversy too plagued the 24 year old during this period, when high profile fall-outs with Graeme Le Saux and Everton supporters bought successive suspensions. To the dismay/confusion of many, such events only served to endear Fowler further to his public. Enacting a snorting celebration at the Anfield Road End was provocative yes but also a sweet riposte to those who had cruelly attempted to besmirch his reputation. God was far from holy and we loved that. Too many footballers had adopted a boring, calculated, almost generic image with no hint of personality (Shearer, Owen anyone?). Fowler was the total opposite. A proud scaly-wag he refused to revert to type.

Such unruliness bewildered the incoming Gerard Houllier, who took it upon himself to oust Fowler from his throne. Journalists were asked to write critical pieces, photos were staged to suggest disobedience in a smear campaign. The Frenchman resented his striker’s status, knowing such popularity made him untouchable come a planned clear-out.

Robbie was again sidelined through injury for much of the 1999/00 campaign, featuring just 14 times. Upon his return to fitness Emile Heskey had been signed and the darling of The Kop was blatantly relegated to third choice striker.

Despite the club accepting bids from Aston Villa and Chelsea he stuck around and fought for his place, withstanding some rough treatment from Houllier along the way. It proved the correct decision as a trophy-laden season lie ahead in 2000/01.

Fowler captained the Reds to Worthington Cup glory that February, scoring a spectacular half-volley and earning Man of the Match in the process.


He also came off the bench as Arsenal were beaten in the FA Cup final and scored a terrific solo goal in a pulsating UEFA Cup defeat of Alaves. With a remarkable cup treble secured, only a Champions League berth remained; something that could be won or lost away at Charlton on the final day of the season. A jaded Liverpool were completely outplayed for the opening 45 minutes, only for their number 9 to turn the game with both a superb overhead kick and sweeping finish. Classic Fowler.

Still controversy reigned. A well publicised row with assistant manager Phil Thompson saw Growler exiled for two weeks at the beginning of the following campaign, again calling his future into question. Once recalled he notched an awesome hat-trick away at Leicester in October but was sold little over a month later. Leeds had stumped-up £11m for his services and this time, no doubt scarred and beleaguered, Robbie bid farewell.

That proved a bitter blow for swathes of Liverpool fans, some of whom vowed to turn their back on the club in disgust. I am not ashamed to admit I cried. I was 12 years old and the hero of my youth was leaving. I had always gained greater satisfaction from Liverpool winning if Fowler had scored. I could not imagine the club without him. As far as I was concerned he had been forced out and I never forgave Houllier for that.

Contrary to popular belief Fowler fared well at Leeds, pitching 14 goals in 30 games. Sadly, the off-field turmoil that engulfed the club forced a fire-sale and most of the squad’s top earners were sold as damage limitation. By 2003 Robbie had joined Kevin Keegan’s newly promoted Manchester City.

It is fair to say he struggled at Eastlands, both with fitness and form. After a very slow start he showed signs of his former self in the 2004/05 campaign, netting 11 times and being voted in the fans top three players of the year. That year also saw him register his 150th Premier League goal – one of only eight players to reach that milestone. Obvious to all however was a longing for Liverpool, his one true love without whom he was never the same.

Rafa Benitez had since become Reds manager and led the club to Champions League glory in 2005. Fowler was in the crowd that evening and jokingly asked the Spaniard to sign him during the winners after party. Remarkably that dream became a reality seven months on when the Reds were on the lookout for another striker. Handicapped by a lack of funds, Benitez approached City with a view to re-signing the fans favourite on a free transfer.

To everyone’s surprise the deal was put into motion immediately and on January 27 Fowler found himself in a car outside Anfield ready to seal an emotional return. With next to no regard to wages or contract length he out pen to paper that night and returned to his vehicle to let out a scream.

When news broke fans across the world rejoiced at the Second Coming. Banners were unfurled, new shirts printed and pints sunk in celebration. It may seem an unlikely comparison but personally it rivalled Istanbul for the greatest high I’ve felt supporting Liverpool. Fowler was a Liverpool Legend who should never have been allowed to leave. Now he was back at his spiritual home. Some things are just meant to be.

The homecoming itself was a sight to behold, a home game with Birmingham City. Introduced as a 63rd minute substitute the ovation was thunderous, a moment to make the hairs on the back of one’s neck stand to attention. A fairytale return was almost capped with a last-gasp overhead kick only for a linesman to rule offside.

In spite of that disappointment he ended the season in decent form, scoring in three consecutive Premiership games that April. He also scored on the final day of the league season away at Portsmouth to earn a contract extension.

He began the following campaign in the side and with the number 9 rightly adorning his shirt. But before long he fell down the pecking order behind the likes of Dirk Kuyt, Peter Crouch and Craig Bellamy who all vied for starting roles.

Despite this his return of seven strikes in ten starts represented the best goals to game ratio of the four, while his finishing capabilities put them to shame. He may not have been as mobile as his former self but nobody rivalled him when it came to the art of goalscoring. Nobody ever has.

As the 2006/07 season drew to a close it became patently obvious Fowler would not receive another contract. Nevertheless, he was afforded a fitting send-off at home to Charlton on the final day of the league season, ten days before the Reds headed to Athens for another European Cup final. Having been substituted at half-time of his previous farewell (six years before), a 90th minute withdrawal to a standing ovation was more in-keeping with his status. As they did this past May with Jamie Carragher, The Kop stood to a man to applaud one of the few modern day Legends.

Fowler went on to have spells with Cardiff and Blackburn before heading to Asia to play for North Queensland Fury, Perth Glory and Muangthong United. He is still to officially retire but is more likely to be seen in an ambassadorial/punditry role than a playing one these days.

Every kid needs a hero and Robbie Fowler was mine, he still is. With the possible exceptions of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez he remains the finest player I’ve seen in my time supporting Liverpool. He was the best finisher of his generation, capable of scoring any type of goal from any angle. He was an intelligent footballer, with far more skill than people give him credit for. He developed his game with age, becoming a regular creator of chances as well as a veteran predator. There was both dynamite and magic in those Puma King (and latterly Nike) boots. On his day nobody could live with him, just ask Messers Keown and Bould.

Inexplicably overlooked, he should have led the line for England far more than 27 times but then again Liverpool was always his main priority. And for that we loved him. He was one of us, a local lad with an immense talent. Someone who never forgot his roots or his cheek.

A Scouser, an Icon, a Legend. God.

Written by Aaron Cutler (2013)
 

Broomy

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5 Greatest Goals of Robbie Fowler’s Liverpool Career

ThisIsAnfield Columnist Henry Jackson takes a look back at one of the most popular, talented players in the history of Liverpool Football Club, and recalls his five best ever goals in a Reds shirt.


Fowler enjoyed a stellar Liverpool career during two spells on Merseyside, announcing himself as a prodigious 17-year-old in 1993 and gaining a deserved reputation as the most natural British finisher of his generation.

His return in 2006, following five years away from Anfield, was met with unbridled joy, and perfectly outlined just what a hero ‘God’ was to many supporters.

In total, Fowler scored 183 goals in 369 appearances for Liverpool, which included many memorable strikes along the way. Here are his five greatest — let us know if you agree in the comments section beneath this article.


5. Aston Villa (1995/96)

Roy Evans’ Liverpool side faced Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-final at Old Trafford in 1996, knowing victory would seal a place in the final against arch-rivals Man United.

Having given his side a first-half lead with a typically ruthless header, Fowler put the game to bed with a trademark effort with his wand of a left foot.

Jamie Redknapp’s free-kick from out wide was cleared by a Villa defender, but could only find Fowler lurking ominously on the edge of the penalty area. The legendary striker took the ball down on his chest, before firing an unstoppable half-volley in off the post. Once again, he had been the difference.

4. Birmingham (2000/01)

Liverpool took on Birmingham in the 2001 League Cup Final at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, in what would prove to be the first of an unprecedented cup treble for the Reds in the 2000/01 season.

Fowler’s relationship with Gerard Houllier was strained around this time, and he often found himself on the substitutes’ bench behind Michael Owen and Emile Heskey. He played a key role on this day, however, having been given a relatively rare start.

On the half-hour mark, Heskey’s flick-on from Sander Westerveld’s kick fell to Fowler, who unleashed a magnificent strike that flew into the back of the net from 30 yards out. The instinct and accuracy shown was typical Fowler.

Although a late Birmingham penalty robbed Fowler of a winning goal in a cup final, Liverpool still went on to win in a shootout, with ‘God’ converting his spot-kick.


3. SK Brann (1996/97)

This clash with SK Brann in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1997 certainly isn’t the most glamorous match in Liverpool’s history, but it is remembered for a piece of individual genius from Fowler.

Stig Inge Bjornebye’s header from the touchline found it’s way to Fowler in mid-air, and the young striker produced an outrageous flick over the head of the hapless Brann defender, before running on and dispatching a lethal finish into the net.

It was a moment not many in world football were capable of producing at that time, and the goal’s unique nature summed up Fowler to a tee.

2. Aston Villa (1995/96)

When Villa visited Anfield towards the end of the 1995/96 Premier League season, they had to endure a wonderful performance by Fowler, who was at his absolute peak at the time.

Steve McManaman had given Liverpool a very early lead, before Fowler added a stunning second. Receiving the ball 35 yards out with his back to goal, the Toxteth-born star produced a delightful turn on former Reds defender Steve Staunton, before drilling an arrowed strike into the corner of the Kop net.

He added a second, Liverpool’s third, soon after, as Villa were taken apart with just eight minutes on the clock.


1. Man United (1995/96)

In terms of the opponent and occasion, this has to be Fowler’s greatest Liverpool goal. There may have been more classy, eye-catching strikes, but this was just absolutely emphatic.

The Reds faced United at Old Trafford, in a game that was all about Eric Cantona’s return from a nine-month suspension, but Fowler stole the show on the day with two tremendous efforts. It was the first of those that was truly brilliant though.

Picking the ball up on the left-hand side of the area, and with few options available, Fowler chanced his arm and thundered a phenomenal shot past Peter Schmeichel’s near post. The home crowd were stunned.

Given the fact it was at Old Trafford, on Cantona’s big day, and against one of the greatest goalkeepers in history, this has to be number one. Nobody could stop Fowler at this point in his career, and it’s just a mighty shame that injuries ended up getting the better of him.

Written by Henry Jackson (2015)

 
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darkvoid

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I think one standout moment that hasn't been mentioned that for me puts Fowler in a different class is that game against Arsenal where he gets taken down by David Seaman or more to the fact that he deliberately goes over Seaman to win a penalty and it looks like the ref was going to send the arsenal keeper off he pleades with ref not to send him off.
The ref doesn't and he tucks away the penalty and we won 2-0
 

Broomy

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I think one standout moment that hasn't been mentioned that for me puts Fowler in a different class is that game against Arsenal where he gets taken down by David Seaman or more to the fact that he deliberately goes over Seaman to win a penalty and it looks like the ref was going to send the arsenal keeper off he pleades with ref not to send him off.
Great memory darkvoid! I remember that day well! It was Arsenal v Liverpool at Highbury on 24th March 1997. The referee on the day was Gerald Ashby, Seaman challenged, Fowler tumbled and the spot kick was awarded but Fowler immediately urged the official to change his mind!! Fowler took the penalty which was saved by David Seaman but Jason McAteer scored the rebound. Fowler was later awarded a commendation from UEFA for his honesty!!


Speaking to the Liverpool Echo a few years later, Fowler recalled that day: "I just remember getting up and seeing David Seaman. There was all the talk of ‘did he dive or didn’t he’ but I just lost momentum when I jumped over him and fell over.

“It wasn’t a penalty and because he was my mate from the England side, I just said it wasn’t a pen. i don’t think there were too many happy Liverpool fans or too many happy Liverpool management on the bench but two good things came out of it for me that day.

“I helped Jason McAteer score his first ever Liverpool goal and I got a fair play certificate from UEFA so it was not a bad day – and we ended up with the win as well. I didn’t miss the penalty on purpose, it was just a bad penalty but they all are when you don’t score them. I remember it very, very well actually.”
 

darkvoid

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Ha I'd actually forgot he'd missed the peno and McAteer scored the rebound. Cheers for rebooting my memory
 

Broomy

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"Days We'll Remember All Our Lives"
ThisIsAnfield Forum Member Rambler takes us back to his early childhood memories following Liverpool in the 50's and describes his most memorable league match of the 1960's, the 5-2 demolition of Tottenham Hotspur on Good Friday 1963....

Liverpool 5 - 2 Tottenham Hotspur

Game date: Friday 12 April 1963 at 15:00
Stadium: Anfield
Competition: 1st Division
Attendance: 54,463
Manager: Bill Shankly

Team: Tommy Lawrence, Gerry Byrne, Ronnie Moran, Gordon Milne,
Ron Yeats, Willie Stevenson, Ian Callaghan, Roger Hunt, Ian St John, Jimmy Melia, Kevin Lewis.

Goals: Willie Stevenson 52', Jimmy Melia 54', Ian St John 72' Kevin Lewis 83' Jimmy Melia 89'


Written by Rambler

I first went to Anfield in the 1958-59 season on the odd occasion with my father. We had 3 season tickets in our family, all together in the old Kemlyn Road stand, half way up & right on the half way line. They were great seats. I started going more and more often as my grandfather became increasingly unwell.

We were then of course firmly entrenched in the old Second Division. My father was born in 1911 & my grandfather was born in 1888 so I was brought up with the stories of bygone heroes. My dad's favourite players were Gordon Hodgson and Berry Nieuwenhuys and of course my Grandad's memories went back even further to the turn of the century. Unfortunately he died before I was old enough to harvest those memories but I do remember him talking about standing on the Kop in his youth. His one big ambition was to see his beloved Reds at last win the FA Cup but sadly he died in 1964, a year before they finally achieved it.

I spent several years watching us take on teams such as Walsall & Bury whilst our successful neighbours over the park played the likes of Manchester United & Tottenham Hotspur. However, my dad & I were at Anfield the afternoon when we clinched the 2nd division title at Anfield against Southampton in 1962 & finally we were in the First Division.

The reason I chose this particular game to tell you about is that for a young LFC crazy lad it was like a dream to go to Anfield and see the mighty Spurs coming out to play Liverpool, my team. I was an avid reader of Charles Buchan's Football Annual which was always top of my Christmas present list & now I could see the likes of the great Jimmy Greaves & Dave Mackay in the flesh.

As I had somewhat expected, Spurs were a class above us & went in 2-0 up at the break. We had been given a lesson in direct attacking football & I recall my dad saying what a great side they were. However I don't know what Shanks said to them at half time but we came out in the second half & destroyed Spurs scoring 5 goals with no reply. Jimmy Melia, who was the Lucas of his day (i.e. not always the fan's favourite) scored two of those goals.

That game really sticks in my memory as for me it was the first time when it dawned on me, & probably many others too, that at last we could compete with the very best and that maybe something special was beginning.

This game was played on Good Friday and the next day we were back at Anfield to see a 1-0 win against Manchester United. Unbelievably, two days later on Easter Monday, we were at White Hart Lane for the return and Spurs had their revenge with a 7-2 thumping, Jimmy Greaves scoring 4. Can you believe they always played 3 games in 4 days over Easter in those days? I think that game knocked the stuffing out of us as we only won one more game that season but of course the history books show that we went on to win the League the very next season and then the FA Cup in 1965 & the League again in 1966.

Leicester City 1 - 0 Liverpool
Game date:
Saturday 27 April 1963
FA Cup Semi-final

I have such happy memories of those days watching with my Dad but it wasn't to last. I graduated to standing on the Kop and my Dad got his dream job working at Anfield organising the match day stewards. He did that job right up to his death & one cold, wet February morning my brother & I stood on the pitch at Anfield as his ashes were interred to one side of the Kop goal. He would have loved to know that's where he finally ended up.


That's ThisIsAnfield's Rambler's story... What's Yours?

Let us know your earliest childhood memory of following Liverpool here... Whether it be your first Liverpool match at Anfield, memories of the old Spion Kop, a certain match you'll never ever forget, player, or certain childhood family memories you'll never forget.... Share your stories here!
 
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Billy Biskix

TIA Youth Team
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Jul 23, 2011
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Great thread, Broomy. At your suggestion I'm copying a post I included in a long-forgotten Bootroom thread started by CardiffPete, 'Reminiscences...' which was all about how you'd come to support LFC, your earliest memories and personal highlights down the years. Hopefully others will find the time to contribute along the same lines. Always good to remind ourselves that we all have at least one thing in common.

My Liverpool connection comes from my Dad, who's a Scouser, but he had no interest in football or even sport when I was a nipper. Football didn't even feature in my life before I first went to school. I can only assume that I saw kids kicking a ball about in the playground, joined in and discovered I enjoyed it and was reasonably good at it. All my life I've discovered that playing sport to a reasonable standard has been a great social tool and allowed me to make friendships and alliances with people that I would otherwise have had little in common.

My Dad took me to see Liverpool play for the first time when I was 7 years old. I don't remember much only that we beat Sheffield Utd 3 - 0 and an old man collapsed in front of me during the game and my Dad told me to 'look away, son'. A few weeks later he took me to Anfield for the first time. Pre-match I met Liverpool-based relatives I'd never met before and discovered that my family were strictly Evertonians but by then I was already hooked on Kevin Keegan, Emlyn Hughes, Ray Clemence and a great old man called Bill Shankly who had a god-like status even then. So there was no going back.

My Dad thought the Kop was too dangerous so we sat in the old Kemlyn Road stand and watched us huff and puff to a 1-0 win over Birmingham. I remember watching the crowd more than the game and being mesmerised by it. The spontaneous singing fascinated me. Who actually started it? After that I was hooked on going to games. It was like another world where the normal rules of how to behave and act did not apply. Where else in life could you justifiably go completely ape-shit crazy in the way that you did when we scored a goal? Later (and as I graduated to the terraces) I also grew to love the fact that I could shout and swear and that other people didn't mind because they were doing it too.

I used to get really nervous before a game. Feel physically sick with excitement and fear. Listening to a Liverpool game on the radio had me doubled up in pain most of the time so going to a game was a release. There I could let it all out, literally scream myself hoarse. As I grew older my Dad and I bonded over my LFC obsession and he willingly took me and other LFC supporting mates all over the country in his old Marina Van, with us all sprawled out in the back.

When I left school I moved away from home and was lucky enough to get a good job more or less straightaway. The best thing about suddenly having some disposable cash was that it allowed me to see more games. First on the train, travelling up to stand on the Kop a full 90 minutes before kick-off just so I didn't get stuck against a barrier. Later, in my car, travelling some ridiculous distances to see games. By the 87-88 season I lived over 300 miles away from Anfield but we were so great that year I didn't want to miss a match.

My supporting experience changed that season though when I went to see us play at Spurs. I remember being disgusted that they had put the prices up to £5 (the 'signs' were handwritten and stuck on pieces of paper at the turnstiles). It was before the days of all-ticket games so you could still turn up at the turnstile and take your chance of getting in. That day there were far too many fans on the terraces. It was dangerously crushed. For fifteen minutes or so my feet didn't touch the ground. All through the game we were pelted with missiles and god knows what from the Spurs fans on 'The Shelf'. When I left I resolved I wouldn't go again unless I could sit down. There was an accident waiting to happen and I didn't want to be part of it.

One year later Hillsborough happened. A mate of mine was at the game. He was sitting down so fine but it had a huge impact on him and still does. I'm not sure I'd have ever recovered had I witnessed it but it still affected me nonetheless. I don't think I was in the majority but I felt that the season should have ended there and then, even if not for football as a whole at least for LFC. It just didn't feel right to carry on playing. I still feel a bit uncomfortable watching the Cup final goals, as great as they were, and getting pipped by Arsenal for the League didn't make me angry or upset. It just left me numb.

My passion definitely left me for a while. I stopped going to games completely. What rekindled my passion was an experience that until that time I'd never felt as a LFC supporter. We suddenly and unexpectedly became quite shit.

