By Shehzad Moin @sheimo
It’s a question I get asked a lot. I’m sure the same applies to millions upon millions of LFC fans who aren’t Scouse by birth. Football today is a global game and the most successful clubs all have a worldwide fan base. Marketing, media, sponsorship, the lure of the EPL all make it impossible to not be drawn in to English football like John Terry to his team mate’s wives!
So why do I support Liverpool? Like Antoine I didn’t wake up one day and decide to support LFC. I didn’t look at my mates’ collection of footy stickers and decide on the team with the best perms! Maybe being born in the ’80s and growing up abroad LFC were the team whose matches got shown on TV the most. Maybe I mistook the Liver Bird for the Thundercats logo! I really don’t know. All I remember is having heard and seen a lot of LFC over the years and being only 10 years old when my family moved to England, they were the only team whose players I could name. But surely that’s not enough reason to support a team?
So when people asked me who I support my answer was “I like Liverpool but I don’t really support anyone.” Please bear with me before throwing stones! I started watching English football with more interest. Liverpool, at the time being managed by the silver haired Roy Evans, was certainly one of the most pleasing teams to watch – attacking, passing football with somewhat of a care free defence. The mazy runs of McManaman, the passing skills of the now jar headed Jamie Redknapp, the calamity of David James, the wing play of Jason McAteer, the incredible passion and songs from the best fans in the world. You could hear You’ll Never Walk Alone as soon as the cameras cut to Anfield on match days. But the thing about LFC that attracted me most was a certain number 23.
Jamie Carragher was yet to don the shirt now synonymous with him. But another club legend – and I mean a true legend of mythical status – had the shirt before him. His amazing strike rate, his cheeky celebrations, his undeniable love for the club, the plaster he often wore on his considerable nose and a left peg touched by God himself. I would argue for hours with mates on the school playground about why he’s better than Alan Shearer, Ian Wright or Andy Cole. I always knew (unfortunately incorrectly) he’d become LFC’s all time top scorer.
Now every time I realise that I am a part of the best fans not only in football – but in sports full stop, I thank him for brining me into this family. The ups and downs, the heroes and villains, the unprecedented treble, the miracle of Istanbul, the joys in victory and the togetherness in defeat, the songs, walking through a storm, the legacy of the past and the hope for the future are just some of the reasons I support this club. So now when I tell people I support Liverpool FC and they ask why, I don’t tell them because Robbie ‘God’ Fowler was my favourite player. I ask them “Why would I support anyone else?”