By Paul Culff
Over the last few days since the squad has undertaken their pre season tour to Asia, you can’t help but feel the pride, power and passion of Liverpool FC. I’m sure I am not the only one to see these blog reports, pictures and videos coming back from both China and Malaysia and feel nothing but proud to be associated with such a great club.
There are not many clubs that can go abroad to numerous different countries and expect to receive the same stunning reception they get on their home turf. One day Arsenal FC holds an open practice session in Malaysia to the tune of 10,000 people, not bad. A few days later, Liverpool FC grace Malaysia with their presence and almost 38,000 show up, awesome!!! Only last night I was watching the Fox Soccer Report on FSC to news of Tottenham arriving in South Africa for their pre-season. The only highlights they could show of the crowd at the airport were “Kaizer Chief” fans fully decked out in Kaizer Chief jerseys and scarves which made me chuckle and feel even better about supporting Liverpool.
Sometimes I read comments from people in and around the Liverpool area suggesting that those overseas fans are not fully informed about the club and can’t voice their opinion because they aren’t closely affected or passionate enough. All I can say is that hopefully these images coming back from Asia are proof that the global support is as strong as ever. Being an Australian living in New York, I can attest to the fact that Liverpool supporters here and in Australia are well informed. Often, they do not have the news directly in front of them as scousers do but we read up and research more keeping us as closely linked as possible.
This past season at the 11th Street Bar at the LFCNY supporters club, I met a gentleman and his wife from Liverpool who couldn’t believe how much we knew about Liverpool FC, its history, its culture and its ownership. This was all at the time when Mr. John W Henry had recently taken over the club. My girlfriend always tells me she met a Liverpool fan in her travels and I ask her “Why do you think you always are meeting Liverpool fans and not Chelsea, Arsenal or Man Utd fans?” and before she can answer I respond with “Because we are everywhere and we are proud”.
Often taking a team to Asia is used as a marketing tool but Liverpool FC genuinely cares about its global supporters and vice versa. Imagine the feeling that our academy starlets get training in front of 38,000 fans or visiting a mall with thousands of people. Even seasoned professionals such as Jamie Carragher, Raul Meireles, Dirk Kuyt, Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush can’t help but be overwhelmed by the amount of support they have received. It makes players realize what it is like to be a part of what is Liverpool FC. Take Charlie Adam for example who had long desired a move to this club. Now he will feel what is like to be a Liverpool FC player with such huge, great support. It would be a little different to Blackpool showing up in China, Blackwho they would ask? I didn’t even know Woy’s WBA were in USA until I say Boaz Myhill get scored on by the opposing GK, haha.
Liverpool has a presence and players and fans need to understand what Liverpool FC is all about. I love Liverpoool FC, I love being a Liverpool fan and I know those fans around the world (outside of Liverpool) feel the same way. It’s a great feeling to be a part of Liverpool FC. Players that leave don’t realize what they are missing until it’s gone and those players that have it don’t want to let it go (not mentioning any names).
YNWA – Culffy