I didn't like Souness but I did admire and respect him. A born winner and a great captain. I was chuffed when he became manager. We were wobbling under Kenny and I knew that he would do whatever it took to get us back to the top of the game. But it simply didn't happen. And we very quickly became bloody awful. It didn't feel like Liverpool either. Not the club I had grown up with and had become such a big part of me. Gradually a sense of desperation set in as I watched us crash and burn. Whereas I'd just started taking in the results and watching highlights on 'Match of the Day' suddenly I felt like the club needed me back. As though if I and others like me were more engaged somehow things might start to turn round for us.

I think both Evans and Houllier are good men who gave a lot to the club and get a lot of unjustified stick. Evans made me feel like I'd got 'my Liverpool' back. A club I could identify with. Houllier brought us dignity and respect which we'd lost with the 'Spice Boys' culture that made us a bit of a laughing stock towards the end of the Evans era. By 08/09 Rafa had completed the recovery. All the damage inflicted by Souness in just two and a bit years had been gradually repaired over the course of the next 15. We were number one rated team in Europe and had come as close as we'd come in nearly 20 years to actually winning the league. By then mortgages, commitments, kids and a job which involved a lot of overseas travel prevented me from going to all but the occasional game but my passion was as strong as it had been since my childhood. By then I was convinced that we were on the brink of re-establishing ourselves as the top team in the country and in Europe.

My LFC experience was now quite a solitary one. I no longer had friends who supported the club and rarely went to games. I also spent a lot of time overseas in hotels or in airport lounges. I started to keep up with the club by reading internet forums and gradually I became aware of what was really happening under Hicks and Gillett. When the full scale emerged I could see that the recovery that I had witnessed on the pitch was now being endangered by things that had nothing to do with football. It felt like a part of me was under attack. I wanted to do something to help save the club and the internet gave me a means of doing that. So I spent hours and hours emailing along with thousands of other fans to try to prevent H and G from re-financing. Ultimately I'm sure it made no real difference to the outcome but it made me feel better and that I'd contributed in my own small way. LFC has given me so much pleasure (and pain) over the years I couldn't just stand by and do nothing.

LFC will always be a big part of me. I struggle to explain why it's so important and why it inspires such strong emotions. My own son has no interest in football or team sports preferring golf and tennis, and he finds my LFC obsession and even my presence on this forum (my username is a corruption of a pet name I had for him as a kid, 'Billy Biscuits') both odd and amusing. I'm sure a psychiatrist could analyse it to death but it's given me some of the most memorable and emotional experiences of my life and I wouldn't be without it.
 

redbj

hurry up, July 1st, let's get the show on the road
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17,219
Great thread Broomman

When you ask someone for their earliest memories of supporting this club, you get a plethora of interesting stories about standing on the KOP, or meeting King Kenny and getting his autograph.... compared to those stories.. mine is quite boring... but that's exactly the point...

You see, growing up in Australia in the 80's your exposure to football was the FA Cup once a year and the World Cup every four years...

We had always played as kids and once every year mum would tape the fa cup, and we'd all get up early and watch it, it never used to capture me, i watched Maradona, I watched UTD, Liverpool do the double, spurs and Coventry.... nothing.. i enjoyed it, but life went on... that was until .....the Anfield rap.

That's right, a corny rap song and a loss to Wimbeldon had me fall in love with this club, I don't know what it was, but not a word of a lie, a switch was flicked that day that has never turned off, and from then on in, it was waiting and watching, waiting for buses to go buy a four week delayed shoot and match magazine, watching the late night news for mention of a result, reading the fine print on Monday mornings for the Saturday results.....

Extremely boring stuff, but it was probably the long hours of nothing that made the few moments of news from a distant land so bloody addictive.
 

lfc.eddie

"¿Plata... O Plomo?"
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Mine when I was extremely young, I was watching the league game on tele with my old man. He is a big United fan because of his Uni affiliation, so he wanted me to play the game and get me interested in football. One of the games where he was going on and on about how good the Busby boys were and they are playing their fiercest rival. Supposedly lucky because of the Munich tragedy, the opposing team now are much stronger while United had to build from scratch again. He idolised Best.

I was too damn young, and yes United beat us quite a lot of times in the 70s too even though we dominate. Not until in the early 80s where I started to understand and know the team. And being a rebellious boy, I do everything the opposite of what my old man wants me to do. So there we were watching the tele and it was United playing us, bloody United scored first and he went bragging about it and punching the air. Second half came and two late goals later, we beat them 2-1. I think Kennedy was one of the goal scorer. He was cursing and raging about the loss. Hahaha.

That day on, I became a Liverpool FC supporter just to spite my old man. 30 years later.... karma however does come back and bite you hard.... my missus and her whole fucking family is a bloody Mancs.
 

indianscouser

Anything But Normal
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Jan 6, 2011
Messages
8,407
Thanks broomy for this thread. Its a great way to know how so many of us started supporting this club. I always envied you lads born in Liverpool :-) i some how feel i was born in the wrong city ;-) Anyway this is my story... :-)
Being from, India, a cricket crazy nation, football here has little following. It was by chance that i watched the FA cup final of 2006. In india we love our players, the heroes, so you can understand, the impact Gerrard had on my family when he won the FA cup final by his sheer brilliance. We were having our dinner and i jumped when Gerrard scored the equalizer! food every where on the floor! my mom going crazy! You just know that you are part of this wonderful family!.
Typically, an average Indian family spends more time at work and then in the temple! we are religious people, and by now you must have guessed what my prayers were/are every weekend! Every week, i pray we win :-), if i miss a match, i cant sleep, be it because of travel, shitty cable connection. My family now breaths liverpool.
Even now, my mom who doesn't even know what offside is, feels happy if Liverpool wins[of course that because she likes to see me happy, but i know she also loves the club].
Any way, fast forward few years and a supporters club was formed in Mumbai. They screen each and every game. We even had Rushie at the screening, and i must say, the atmosphere and passion is right up there with Anfield :-)
The year 2011, i was UK for my Masters program.
I witnessed the 2-1 win at Stanford bridge during our capital one cup win.
But one game which i will never forget, which ill carry with me to my grave, will be our 3-1 win Vs. Newcastle. I was there. A passionate Red, living his dream, the highlight was our Captain Gerrard scoring at the Anfield road end. I was there. I jumped like a child, hugged the person besides me, sung till my throat went hoarse.
Even now, before every game, i have a silent prayer, and i know, one day they will be answered! i cant wait for that day, When we will be Europe's no.1
 

indianscouser

Anything But Normal
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Jan 6, 2011
Messages
8,407
Thanks broomy for this thread. Its a great way to know how so many of us started supporting this club. I always envied you lads born in Liverpool :-) i some how feel i was born in the wrong city ;-) Anyway this is my story... :-)
Being from, India, a cricket crazy nation, football here has little following. It was by chance that i watched the FA cup final of 2006. In india we love our players, the heroes, so you can understand, the impact Gerrard had on my family when he won the FA cup final by his sheer brilliance. We were having our dinner and i jumped when Gerrard scored the equalizer! food every where on the floor! my mom going crazy! You just know that you are part of this wonderful family!.
Typically, an average Indian family spends more time at work and then in the temple! we are religious people, and by now you must have guessed what my prayers were/are every weekend! Every week, i pray we win :-), if i miss a match, i cant sleep, be it because of travel, shitty cable connection. My family now breaths liverpool.
Even now, my mom who doesn't even know what offside is, feels happy if Liverpool wins[of course that because she likes to see me happy, but i know she also loves the club].
Any way, fast forward few years and a supporters club was formed in Mumbai. They screen each and every game. We even had Rushie at the screening, and i must say, the atmosphere and passion is right up there with Anfield :-)
The year 2011, i was UK for my Masters program.
I witnessed the 2-1 win at Stanford bridge during our capital one cup win.
But one game which i will never forget, which ill carry with me to my grave, will be our 3-1 win Vs. Newcastle. I was there. A passionate Red, living his dream, the highlight was our Captain Gerrard scoring at the Anfield road end. I was there. I jumped like a child, hugged the person besides me, sung till my throat went hoarse.
Even now, before every game, i have a silent prayer, and i know, one day they will be answered! i cant wait for that day, When we will be Europe's no.1
 

darkvoid

Tiocfaidh ár lá
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Sep 21, 2014
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2,846
On memory that really sticks in my head was accidently coming across bbc radio 5 live when I was pissing about with the radio on MW And acactually happening on a liverpool game by chance. Living in Ireland I didnt know that the bbc broadcasted commentary on games and like this was the greatest thing ever, back then there was only one live game shown on a sunday. Listening to the ground erupt when we scored was a truly awesome experence.
 

Broomy

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1,472
Haha Eddie, it wasn't just redbj, sure weren't we all singing along to "They've won the league, bigger stars than Dallas/They got more silver than Buckingham Palace"!!

I think its definitely a day everyone will remember, the day we first heard the Anfield Wrap!!


Its hard to believe its 27 years ago since one of the most famous football songs was released. Back in 1988, just before the FA Cup Final meeting with Wimbledon, The 'Anfield Rap' written by Craig Johnston and the late UK rapper Derek B - reached No.3 in the charts!
 
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Broomy

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As part of our Kop Treasures Series on the TIA website back a few years ago, Keith Perkins wrote a fascinating article entitled "The Spirit of the Kop". Keith is an ex-scouser living in Vancouver Canada, where he is an executive member of the Vancouver Branch of the Official Liverpool Supoorters Club. He has been a supporter of LFC since 1965, and loves to talk about and write about his “Passion of the Reds.” He writes regularly for various websites, including his own Supporters Club Vancouver newsletter.

Written by Keith Perkins

There are surely some things in life that will always be remembered most vividly from the first time they happen: the first day at school, the first day on the job, the first day that you drive a car without an instructor sitting beside you, and so on. Among all of those firsts, the day that we finally make it to Anfield to see our beloved Liverpool must be one of the most significant, and surely imprints an indelible memory for the rest of our lives.

My first time was way back in the 60’s, when my uncle Eddie finally took me with him to Anfield. We went in through one of the narrow entrances under the Main Stand and emerged into The Paddock. The idea was that Eddie had seen lots of young lads down at the wall at the front and so naturally assumed that this would be the ideal place for me. The problem was that we soon found that the wall was higher than I was!

All of those young lads turned out to be standing on empty beer crates and such, and only by doing so could see above the edge of the wall. Plan B then was to take a place further back on the terrace, but naturally it was less than ideal as I was surrounded by much taller bodies. I don’t really remember much of the match itself – how could I when I could barely see anything? ‘“ but I’ll never forget the atmosphere, or the frightening experience of suddenly being carried down the steps as the crowd surged forward. The obvious solution for the next time (and for a few years to come) was to watch from the Anfield Road end. The fence behind the goal was low enough that much younger lads than myself could stand there and easily see our heroes in action.

What was most memorable about those times was seeing The Kop in all its glory, with the thousands of singing, swaying, and surging spectators willing the Reds on to victory.


The Kop was well known as the place for all of the hard-core Liverpool supporters, but it was also much more than just a place for those fanatics. It became synonymous with true support, with those who stood on the famous terrace having the right to proudly call themselves Kopites. Surely that’s where any self-respecting Liverpool supporter would want to be. It would be some time before I worked up the nerve to join them, but in the meantime I could at least learn from them and eventually earn the right to become one of them.

All of Anfield, and especially The Kop, has undergone considerable change since those days of my youth. During the last few years of The Kop as a standing area, the number of supporters allowed through the turnstiles was strictly controlled for safety. From estimates of as many as 30,000 in its heyday (it was impossible to know the actual figure) the numbers had dropped to less than 20,000. By the early 90’s the recommendations included in the report from Lord Justice Taylor had been accepted by the League, and so it was that all First Division (now Premier League) clubs were required to eliminate standing areas. In the summer of 1994, the old Kop was demolished and the new all-seat stand was built.

It can never be the same as it was in those early years, when watching The Kop was almost as entertaining as watching the action on the pitch, but the spirit of what it represents will always be there. Even now, just saying the words ‘Kop’ or ‘Kopite’ will invoke a feeling of unity among Liverpool supporters. No matter what may happen in the future, if or even when a new stadium is finally built, it’s that Kop spirit that will still unite us all. And it’s that special irreplaceable feeling that all of us will always treasure.

Written by Keith Perkins (2008)
 

Broomy

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Another ThisIsAnfield Forum Member, The Flying Pig take us back to those early 50's and describes in detail his first memories of supporting Liverpool as a kid!

Written by The Flying Pig

"My 1950's memories of being a Liverpool supporter are family memories. My Dad and Granddad (dob 1880) were Liverpool supporters. So I suppose that takes us back to the beginning in 1892. Every family in the city was either Liverpool or Everton. Your Dad took you to the match when you were still a toddler. No women or girls.

This was long before all seater stadia and 60,000 + were allowed into Anfield. Because of the crush, for the first few years he took me only to reserve games. I was lifted over the turnstiles and got in for free. The Reserves played at Anfield and attracted crowds of 2000 to 3000.

One side of the ground was the Paddock but the other side of the ground together with the Kop and Anfield Rd made just one big terrace and the spectators could change ends at half time. There was an overwhelming aroma of tobacco and a pall of smoke hung permanently over the ground.

I cannot remember being relegated in 1954, when I was 4, but we were in the Second Division until 1962 and the stick from the Evertonian kids in the street was remorseless. Although we had been League Champions 5 times we had never won the FA Cup so that was another source of glee for the Evertonians.

We seemed to just miss out on promotion back to Division One, finishing third or fourth every year. My heroes were Billy Liddell (the twilight years of a legend), Alan A'Court ( our England International) and Tommy Leishman ( a brutal psycho Scottish left half).

The Saturday before the start of each season there was a match between the Possibles and the Probables. At the end of this match the crowd stayed to see the finish of the Liverpool marathon which ended with a couple of laps of the Anfield pitch. This was long before jogging and the fashion for marathon running and the participants, running in pumps (plimsolls), were viewed by the spectators as weirdos and subjected to friendly Scouse abuse. In 1959 Bill Shankly replaced Phil Taylor and everyone knows what happened next."
 

Broomy

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Some great memories here so far, cheers to everyone who has contributed so far... I'm going to keep the thread moving swiftly with new posts and memories of matches and players. This week i'm going back to the 1965 FA Cup final. However, if anyone would still like to contribute by letting us know your earliest childhood memory of following Liverpool, whether it be your first Liverpool match at Anfield, memories of the old Spion Kop, a certain match you'll never ever forget, player, or certain childhood family memories you'll never forget, post your memories here!

Keep the memories coming, reminisce and share your memories here in this thread!

 
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Broomy

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"Days We'll Remember All Our Lives"


50 Years ago, back in 1965, Liverpool won the FA Cup Final for the very first time...

The 1965 FA Cup Final

It became one of the most defining moments in Liverpools history – 73 years had passed and the FA Cup trophy had eluded them. Between 1892 and 1965, Liverpool had saw the arrival of no less than six First Division titles but were yet to taste FA Cup success.

On the 1st of May 1965, Liverpool faced Leeds United in the FA Cup Final at Wembley. Liverpool had enjoyed a successful route to the final, beating Stockport County, Bolton, Leicester and Chelsea.

Shanklys team had endured a disappointing campaign in the League in 1965 and ended the season trailing in a disappointing 7th, but enjoyed a successful European Cup debut season, beating FC Cologne on the toss of a coin in a quarter final play off, and were preparing for the Inter Milan clash at Anfield which was scheduled three days after the FA Cup final….

Prior to the game fans expecatations were rising and Liverpool glimpsed the beckoning vision of their first ever FA Cup. Shanklys speech to the team prior to kick off has become legendary around Anfield… “Leeds are honoured to be on the same field as you. AND you’re not going to disappoint the greatest supporters in the world. If necessary – and it won’t be – you should be prepared to die for them.”

Just six minutes into the game, Gerry Byrne sustained an injury that was to become part of Liverpool folklore. Before the days of substitute, it was confirmed (minutes later) that Byrne had fractured his collar bone.

Not only did Byrne continue in agony for 90 minutes, he also had to endure extra time as the match had ended with both clubs failing to yield a goal, it was the first time in eighteen years that an FA Cup Final had progressed to extra time.

With Leeds defending in depth, Liverpool opened the scoring just three minutes into extra time. Willie Stevenson beat a couple of Leeds players before striking the ball forward to where Gerry Byrne was out on the left, the injured Byrne became Liverpools hero as his delightful cross was met by Roger Hunt who headed home.

However, Liverpool were shocked a few minutes later when Billy Bremner struck a spectacular equaliser for Leeds United. Liverpool continued to push forward and were rewarded nine minutes from time. Ian Callaghans floated cross into the six yard box was met perfectly by Ian St John with a diving header that nestled into the bottom of Gary Sprake’s net.

Liverpool saw out the remaining minutes comfortably to earn the FA Cup for their first time in their long 73 year history.

Liverpool 2 Leeds United 1 (after extra time)

Liverpools Team : Tommy Lawrence, Chris Lawler, Gerry Byrne, Geoff Strong, Ron Yeats, Willie Stevenson, Ian Callaghan, Roger Hunt, Ian St John, Tommy Smith, Peter Thompson.


Following the FA Cup win, over 250,000 people travelled to Lime Street and the Town Hall, a sea of red and white engulfed the city as Liverpool supporters welcomed back their heroes following their FA Cup heroics against Leeds United at Wembley. Liverpool had won the FA Cup for their first time in their long 73 year history.

Arriving at the Town Hall after the open bus tour, from the Town Hall balcony, Bill Shankly addressed the fans…. “There has never been a reception like this in the whole history of the game, This has been fantastic, there is no other word for it.”

It was one of the first major homecomings for Liverpool football club and nobody expected so many supporters to line the streets welcoming the team back to Merseyside, reports suggesting over a quarter of a million people had poured onto the streets to celebrate their teams achievement.

Over the following years, the Liverpool streets would again be a sea of Red and White, most notably in 1971, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 1986, 1989, 2001 and finally the biggest homecoming in 2005 with new cups and new heroes never to be forgotten…..


Keep those memories coming.... Let us know your memories of the 1965 FA Cup final, the players from that era, the goals, memories of Bill Shankly... Keep this thread running, reminisce and share your memories here!
 

professorj

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May 28, 2015
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2
Basically I was reminiscing over my favourite away match in the League (having been watching since 1986) and being a southern softie I would always manage to get to the Palace match at Selhurst.

It was 1994 (oh my Fowler 19 years ago!), first match of the season and we had more or less a new manager, Roy's (the leathery faced rather than owl faced one) first full season and the atmosphere was full of uncertain hope. The possibility of a 'return to the Boot Room', with youngsters such as Shaggy, the aforementioned deity, Jones, Redknapp, all with huge potential. We also boasted massive experience with Molby, Barnes, Whelan, Nicol and Rush all still plying their trade with us, much to the contempt of the media who after seeing us slump to a terrible finish in May were forecasting the end of the club. By the end of the season we would be clutching the Coca-Cola (cringe) Cup and I would dance out of Wembley (the proper one), an awkward teenager, singing "Scousers are back, Scousers are back, hello hello!"

But that was another day. This was August, warm and dry with 'Glad All Over' pounding out and red and blue balloons festooning the turf and stands. Palace had just come up and had added veteran ex-manc Ray Wilkins to their roster. My Word. It was all Chris Armstrong, world-beater, Liverpool would be happy to grind out the win and get away from this ground before the corrugated iron roof snapped in half.
I seem to remember being excited about us signing Phil Babb, which in itself now seems such a demented sentence to write but it was true at the time. He had made Roberto Baggio and Beppe Signori look silly in the heat of the USA World Cup (still my favourite that I've seen).
We still didn't learn the lesson never to sign someone on the basis of international tournament performances, and repeated the error in 2002 with the Spitmeister General, over and above the more regular Rolls Royce genius that was/is Nicolas Anelka.

Incidentally I always recall a new rule that was introduced which seems to have fallen by the way-side and am always reminded of whenever I see it occur in a match nowadays - you were booked if you picked the ball up for a throw and then gave it on to a team mate to 'waste time'. Wilkins was booked for it I am sure. While I am at it, whatever happened to moving the ball forwards 10 yards if there is dissent or charging wall at a free kick eh?

