As painful as it is to quote a former Manchester United player, French footballer Eric Cantona is quoted as having said, “You can change your wife, your politics, but never, never can you change your favourite football team.” As someone who has supported the same teams for as long as I can remember being into football, this is something I believe. The science of how that team is decided in is absolutely inexact and, often, stems from those who came before us.
My father is a Liverpool supporter. I honestly don’t know how it came about, only that it started when he lived in Europe. Even though I grew up in a part of the world where and at a time when we generally weren’t able to watch matches on telly, when it comes to the English Premier League, I have always been a Liverpool supporter.
These were the days when we partly listened to football on radio. I would often sit huddled in my father’s bedroom listening to the BBC just to keep up with what was going on. And then, in 1984, Liverpool travelled to Swaziland to play in a tournament against Tottenham Hotspurs. I had just turned 12 years old and remember being in awe of the fact that my favourite team – boasting players like Ian Rush, Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness, Ronnie Whelan and Bruce Grobblelaar – was playing just ‘up the road’, in a country that I had briefly lived in and visited regularly.
That is the first time I remember actually watching a full Liverpool game on television. I know that I caught match highlights and, possibly, some games before that but that is the first time I truly connected with the team ‘visually.” From that moment, I’ve tried to watch as many Liverpool games as humanly possible. My weekends are designed around their games and, from an early age, my children have known that, game time is Daddy’s TV time.
I have yet to visit Anfield and stand on the Kop singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” but my day will come. Until then, I will continue to sit on the edge of my couch, supporting through joy and anguish, disappointment and happiness, good times and bad times, through sickness and health…
One fan was able to attend his first game live courtesy of ABSA. You can see his experience HERE.
They’ve also hooked me up with this Liverpool Men’s Marl Lounge Set: