Confession: I’m going to a Liverpool game and I’m nervous about it

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Hello Empire of the Kop readers.

Yes, you read that headline correctly. I’m going to a Liverpool FC game this April and I am admittedly a little nervous.

Why, might you ask?

Well, I’m American.

It’s worrisome, to be very honest. It’s not like you’re going to see me and think twice about it. I’m an American. I like to wear a baseball hat with the logo of the University of Virginia on it (that does bring be to a funny story: I went to a Chelsea game when I was in London visiting my now ex-girlfriend when she was studying abroad and a man who went to the University of Virginia was sitting right behind me. He lived about a half-hour up the interstate from me. Small world, right?).

When I open my mouth, I’m undoubtedly American. I don’t have the thickest of Southern drawls, but if you had to guess, you’d probably place me I’m south of the Mason/Dixon line (the proverbial dividing line between North and South in the Civil War). I say “y’all.” I ask for Coke by name. When I think football, I think of being on a college campus in the fall with a tie on. These are all American, southern things.

Now, here is the question I pose, which might be the epitome of stupidity on my behalf: will being from the same country as Tom Hicks and George Gillett get me into trouble? Am I guilty by association because I’m from the same country Liverpool’s awful, American owners?

I certainly hope not, but I’ve seen things that have frightened me a little bit. I won’t mention all of them, but I saw an American flag being torched by fans wearing Liverpool jerseys.

To me, this is a reason to worry a little.

It’s not going to stop me. Come hell or high water, I’ll be at Anfield on April 23rd for the Birmingham game.

But I guess that this is just more of a question for all you readers. Am I right to be a little worried or will I be welcomed into the Kop end with open arms? Please tell me I’m foolish for even thinking that I would not be welcome at Anfield.


  1. First, its “motorway”, not “interstate.” :-P I hope you left your blazer and Orange tie at home.

    I don’t think you have too much to worry about. I’m half Yank half Brit, but I have the luxury of being able to speak with both accents. I will say this though, a Virginian accent is going to sound VERY southern to the scousers. But do NOT try to speak with any type of English accent. You will look incredibly stupid. My uncle has a friend who (ok, he is a United fan….) goes to Old Trafford and never gets any crap about being American. And this guy is obnoxious. He’s loud, tries to speak like a Manc, wears every last piece of united merchandise he can find at every chance (even a scarf watching a cup final in the summer in Virginia a few years ago, wtf?). Just don’t be the LFC version of him. Don’t go over the top. Don’t act like you are the most hardcore fan to have ever lived if you have never been to Anfield before. Just relax. I haven’t been up north, but I do know that Americans go to Anfield and generally don’t have trouble. Flag burners are extremists.

    Don’t talk politics unless you are of a very left wing persuasion. Liverpool is very Labour last I checked, and everyone hates Bush over there.

  2. I am also an American fan. I would hope that everyone realizes that these two scum are also hated by thousands of American fans of not only the Reds, but also the Dallas Stars and Texas Rangers. We all see them for what they are. They walk alone here too.

  3. wow…this one’s a toughie…i personally wouldnt have a problem with you but sometimes…there are just a few people that let a large group down…i actually couldnt tell you on this one

  4. I dont think so, just because your from the same country as our lying scumbag owners doesnt mean we will treat you any differently…

    Liverpool fans will accept all fans, from all over the world!

    (but hopefully by then these cowboys will be gone and we will have new owners)

  5. Sadly It would be naive of me to say you have nothing to worry about.. On the most part id expect you to be treated with respect by those who spout easily the words YNWA but in reality? You may hear a few whispers and if that is the case as an English kopite with no greater a claim over this club than you sir, I offer you in advance my sincerest apologies though I pray they need not be accepted.. Really and truly YNWA

  6. We don’t hate Americans even though you might think it. We just hate our owners even though they’re american it doesn’t mean we hate americans as our owners could be english it wouldn’t mean we hate ourselves. You should have nothing to worry about, just don’t say you like the owners which you probably don’t and you’ll be fine. Have a good time and hopefully you’ll see a good match.

  7. Do not be afraid. You will Never walk alone.
    Come with conviction and true heart my friend. We greet you with open arms and open heart : )

  8. I’m American too with dodgy accent, and no it’s all good. I have previously sat cheering Reading on at Anfield- quietly, but there’s no
    other ground like Anfield for making all fellow supporters feel at home! #YNWA
    Besides , you are a hero!

  9. Haha mate.

    The flag burning was media sensationalism. We have nothing against Americans. If a yank came with £700m and delivered to his promises, there would be no problem with that.

    But just to be sure mate, wear the SOS badge together with the standards corrupted shirt and a “YANKS OUT” cap. That should do it.

    Hopefully they’d be gone by then, or am I too optimistic ?

  10. Mate, don’t even think for one second you won’t be welcomed here. Don’t let a few idiots burning flags, which, incidently, is the most stupid thing I’ve seen so called supporters do, put you off.

    I live 5 minutes away from the stadium, and I’ve heard accents from all around the world at the game. No one will presume you’re guilty by association with those two parasites.

    Doesn’t matter what accent you have, where you;re from in teh world, when you stand on the kop and sing you’ll never walk alone, we’re all one voice. Enjoy it, mate!

  11. Liverpool FC is one big family, and we greet you with open arms no matter where you hail from.

    We all support the same team, dislike the same opposition (including H&G, I hasten to add). We sing together, chant together and celebrate together.

    We’re there for each other during the highs and the lows, the boycotts and the protests.

    You will be welcomed.

  12. To me? (another yank) I think your bigger sin is having gone to a Chelsea game. But the vibe I’ve gotten from both sides of the pond, is that you are a Liverpool Fan first, above where you are from. I wouldn’t worry.

  13. you will be welcome to Anfield, at the end of the day its the owners we don’t like not you. we support people from all over the globe that is part of the LFC community, H&G should be gone by April anyway so you may not have to worry come that time. YNWA

  14. We’ll welcome you with open arms. At the end of the day, we’re all Liverpool fans together. The Hicks/Gillett thing is just our natural revulsion against people who are trying to squeeze every last penny (or cent!) out of the club with no respect for the fans.

    Trust me, YNWA.

  15. I’m a Yank too (admittedly with a Californian accent–yes, Britfriends, I sound like everyone you’ve ever heard on American tv), but that definitely would never stop me from going to a game at Anfield, whenever I’m lucky enough to actually do so.

    I think my fellow Reds fans–regardless of where they’re from–are intelligent and discerning enough to know the difference between Hicks and Gillett vs. actual fans who truly support the team. Anyone who confuses the two is part of an idiotic minority at best.

    That being said, maybe you would want to avoid proclaiming your country of origin by not dressing in a way that announces it (i.e. the University of Virginia cap)? When I lived in the U.K. people always assumed I was local and were always shocked at my accent; I’m not sure if this means I dress like an English person, but wouldn’t an accessory proclaiming your LFC allegiance be more appropriate for Anfield anyway? :)

    *quietly dies of jealousy that you’re getting to go to a game*

  16. Carden, it should be fine. So long as you don’t act like you’re at an obnoxious frat party (there I go stereotyping!) or go in waving stars and stripes like it’s the revolution, you shouldn’t have much to worry about. In such a large group, there are inevitably a few who think all Americans are like Hicks and Gillett, but 99% are sensible enough to know that’s not the case. I went and didn’t have a problem at all, and I’m from the state Hicks doesn’t deserve to call home. Enjoy it!

  17. Don’t worry lad, I got to pretty much every home game & every red is a red regardless of where they come from or of what race they fall under. I see all nationalities at Anfield and have spoke to a quite a few american’s, s-african’s, european’s etc & even one kiwi in the pubs and around the ground. The liverppol faithful is a family and i’ve found that diversity is allways well recieved amongst the true supporters. From my experiences, I would say that should you treat them with politeness and courtesy, they would even go out of the way to be kind back & be interested in your different LFC background. Anybody that is fickle enough to put you in the same bracket simply because you are of the same nationality as them 2 mercenaries, is not worth worrying about anyway – but you’ll be fine im sure – YNWA. Us reds are 1 !!!!

  18. I honestly don’t think so. Hicks and Gillett aren’t welcome here, but everyone else should be, with open arms, regardless of who you support (except maybe Man Utd or Everton, but there’s no harm in a bit of friendly rivalry, eh?)

    As far as I know, the flag-burning was done outside of any known supporters branches, the official supporters club and the Sons of Shankly have already condemned those involved in that incident. Let’s be honest, whoever was behind that can’t call themselves proper football fans if they tar a whole country with the same brush on account of two idiots. That was a stupid thing to do and made the entire club look bad on a global scale, but I wouldn’t use that as a deterrent.

    By all means, go to Anfield. Enjoy yourself, and do the same thing every Red wants: hope our team comes away with 3 points.

    Armchair politics shouldn’t have to belong in the stadiums with public displays of dissent against the board, and it shouldn’t get in the way of us supporting our club, regardless of how well we’re doing on the pitch or who’ll be the chairman at that point. Every Liverpool fan wants a win, and for those 90 minutes we should shut up about the board and let the players and coaches know that whatever happens behind the scenes, as long as they’re wearing a Liver bird, they’ve got our unwavering support.

    That’s what football should be. Not flag burning or alienating thousands of fans just because they’re from a certain part of the world.

  19. Hello Cowboy, just want you to know me for one will never imagine hurting another Kopite in any way. Im a regular and I think I got my cards straight when I say you will be fine. Never seen a red attack another and hope it will never be the case.

    Tho should you be in any sort of trouble out in the public in Liverpool wearing a reds shirt, you`ll be saved the majority of our fans. Do you know why? Cause You`ll never walk alone. Hell even if you had a Everton shirt they would prvent you from getting the stick, so walk on Cowboy! Walk on !

  20. Don’t worry about it, I know a number of Americans that have gone over for games and not had any problems at all. A couple actually coming from the Dallas area.

    What you should do is join any of the UK based forums and introduce yourself, ask questions and get clued up. When I say ‘any’ that does not include koptalk obviously.

    Snide people will use the burning of the star spangled banner and ‘yanks out’ to scare you, seriously don’t let and just be yourself. Those two things have been used for sensationalist purposes, YOU WILL NOT BE TREATED POORLY SIMPLY FOR BEING AMERICAN.

    Enjoy the game, hopefully by then we’ll have new owners.

  21. Even the people who burned the flag wouldn’t cause trouble for you. Just relax.

    I have rarely seen an incident blown out of proportion as much as that flag burning incident. It wasn’t meant to symbolise hatred for all of America, just to be symbolic of the two club-killers.

    *Just read this back and realised that it looks like I may have been one of the flag-burners. I wasn’t (but nor do I condemn the action).

  22. HA!!! You’ve got no worries honestly. Just enjoy the experience, place flowers on the hillsborough memorial, and keep your fingers crossed we win!! Besides you should try having the same fucking name as one of them like me :(

  23. Wow! Great responses guys. I feel much more comfortable. I’ll obviously be on my best behavior and as polite as possible. Talking politics is right out-I’m fairly moderate. Not very Southern of me I suppose.

    I’m very eager to get to Liverpool. It’s my 25th birthday present to myself. I couldn’t think of anything better. As the day gets closer, I’ll probably be posting a few more things about my upcoming trip. Locals and others who have been lucky enough to get to Anfield, I will seek your help.

    @Josh: I was in London and it was midweek against Derby. I just wanted to go to a game. I think Liverpool was playing at Inter in the Champions League that week and I was in Paris. I watched from an Australian pub there. Remember this Torres goal? What a beauty.

  24. Carden, first and foremost you are a Liverpool Fan and that is all that will matter, just go and sing your heart out and get behind the team!! I sit on the Kop and if you are truly worried you can come and sit with me and my mates!! Yes you are American, but your name is not Tom Hicks or George Gillette, therefore you have absolutley nothing to worry about!! Where you come from, what your colour is etc does not matter for you have been born with the greatest privelage of all, you are a LIverpool Fan. Enjoy!!!!

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