The game was a beauty that I can still taste in my mouth, a hot rush that still gets me grinning: the sheer beauty of McManaman's brace, scoring goals we hadn't seen for years it seemed, the cheeky impudence of Fowler's finish and the Rush goal a sign that he was in no way finished. I remember the cruelty of our fans, waving goodbye to Palace as the 4th, 5th, 6th went in. "Goodbye Palace, Goodbye Palace" to Auld Lang Syne, a sea of waving hands followed by the less original "Going Down" and this after Palace's first 50-60 minutes in the league. Cruel or not, I joined in anyway. As it turned out, we were right, and the manager Smith pointed to this match as something they never really recovered from.

We had a trophy-winning season and it all started here. In life it's too easy to use the privilege of knowing what happened next to cloud our memory of the past but we really shouldn't, this day was glorious, the symbiosis of the old guard and new kids on the block gelling to perfection.

It's my favourite away day.
 

cardiffpete

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At the request of Broomy, I'm re-posting a reminiscences post (of mine) from about 18 months ago into this thread.

"I was just 5 years old when my one of my aunts re-married. My uncle-in-law turned out to be a big, somewhat rotund man, with a broad beaming smile that just about never left his face. I've never seen a photo of him (and there are tons) or have any memory of him whatsoever, without his signature smile on full display, and he also refused to "pose" for photos ... so it was all natural. He just seemed to love life and he almost never had a bad word to say about anything or anyone. Or at least it was so rare, that the very odd time that he did react ... you just sat up and took notice, for real. A young kid needs that too occasionally though, aka boundaries set. In short, just about the perfect uncle, for a small kid to be around. Just about the first thing I remember him saying to us all, was of him asking us what team we supported. It was just something that caught us by complete surprise though, and it was like asking how you wanted your rat cooked? ...as we just didn't support any team - none of us i.e. a real non-footie family. I do remember (as you do as a kid, in an attempt to please) suddenly flipping a few pages in the paper and pointing to a player with a vertical-striped, black-and-white jersey and saying "that one". He then asked me what the name of the club was, but of course I didn't know.

The next visit, he brought around a box with about 20 Liverpool programmes and a signed picture (big ones) of every player in the team, plus a small pile of footie magazines, all for me. He patiently explained a bit about LFC, but it didn't mean all that much. He also had a ball with him, not one of your modern synthetic kind - but a real old-fashioned leather ball and he immediately took me out into our back garden, which was actually pretty big (about 50 yards deep) for a bit of a footie kickabout. I remember him dribbling towards me, saying all the time "Watch the ball, don't watch me, just watch the ball". He also kicked it a bit for me to chase and of course, as luck would have it, I stumbled and fell onto a big stone right onto my kneecap. Lots of blood and hospital, although nothing really serious, though I still bear the postage-stamp-sized indented scar there to this day and whenever I see it I think back (as you do), to a happy childhood. Anyway, he was a keen hobbyist (landscape) gardener as well, so over the next months we dug up all the stones, leveled the ground and put down a lawn (in blocks). Again, something you love doing as a kid aka getting yourself dirty and muddy. He even build some goalposts as well and painted some lines. My uncle-in-law had played footie himself (until 33) at a pretty high level, but for a pittance. A hundred quid a week (or-so, and that at max), so afterwards he worked 20+ years in the Liverpool Docks in all sorts of jobs (mostly back-breaking ones too (by which I mean literally as well, as his work was very hard, manual labour). Anyways, he took me to the Docks a few times, although much of the Docks had disappeared by then aka shrunk by 60% or-more ...but he still showed me most of the work he had done. One job, he'd had was working on the high tower-crane for about 2 years, and it just drove me crazy aka to want to get up there. I just pestered him so much aka wanting to climb up there so badly (!) ...that he relented and we went up to the operator's cabin twice. That were just brilliant experiences. I've always loved heights (for the kick it gives) and I still do, to this day. I can just imagine what the Health & Safety people (aka nowadays) though would think of a 7 y.o. climbing a 100 meter high tower-crane though! I'd give them a heart-attack probably!

He also started taking me to every LFC home match pretty soon after that. We used to always stand in the Paddock section, mostly a few yards to the right of the dugout, towards the Kop end. That I do remember. Or rather, he'd stand and I'd be on his shoulders or else he stood me on a bar and held me upright. I have a rough idea of the first match we saw (or at least a guesstimate of the general timeframe), but am not 100% and he could never clearly remember it either. Not that I can remember all that much of the first few years anyways, as it was all pretty alien to me at the time, as a small kid. What has always stayed with me though, is that he always talked all-game to me, patiently explaining the game, pointing out players, their positioning, who they were and what they were doing and also why they were doing it. For some games, we would move to (for instance) 10 yards outside the penalty box (when we were attacking the Kop) and he would say that (today) we're just going to watch our right-winger. We were strong on the left at the time, so he wanted me to just focus on our right winger's positions-taken, his run(s) and his timing of them. We'd have (maybe) 15 strong attacks down the left, so plenty of opportunity as well to focus in on this. There was always an inter-active element too, as in this instance, he would ask me to predict when our RW would make his diagonal run into the box. I'd look and say Now! and he's say No, not yet! He'd also ask me to tell him if (and when) I thought that our RW was too slow or too late to make his run. I used to almost always get it wrong (or at least I did for a very long time), as of course there is maybe that half-second timeframe when it's right and every other time is either too early or else too late. I'd get confused and say (on a failed cq delayed run), why didn't he just go before that aka to be sure to get there in time and he'd explain that No, then the defender would have gotten back at him. Too early being always bad etc.

He'd also explain to not just watch the ball, but also to look at what our defense was doing when we were attacking for instance, to see where they were positioned, their line and their spacing and why they were there. BTW, that's the one big advantage of going to games versus just watching on TV (apart from the atmosphere) aka you can watch what you choose to watch, rather than what the editor decides you should be watching aka usually just tracking the ball. You can also pick your own seat and thus your vantage point. Anyways, after a while, I remember starting to ask him loads of questions as well. One thing that struck me was that the opposition winger was often in miles of space on the RW (unmarked), when they had the ball and were attacking, while our LB was usually many yards away on the edge of the box. Sure enough, they'd play it out wide to their RW and I'd say (very puzzled) why wasn't our man stopping that (freedom) for their RW. Why leave him alone? He'd explain about shape, compacting it and the gaps that would be there (or else would appear) if our LB was out-there to start with, but I was often still left confused. Can't he go halfway there then, to at least give him less room? He'd again say no and again explain why. Of course, footie has general rules, but for every one of these there are always exceptions too. So, sometimes (even maybe on very next play), I'd see our LB racing out to challenge their RW, maybe on a counter-attack. Then he'd say that that's a different situation. Now he just has to get out, to hold him up and stop him going at us. It took a long time to get my head around the differences.

Another sticking point used to be (say) our RB, when the opponent was carrying the ball forward through the middle with an overlap from their LW and/or LB. Our RB might go directly to their LW (LB), by anticipating the pass and then make a great tackle for a throw-in. I'd be happy and clap, for (surely) great play from our team and our player. He would however explain that that's in fact very bad play from our RB ...but I'd then say "He won the ball! How can that be bad?" He'd then explain that the opponent (on the ball) should not have passed it directly to the man, for the tackle, but should have instead used our RB (in committing himself) to slip it through and thus take him out of the game. I was still confused though, as they didn't do that ...so our RB surely made the right decision to commit. He'd say that (aka now) it indeed worked out, but down-the-line (aka a future event) we'd lose goals (and games) playing that way. And when we did lose a game that way, he'd come-back and reference the incident, as in "See what I meant before".

Of course, my uncle-in-law had played the game himself (until 33 y.o.) and his own brother was actually on the LFC coaching staff, so we had plenty of opportunity to visit the dressing room after matches as well. I didn't like that so much though, as it was just very noisy and chaotic there (and often half-naked bodies too, which was pretty uncomfortable stuff for a fairly shy young kid to deal with) ...so it was just an (ever-more) occasional occurrence, and one that didn't really appeal to me at all. I did actually like watching the game(s), gradually warming to it more-and-more with each passing year, and I also loved actually playing the game myself (even much more so, compared to watching the games) ....but I never felt any desire (or any need) to hero-worship anyone aka never even thought about it (or to collect autographs, (bah!, why would anyone want to do that! ) ....nor were the players ever in any way my "idols", that I can recollect. The footie we played was almost always of the very highest level, but that was it basically. A very satisfying Saturday afternoon spent and then straight back home. Nothing much more than that ...and I had literally no heroes at the time (that I can recall) ....although (much, much later) a certain Ronnie Whelan just appealed to me (for whatever reason). Maybe it was because all-of the (other) great players of that era got so much praise from (basically) just about everyone, while this guy (who was so very talented) just got so very little praise ...while it was just so (patently) obvious how good he really was (for us). He also played my own position as well (aka the #5 slot), so I especially studied his game ...to aid my own.

After my uncle-in-law (when I was about 12 y.o.) could no longer go to games anymore i.e. with poor health, he bought me a season ticket for the Main stand (halfway line and 4 rows up) to go on my own, which I did. I missed him going with me no end, but I was really starting to just love (and appreciate) our football (completely by myself) by then. After a few months, I told him (fairly hesitantly) that I'd much prefer to stand on the Kop, instead of where I was in the ground. He just didn't understand that choice/decision, nor could he even "get" it aka it's a desperately poor view of the pitch, you won't see the game nearly as well and it's very crowded and it will entail you really fighting for your spot (still a kid) etc ...but I insisted that I just wanted to stand there and he relented and immediately arranged a (second) season ticket for me. I just loved the Kop from then on, although I still sat Main stand for quite a few games, for the much better view. Next season (and the many ones thereafter) I bought my own Kop season ticket and just loved it aka the atmosphere ...and even enjoyed (in a strange sort of way) the constant and non-stop fight to keep your place amongst the many sways and surges on the Kop. I didn't chicken out either, by going high and wide on the Kop, but really wanted to be 2~3 barriers up directly in front of the goal, which was (by far) the most chaotic place and violently swaying place to be ...but also the very best qua atmosphere. I still went to Main stand though for certain games, for the much better view. Once they made the Paddock an all-seater section in the '80's, I then immediately switched to there instead for about 30~40% of the home games. About 10 rows up and just past the dugout for a semi-perfect view. For some reason, I always went on the Kop for every Arsenal, Everton and ManU game (that I can remember anyway), while I basically always sat in the Paddock for every Chelsea, Spurs, Forest and Ipswich games. Go figure!

At about age 14, I started to go to many away games as well. Usually just taking a coach trip from Walton Lane (edge of Stanley Park) and mostly just the simpler destinations at first aka Villa, Soton, Forest, Leeds, Derby, Man City and Utd (which was by a double-decker City bus! (via the motorway), instead of a proper tour bus). Moved onto the trains a year later, aka to Ipswich (often midweek), which entailed a 20 quid round-trip to London, then a tenner (return) from Liverpool St. to Ipswich and then a short walk to Portman Road, from there. I also fell in love with Ipswich (under Bobby Robson aka a fantastic team to watch play, in itself) ...so much so that I'd (often) even go to watch Ipswich matches (aka many midweek games) ...for pleasure alone. The trip back to Liverpool was a nightmare though. I lost count of how many times I rushed to make the earliest possible London-bound train, post-match from Ipswich. That almost always terminated at Stratford though, so you always had to rush it to get to Euston for the last train back to Liverpool. I never (aka not even once) ever made it in time, but always came very close to doing so. The only remaining option then was the night-sleeper to Manchester (and a 3-hour wait middle-of-the-night) or else the Post Office train to Crewe, with a similar wait for the first early-morning train back to Liverpool. I usually chose Crewe myself, as the night guard at Crewe was a very decent (older) chap, who would always unlock the Liverpool train for you and let you sit on-board (in semi-comfort), rather than freezing your butt-off on the platform (as-in often on the mid-winter trips).

I almost always preferred the coach trips though, for the camaraderie and the banter on-board. The travelling Kop was always the die-hard element of our support and it was always great to be a (small) part of it. The sense of adventure and seeing LFC play all across the country was just hughly enjoyable, as was the signing and chants. We invariably always won as well, which made it even better, as our team back then just about had no equals in football. We were probably (by far) the best team in the world, let alone in England. The coaches to London though were always problematic. To say QPR or Stamford Bridge was a very easy trip, but to Upton Park (West Ham) was almost always a nightmare. We'd get into London about 80 minutes before kick-off, but then the driver would always lose his way and make big circles. Someone (on-board) would get him back on-track and we'd arrive at Upton Park 10 minutes before kick-off, but the West ham fans were hard-core, so we couldn't disembark outside the ground (from the Police) ...but instead had to go 1 mile away and then be frog-marched (under Police escort) back to the ground. Maybe we got there 15 minutes after kick-off aka it always seemed that way. After a while though, we figured out that we could stop the coach just before Upton Park at the Red lights and slip out the back (about 6~10 of us) and blend in without the Police noticing. I never wore any club colours to any of our away matches back then, as it just set you out to be a target for violence (which I really wanted to avoid). I almost always carried a flick-knife (on me) as well, just in case and for some protection, but I never had to use it luckily.

At about 15 y.o. as well, I also befriended a local lad, who supported Everton. His family had a store and his mother ran it and they sold Everton stuff, so she got 2 concessionary tickets for every match at Goodison as well. They came from Manchester though and thus they all supported City, bar this one lad, who rebelled against it (as you do in brotherly rivalries). His own older brother actually played for City (or at least for their Reserves, for a very long time, but he never made it to first team). I didn't make it either myself btw, but wasn't too far off doing so, bar a horrific injury very early. Anyway, the 2 concessionary tickets (aka freebies) were a great (and free) chance to watch Everton as well, which I did on very many occasions as well - with my best mate at the time aka midweek Everton games, Cup (replays) etc and the odd Saturday game when the away match didn't suit my plans (aka if I had scored a date/looker on Friday, or whatever). Concessionary tickets though were a pain in the neck (literally), as all were (very) resricted view i.e. stuck behind a piller. The one ticket (aka mine) had about 40% view of the pitch aka constant shifting and leaning left-and-right to track play, while my mate's had 60% view of the pitch. I kind of always cheered on the opposition though at Goodison (although always silently). Goodison (back then) was just an incredibly friendly place to go to though. It was just basically scousers under scousers and a place to have a laugh and a joke and a bit of really friendly banter. That's changed though in the past 1~2 decades to something more like real and total hatred ...but it just really never used to be like that! I've stood in the Paddock (at Goodison) many, many times with full LFC colours and with me cheered us on, when scoring ...and it was all really friendly stuff. I've got no idea when (or why?) it all changed to bitterness and hate in more recent years. It was never (ever) that way before. Everton were also a class team back then (though progressively so). At one point, Everton were very probably the 2nd (or else at minimium the 3rd best team in the world (behind only LFC)), so watching Everton was no pain aka it was quality stuff too ...though I never really wanted them to do well. They were very good though. Even Lineker, when he moved to Barca (for example). That gave him more money and a sunnier climate to play in, but Barca were just way inferior (football-wise) to Everton back then. It wasn't even close.

I also went to every LFC reserve game at Anfield (for under a quid a go) at the time as well, plus I trained and practised up-to 3~4 times a week too and played (on average 2 games a week) as well. Just almost totally besotted by football back then, was I. LFC reserves (which mostly included many first team regulars) was just great to watch too, though only the 2,000 watched them at Anfield (per week). Low key games, but also very high-quality on show.

After a decade (and a half or-so) of following LFC (literally) everywhere at home (and eventually abroad too) aka from Rome to the Heysel (which was pretty bad) to every corner of England, I then moved abroad myself (just after Hillsborough aka I went left on the day to the (non-signposted section), and also did so the year before as well. Many didn't though ...and they suffered a horrible fate) and I then lost almost all touch with the club (as you do aka you just move on and you change and you alter your perspectives etc), bar a few months here-and-there. Been back (actively) supporting LFC now for about the past 7~8 years. I actually went to Istanbul (and Athens), which were unforgettable experiences, thanks to my (late) uncle-in-law's brother (for the tickets) although I only met him the once myself aka at a family do in Crosby one Christmas a long,long time ago. Curiously ...myself, my (late) uncle-in-law (and his brother) are the only LFC supporters in the whole family, all generations included. Everyone else supports Everton! Which was (probably) great, as I could basically always get any tickets (to pretty much any match) for a very long time ...though I never abused the privilege and usually (about 95%+ ) paid my own way ...but some games you couldn't beg or borrow tickets for and I still got them, so nepotism (still) rules for me."
 

professorj

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Another ‘away’ match memory of mine was in the FA Cup, at Chelsea 1997. As you'll all remember we lost 4-2 which sounds like an unmitigated disaster, but we were 2-0 up at half time and my memories are not so much of what was going on on the pitch but off it.


At half time the stadium announcer started talking about Chelsea's trophy winning past and brought two old men on to the pitch, god knows who they were, to rapturous cockney applause, drowned out by myself and the other travelling Kopites giving it "Eighteen times!"

I'll never forget that one.


Before the match Alan Hansen had to walk around the perimeter of the pitch and though we had applauded our own team off after the warm up, the reception he got was enormous: "Jocky! Jocky!"


But most of all, this was the first and only time I ever managed to start a song! My obsession, bordering on man-love at the time, was Patrik Berger (swoon). Now he'd already done some serious damage to Chelsea in the Anfield league match. What a sight he was in full flow, long hair billowing (never cut your long hair off, it definitely affects form!), driving like a Czech crossbow bolt at the hapless blues, they had no idea how to cope with him.

Well by the time I was 19 in 1997 I had become rather gobbier and more confident so when he ran up and down the touchline warming up I just cried out "Patrik Bergerrrrrrrrrrr!" I was sat down near the front of the stand and the feeling, oh my god, of how many thousand people behind me all pretty much instantly taking up "La la la la la!" was electrifying. It was like crossing a Robbie Fowler hat-trick and watching an Elisha Cuthbert strip tease at the same time.


Bloody Zola and Vialli though eh?
 

Broomy

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Here's another article from our ThisIsAnfield.com Kop Treasure Series... One of the most incredible nights in this club’s illustrious history Liverpool reclaimed their crown as Kings of Europe after miraculously overcoming a 3-0 half-time deficit to defeat AC Milan at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul.

Neil Dunkin, author of Anfield Of Dreams: A Kopite’s Odyssey From The Second Division To Sublime Istanbul sent us this article retelling his experience of travelling to Istanbul and the night of fact, fable, fairytale, fantasy and fiction in our Kop Treasures section on TIA…



Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan
(3-2 on penalties)
UEFA Champions League Final 2004-05
Date: 25th May 2005
Venue: Ataturk Stadium, Istanbul
Attendance: 70,024

Written by Neil Dunkin

Two hours before kick-off, I entered the Ataturk Stadium with my son Russ, next to the VIP entrance where cries of “Diego, Diego” from Italians alerted us to Maradona’s presence. He was chatting to admirers and looked considerably slimmer, fitter and smaller than the 20-stone tub of lard that had filled the front pages of newspapers.

Shunning the offer of his trademark “El 10″ autograph (know where you can stick your hand, Diego Armando), we toiled up steps higher than our old Kop’s on Walton Breck Road to the top of the West stand. We found ourselves above the media section, halfway line below, affording a grand overview of the stadium, although not quite in the different time zone from the pitch that one Galatasaray supporter had warned us about. Despite our early arrival, the waiting hours raced by until three sides of the stadium were saturated with Liverpudlians and both teams walked out for the 9.45pm kick-off. By now I was feeling queasy, not from the altitude but the excitement.

To everyone’s surprise, Kewell was in the starting line-up – a bold stroke by Rafa who had noted how PSV’s wingers ran Milan ragged in the semi-final. The scene is set for a Reds triumph until 53 seconds of the match have elapsed.

AC mount their first attack, Traore commits a clumsy foul and Maldini volleys the free kick in. The quickest goal ever in the Champions Cup, in Maldini’s seventh final. Bit of a choker.

Jose Mourinho has declared the Reds will have no chance if they concede first. Now we’ll see – and worse is coming. Obviously not 100 per cent fit, Kewell has to go off, replaced by Smicer who can only stand and admire Milan’s sumptuous football, orchestrated by Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, alias Kaká. Ghosting through our defence in their all-white change strip, the Rossoneri set up Crespo twice to make it 3-0. A treble whammy.

