June 1, 2013 by backofthenetjl
I’ve decided to introduce a new feature to my blog called ‘what’s it like being a ………. fan’. The idea is that different football fans can have a guest blog on what it is like to support their team. This will give insight into how it really feels to support your team. Here is the first guest blog on Liverpool, by Liverpool fan Adam Heayns:
You don’t pick the team you support, its chosen for you. That statement is definitely true and unless you enter the game later on in life, you’ll never weigh up the choices but you’ll be raised to believe that Club X are your chosen club. I was raised as a Liverpool fan; by my Father who was a Liverpool fan…I bet you’ve noticed the connection?
I was raised around the stories of Shankly, Paisley, Dalglish and our utter domination of the English game and those nights in Europe. Oh, the stories of those nights in Europe from past generations, I didn’t appreciate them when I was young but now the tales are legendary. Liverpool fans are often said to be living in the past, but truly all fans live in their history. That’s what you’re raised with, being told by your parents, family and friends about the club and it’s trophy filled past.
So I don’t accept the Liverpool fans all live in the past statements as an insult, but rather an acknowledgement of the success the club I love had. I’ve read the books about Shankly, Paisley and Fagan; how they shaped Liverpool Football Club and their personal ideals that they bought with them into the game. I’ve watched Liverpool in decline, restart and look like challengers, decline, win trophies on famous nights, progress, stall, suffer financial turmoil, nearly go out of existence and then start a new project. I won’t sit here and tell you that I believe Liverpool Football Club are the best team in the world, nor will I claim that we our the team we once were. I will sit here and tell you that for me Liverpool Football Club is the best club in the world. That is a very different matter, a personal opinion. An opinion through how I’ve been raised, probably similar for you, reading this.
I am an Atheist, but going to Anfield; well that is my church. When the Kop sings, it’s still an amazing atmosphere to be in. Singing the songs, actually not songs, they’re anthems, is still special. Supporting Liverpool is also a family bond; I go to the game with my Dad and sometimes my Mum. You can have your opinion on that if you so wish, but football is certainly a game that has or did have family at its core. Going to the game, Dad’n Lad days, that will be how I’ll always remember my childhood going to Anfield and hopefully my adulthood, still going with my Dad.
Supporting Liverpool is strange sometimes. Like all clubs, we have some strange fans, who expect us to win the league or be challenging for top honours every year. I believe Liverpool Football Club exists to win trophies, but football is a sport where you have to look at the bigger picture. Teams dominate, they decline and a new super power rises. It’s a sport of ups and downs and side to sides, just like what it does with your emotions. I class myself as a realistic Liverpool fan, I accept we’re not the team we once were and that we need to rebuild. Rome wasn’t built in a day and nor was the team that won the European Cup in Rome, so we have to accept it’ll take time. There will be mistakes, there will be glory and there will be anger, pain, joy, and happiness. As a football fan in reality, you have to accept all of those feelings.
I’m sure all fans have favourite moments that they’ll recant in a reminiscent manner in a pub or to their friends. I have a few; I had the honour of leading Liverpool on to the pitch against Leeds as an 11 year old lad. We won 3-1. I scored 4 screamers at the Kop end against Sander Westerveld. Screamers, obviously. Don’t challenge the validity of this claim. The Stewards gave me 50p for every goal I scored and with £2, I bought myself 2 cokes in the players lounge. Living the highlife. I know.
Like all Liverpool fans, Instanbul is up there for its sheer romance and grit. Although, I will always remember the derby at Goodison, late on and Gary Mac smashed a free kick into the back of the net, that memory will always stay with me.
So what’s it like to support Liverpool? It’s full of glory, pain, realism, humour and to be honest, I wouldn’t want it any other way. The one thing that many people don’t realise about Liverpool fans sometimes, no matter who they are; big, little, bald, fat, girls, boys, men, women, old, young…you’re getting the picture, the support from other clubs for the search for justice for the Hillsborough families will always be something we are grateful for. I know there are some idiots who don’t want to believe what the truth was, just as we have some utter morons who disgrace our clubs making comments about Munich, but 99% of football fans supported the families. It went beyond footballing rivalries and for that, we’ll always be grateful.
I’m Adam. I’m a Liverpool fan and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Follow Adam on twitter: @awh91
Follow me on twitter: @DisguisedPass
If you’re interested in getting involved with this feature and writing an article as to what it is like to support your team, drop me an email at email@example.com.