We are being outclassed and when the ball strikes Nesta’s elbow as he lies on the grass, Baros makes a nonsensical penalty appeal. That sums up our desperation. Beforehand, squinting through my red-tinted glasses, I believed we were destined to win; by the half-time whistle, the Fates have deserted us. Conscious that in three finals, against Ajax, Barcelona and Steaua Bucharest, AC prevailed 4-0, I dread a worse humiliation in the second half… 5-0, 6-0, a record thrashing.

I start praying. Come on, lads. Get a goal, just one. Make the scoreline respectable, give us some pride, then we can put it down to experience and go home. My stream of introspection is halted by the singing of a hymn. I’ve no inkling where it begins – North, West or East stands – but it radiates into the black ether, making time stand still as 40,000 lives are condensed into three metaphysical minutes. From the core of their being, those sentimental, self-pitying, maudlin, hooked-on-grief Liverpudlians begin a You’ll Never Walk Alone like I’ve only heard once before, at the FA Cup final with Everton after Hillsborough.

Not louder than ever, not more passionately, but with a visceral, ethereal, spiritual intensity that transcends the moment. Every line of its lyrics resonates with meaning, kindling hope in our hearts, reassuring us that a golden sky and the silver song of a lark will vanquish the dark and the storm. With one voice, 40,000 believers are combining to articulate their dream and the world is bearing witness.

A tear-in-the-eye declaration, a defiant throw of the dice, further testimony to Liverpudlians’ “strange brilliance”, in Paul McCartney’s perceptive words. We might be down and out but our Scouse spirit refuses to be broken. Please, please let our team hear us in their dressing room. This empowering anthem must – must – lift our bloodied troops who Rafa is contriving to rally. In a foreign language, not the Spanish he’d feel comfortable with, he is invoking a higher force to motivate his men, all “in shock”, says Dudek.

“Don’t let your heads drop,” Rafa tells them quietly. “We are Liverpool, you are playing for Liverpool. Don’t forget that. You have to hold your heads high for the supporters. You have to do it for them. They have come a long way. Don’t let them down. You cannot call yourselves Liverpool players if you have your heads down. “If we create a few chances, we have the possibility of getting back into this. Believe you can do it and you will. Give yourselves the chance to be heroes.” Out in the stadium, the final words of You’ll Never Walk Alone have faded away, replaced by the North Stand jesting, “We’re going to win 4-3″. Them Scousers again, laughing in the face of adversity. You can’t help smiling.

The rest of the break is a blur, a confusion of images and sensations that do not really register, a subliminal haze that only disperses when Liverpool come out for the restart. Our midfield has been reinforced by Hamann in place of the injured Finnan. Now Gerrard will be able to push forward… The rest of the night is fact, fable, fairytale, fantasy, fiction.

From Liverpool River in Australia’s Arnhem Land to Liverpool Bay in Arctic Canada, they will have heard about the Red storm, three dazzling goals during six minutes of madness. Almost on the penalty spot, Gerrard sends a towering header into the corner of the net. 3-1. Game on! Smicer’s 25-yard drive zings past Dida. Vladi, in his last game for the Reds, has scored a second! 3-2.

Storming into the box, Stevie is tripped by Gattuso. Alonso places the penalty low to Dida’s right. The keeper judges well, palming it onto the post, but Xabi follows up to blast into the roof. Our placid playmaker, who says, “I prefer not to hate anyone, I prefer to just love Liverpool”, has made it 3-3. Yes, 3-3. I repeat: 3-3.

Making Lazarus look like a legless gimp, the Reds have refused to die, clawing themselves out of the grave dug by Milan. The most remarkable fightback in any European final. Ever. On the precipitous West stand, I feel numb as the game moves into nailbiting extra time. AC are dominant and in the 117th minute, Dudek pulls off a preposterous point-blank double save from Shevchenko, the most flabbergasting act of goalkeeping I have ever observed, a righteous hand of God rather than Maradona’s thieving one. Truly the save that shakes the world.

Sheva, the goalscoring machine who treasures a pair of Rush’s boots, just cannot get the ball in the net. Crespo holds his head; now he knows the Milanesi will not win. “I knew that save was the moment we said bye-bye to the cup,” he admits later.

The lads hang on “running on empty”, in Gerrard’s phrase – until the referee gives the last blast on his whistle. All down to penalties. In the centre circle, Carragher is waving his fist at Jerzy, getting him pumped up, but after going through an emotional wringer, I feel strangely unconcerned, detached from the shoot-out, as a chemical reaction occurs in my body and brain. Where once we’d been dead and buried, now a supernatural force has taken possession of me, the fans, the team, floating us inexorably towards that cup. An unstoppable momentum is carrying the resurgent Reds to victory.

The penalties begin. Serginho blasts over the bar: 0-0. Hamann slots in: 0-1. Dudek saves from Pirlo: 0-1. Cisse scores coolly: 0-2. Dudek dives but Tomasson’s weak kick goes in the other corner: 1-2. Dida saves from Riise: 1-2. Kaka scores: 2-2. With me murmuring that Dida always dives to the right, Smicer fires home: 2-3.

The moment of truth. Shevchenko has a final chance to keep Milan in the shoot-out. If he doesn’t score, they lose. As he trudges to the penalty spot, he looks like he’s walking to the gallows.

With the clock showing 12.29am and 500 million watching, he runs up and strikes the ball sharply, straight down the middle. Jerzy, diving away from the trajectory, stretches out his left arm and gets his fingertips to the ball. Saved! 2-3! LIVERPOOL CHAMPIONS!

After 11 goals, all at the same end, the Italian end, we have won! From their thrones on high, the 96 smile down. You’ve been with us every step of the way. As every Red goes demented, Russ and I hug and dance, scream and howl.

Strangers you’ve never seen before in your life grab and squeeze and kiss you. Human warmth, the very essence of Anfield. Scousers who’ve carried the ashes of fallen mates all the way from Merseyside to share this beatific moment cast them towards that great Anfield in the sky.

Tears are shed by grown men, even in the media section below where one broadcaster breaks down: Liverpool old boy Michael Robinson. Jerzy, who only realises his save from Sheva has won the final when team-mates rampage towards him, is mobbed by them.

Like an Ashworth Hospital inmate who’s just succeeded in scaling the wall after 30 years’ plotting, Carragher gambols across the pitch, mouth agape in disbelief, socks around ankles, legs of elastic, and careers past Dudek in a maniacally wide arc to fans along the touchline to freak out with his people.

Glorious, glorious delirium! Beyond belief, beyond reason, beyond logic. My last European Cup journey in 1985 had warped into Heysel’s horror. This night of atonement has purged those frightful memories, the power and the glory have exorcised those demons. We are all in a state of grace.

On the terraces, every Red man and woman basks in celestial rapture, the deities sanctifying them and their heroes. Europe’s finest side and finest supporters: an unbeatable partnership has brought victory.

Liverpools Team: Dudek, Finnan (Hamann), Carragher, Hyypia, Traore, Alonso, Garcia, Gerrard, Riise, Kewell (Smicer), Baros (Cisse).

Written by Neil Dunkin 2008
 



tampared

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May 29, 2015
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In 1969 we had 2 home games to begin the season and my mom said I could go on the Kop that year. I missed the first game against Chelsea, I was grounded. Me and my mate Oggy had nicked some pop from behind the local and we got caught by the landlord, we must have been slow as he was a peg leg. Anyhow she let me go the next week against City. St John got 2 and Hunt got 1, I had to look on Liverweb, I could have sworn Hunt got 2. I remember the height of the Kop, when you got to the top it was a brilliant sight, the whole pitch spread out in front of you, and green, a sea of green grass. I remember pushing my way to the front, I had a new scarf, knitted by my aunt, Red and White with LFC on it. It was a few years before I would be able to afford a real one, but in them days it didn't matter, no joker hats, shirts or tattoos. I noticed all those really hard kids that had been going for years leaning on the wall and just staring at you. The pecking order of age was big to me in those days, the older kids a couple of steps up, the 16, 17 year old's about half way up with the singers and the men at the top, always close to a barrier. I also seem to remember everybody smoked, I got offered my first fag the next home game, I was also warned by a kid that had been going since last season never to use the toilets. We came big buddies, even though he lived in Tranmere and we would keep each others space, this went on for over 10 years and I am still in touch with him now.
 

OLDIE

TIA New Signing
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
2,183
Being lucky enough to have been born in Liverpool & in the early 60's football was in those days still the fans game. The City was split between Red & Blue (They became the bitters much later) Everton had a cracking side and had the edge over us in History and status.

LFC had a magic that was Anfield, the Kop was at its best, and most of all Mr Bill Shankly. Shankly gave the club an injection of self belief and a desire to perform for the fans first and foremost. If you look through the history of the club you will not find anyone before Shanks that insisted that his players played for the fans. To him it was not a job it was a daily pilgrimage (splg) to Melwood & Anfield. His love for all things red was a magnet for a snotty nosed little scouser like me.

On top of all that we had Peter Thompson & Cally flying down the wings with the Saint & Sir Roger in the middle (How much would they be worth today?), going into the boys pen (For those to young, if you look at the Kop it was situated at the top right hand side by the main stand) bunking into the Kop, (then seeing fuck all of the the match) was all that mattered, every day you dreamt about the coming Saturday, the roar of the crowd the songs before the match the constant swaying and the smell of piss & sweat. Funny enough one of my oldest memories is standing behind some 6' docker who was screaming out at the top of his voice a Cilla Black song, whilst drinking a cup of bovril ! "Anyone who had a heart" I think ?

Win, lose or draw you had the feeling of being part of a massive family, you were taught how to be a Kopite, how to accept when a team had beaten us with grace and applaud the opposition when they had out played us. I can even recall ManUre being clapped off after twating us 4-1, it should have been 7 or 8. We always apprieciated opposing goalkeepers always gave them a great ovation when they came out and ran to the Kop in the 2nd half. Some opposing goalkeepers were held in such high esteem by the Kop that they loved the Kop and mentioned their love for Anfield many times. Gordon Banks, Pat Jennings, Alex Stepney, Bob Wilson, Gordon West & Yes even Gary Sprake. Indeed Gordon Banks has said many times that he was proud that his last game was at Anfield.

To be a Red is not about just turning up to home games and singing when we take the lead, nor is it about buying each new shirt and thinking we are one of the boys. It is about supporting through thick & thin the team the manager & the club with dignity and respect, it is about standing together in adversity for the greater goal, no matter what your personal feelings are at the time. Its about CLASS

We are truely honoured to be Red.
 

Broomy

TIA's Redkopi
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
1,472

"Days We'll Remember All Our Lives"

Olympiacos, Juventus, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Barcelona, Saint-Étienne, Real Madrid, AC Milan.... Nights that have entered into Liverpool’s long fabled history, the intensity, the atmosphere, the players, the fans, the banners, the flags, the scarves aloft, the managers, the goals...

What makes European Matches so special at Anfield?

In an article published last year, the This Is Anfield writers shared their Anfield European Cup memories…


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Written by Lee Coates
Liverpool vs Barcelona, 2001: Sometimes the losses stick with you more than the wins. Liverpool one, Barcelona three. On the back of a trophy collecting 2001 season, Liverpool were back among the champions of European countries. After strolling through the first group stage, the second group stage put us in the ‘Group of Death’.

First up Barcelona. Our European Footballer of the Year, Michael Owen put us one – nil up. The Kop bounced, I hugged my brother and looked over a sea of heads to find my dad who was sat elsewhere. Half of these people under my searching eye hadn’t seen anything like it – I certainly hadn’t. Liverpool couldn’t stop winning. A seemingly meteoric rise through the football elite.

Moments later, a Barcelona second half masterclass told us where we were. We were now in there with the best of them. We needed to raise our game. We needed to play even better than these lot are playing. I realised that this wasn’t a holiday. Liverpool must be doing this all the time. We must be playing these teams all the time. We must keep getting better. We must hold our own with the elite.

Three and half years later, we won the thing.
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Written by Henry Jackson
Liverpool vs Chelsea, 2005: I remember being sat with my Dad as an 18-year-old having never been so nervous watching a Liverpool game in my life. The noise when Luis Garcia scored was simply unforgettable; I can only imagine what it was like actually being at Anfield on the night.

The second-half went by agonisingly slowly, and when six minutes of injury time was given by the referee it was unbearable to watch. To this day, Eidur Gudjohnsen’s last-gasp miss, which somehow went wide, remains my most heart-stopping moment ever as a Reds fanatic. To beat Jose Mourinho’s arrogant side and make it through to the final was truly special. The rest, as they say, was history.​
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Written by Max Munton
Liverpool vs Chelsea, 2007: As Dirk Kuyt struck home his winning penalty, the upper Anfield Road End began shaking, Anfield was bouncing. An eruption of noise, joyous celebration and relief. Just two years after Istanbul, Liverpool were back in a European Cup final and the party got back into full flow. We poured out of Anfield, into town where the euphoria and a sea of red and white continued into the streets of the city for the rest of the night.​

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Written by Jeff Goulding
Liverpool vs Chelsea, 2005: I was hoarse by kick-off. By the time Luis Garcia drove us and Jose mad, we’d been singing about Chelsea’s lack of history, and the Fields of Anfield Road, for almost forty five minutes. At first it didn’t register that we’d scored. Some of us were shouting penalty! Then, as realisation set in, there was an eruption of noise, pandemonium and a fall. I hit my back on a plastic seat, and took a knee to the head. I didn’t care. What followed was 92 minutes of excruciating anxiety, but the sound that greeted full-time erased all of that. The ground seemed to shake, and my legs dissolved to mush. I felt euphoric and sick at the same time. John Terry was in tears, and Stevie was punching the air in sheer unadulterated joy. After two decades, Liverpool were finally back where we belong.

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Written by Ste Speed
Liverpool vs Olympiakos, 2005: Without this goal there would have been no Istanbul and possibly no more Steven Gerrard as a Liverpool player at the end of that season. I watched the game in Bangkok airport waiting for my flight home, having spent the previous two years globe trotting. I was sitting in the airport bar nursing the one drink I could afford and a plate of fries a generous fellow passenger had bought me. I was in my Liverpool shirt surrounded by American businessmen just watching ESPN. I couldn’t believe my luck when the game came on the TV.

When Stevie’s belter flew in, it was one of the most exciting moments of my life. I jumped out of my seat and ran around the bar like a lunatic before exchanging high fives with the Americans. They ended up buying me drinks afterwards because they’d been so entertained by my antics during the game.

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Written by Steven Harris

Liverpool vs OPS Oulu, 1981: Played the night after the death of Bill Shankly, the score line was almost irrelevant. Shankly’s name rang around Anfield before kick-off, during quieter moments of an entirely one sided match, and most vociferously after the game had finished. The man who made Liverpool would have been proud of the 7-0 dispatching of the Finnish champions. His final signing for the club – Ray Kennedy – was one of those on the score sheet. High emotions and the beginning of weeks of heartfelt tributes from the fans to the man who made them happy.
 

cardiffpete

TIA Reserve Team
Joined
Apr 14, 2009
Messages
3,641
The little tiny details of some pretty obscure experiences along the way have always fascinated me no end aka I was about maybe 10 y.o. in 1979 and my best mate's (also from Liverpool) older brother (at 19 y.o.) was a small-time weekend "punk". That older brother was a sometimes "punk" aka he'd board the London-bound train at the weekend for a (longish) 15 quid return trip, after having heavily "punked" himself up with all the customary spiky hair and loads of stapled clothes, to then mingle with all the London "punks" for the weekend at the heart of the scene back then. Why? Because the American tourists in London just love to be photographed along with "punks" ....and they would pay 10~15 quid a pop to do so.

This guy then serially earned 150 quid in a single day (and every single trip) by just posing for 2 photos (always the 2 given, in case of a single bad photo), but strictly only 2 snaps were allowed ...or else some aggro would follow. No freebies allowed etc. The guy (then) basically picked up 95 quid in weekly wages in his regular job (where he was not really "punk" in any real way) ...and then more than doubled that easily with a quick photo-op excursion down to London. This guy could have easily doubled-up too, by doing it on both weekend days instead of mostly just the Sunday excursion ....but he thought the opportunity would never end and he also wanted a life too (for himself) and going out in Liverpool on the Friday/Saturday night as well. But of course it did end all-too-soon. 2~3 years later and the golden egg had long died, just like LFC also had a finite golden period and that also died a sudden death. Nobody expected it to happen ...but times changed and what once was, became an instant irrelevance, to (maybe) never return.

Just some typical scouse stuff here ...and Liverpool was always an incredibly very tough place to earn any money in (back then) aka very few jobs available and so much unemployment around ....so you had to be that bit street-smart and willing to go the extra mile to make a bit of money. Not strictly LFC related stuff here - but that's what you did (or had to do) back then. Liverpool just offered no easy money (for anyone at all) and very many Liverpool families were torn apart, with maybe the husband spending the entire week down in London for a run-of-the-mill job (and there were so many who went that way) and a job that couldn't be gotten in Liverpool (and for about 70 quid a week in rent in some run-down London place) and spending the whole week down in London and then commuting back to Liverpool for a very short weekend break at home. Family broken apart etc. The husband always away and so little contact had with the kids back home. But that was Liverpool back then too.

Same with getting tickets and then making a bit from that too. We had such a wonderful team back then and it was relatively so very simple to get tickets too aka just queue up from 1 p.m. onwards Away games no real problem either. You could so easily buy multiple tickets too and try to sell-on ....but that just never appealed to me. The match day experience was always about the sheer anticipation of the match and the build-up to it. You could make some seriously good money, by facilitating those who couldn't be bothered to queue-up or else didn't have the time or opportunity to do so - but why miss out on the whole build-up, just to make a quick buck? I could have easily made a couple of thousand quid a season, just from buying multiple tickets and selling them on at a mark-up ..but is it/was it worth it in the end? A tout's existence? Not for me.

Sacrifice some really unique experiences to make a fast buck etc. I'd prefer the many rich memories here and the banter involved ...rather than having cashed-in on our great team (then) for pure monetary gain and to have spent countless hours waiting for a marked-up ticket sale. You just don't remember making a fast-buck in quite the same way that you remember camaraderie and looking forward to the game. We knew we had the best team around back then (and probably the very best in the world at that time), but we never knew if we'd actually win on-the-day (which is some uniquely football-stuff) ...so it was always hairs-on-end and waiting for us to actually do it. Every single game too.

I can't recall any match that I went to (even back then), where I thought we're going to win it 100%. There was always that sense that the result could go any way ....so it was always nerves and hoping, praying and really anticipating for some great play form us on the day. We won a whole lot back then and we were very dominant, but every game was different and just impossible to predict, so just tenterhooks throughout ....until we maybe got a clear 2-goal lead, which wasn't even all that often really (even in hindsight).

It was the same match-day jitters back then as it is now, except that now the whole template of match-day tactics has been analyzed to death in the meantime. I can well remember that we replicated a single goal repetition 10 times in one single season in the mid '80's aka Whelan playing it swiftly up to Kenny, who then stuck his butt in to his marker, held the ball-up for second-or-two and then slid in Rushie (on the overlap run) for a killer one-on-one with the keeper. In those days, you could more-or-less repeat moves all-season long (and we really did do that) and no one would be the wiser aka no video analysis. Nowadays, that's impossible stuff. LFC had so many fall-back mechanisms back then and so many clear and obvious ways to score goals ...and the modern game just doesn't allow that to happen.

Then you get smart, or you don't get smart at all ....and LFC really haven't gotten smart for about 2 decades now. Back then we defended like our lives depended upon it and our teams had real balance too and we didn't conceed. Barnes last summer said that our last term run to 2nd was great, but we mostly left 4 up in-attack and we defended with only the 6 back, for a team disjoint. Barnes said "Let's say I'm Sterling and Houghton is Cou ...but I’ve got Whelan and McMahon to cover me - and what has BR got there? It's not the same." That's telling stuff and the spine and the team balance is "off" nowadays. There is a huge difference between part-defense and real defense aka the whole team defending versus only segments of it defending.