Hendo’s Hopping

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by @SirBenjiB 

I don’t normally write this sort of thing, but there are two reasons I’ve decided to give it a go. The first is I’m fed up of reading about the latest Suarez incident, and everyone imaginable having an opinion. The second, and if I’m honest greater reason, is I’m a bit mental. Not as in I’ll bite someone (sorry Luis!), and not in the way I’ll spend the whole of a party telling people I’m crazy and then spend the night acting normal except I laugh louder than everyone else. I’m more of a ‘organise your DVD collection for you’ mental, or ‘I can’t drive away until I’ve checked I’ve locked the front door 20 times’ way. My obsessions are very varied and in no way related. It ranges from certain TV shows or films, includes things like clothes and The Simpsons iPhone game, and goes all the way to the SAS (the Special Forces, not Sturridge and Suarez) with a lot of other things in between. One of things I am most obsessive with is Liverpool Football Club, which has led me to writing this. I don’t want to say I have an OCD out of respect for people who genuinely do, but it must be something similar.

I have a very secret folder at home in the spare room containing almost everything Liverpool I have collected over the years. When I say it is very secret, what I really mean is I’m assuming that the Liverpool badge on the folder will put my wife off taking a look inside. She’s had more than enough of my constant talk and obsession with the club, and I don’t think she would willingly inflict more upon herself by looking at something I’m not forcing her to. For something Liverpool related not to make it into this folder, it’s got to be junk. I love anything and everything, and want to keep it all. Maybe I’m a hoarder with a little bit of OCD thrown in the mix. The contents of this folder include any Liverpool related photos I have, team sheets (detailing who played, scored, and substitutions amongst other stats) that I’ve made myself for every game I’ve attended, and football stickers for the club. I could write on and on about what’s in this folder, and about each particular obsession with Liverpool FC, but it wouldn’t be a lot of fun, for you or me. I also have almost every DVD and book I can get my hands on as well.

I think what drives me to be like this is I’m scared of forgetting anything. With football, events can change so quickly that memories that should be cherished can be forgotten. I hate using this example, but I’m sure some people will remember Stevie’s slip vs Chelsea, and forget the fantastic season we had with certainly the best football we have played in my time. Good or bad, I want to remember it all. I want to remember players that didn’t necessarily win anything, but who I loved to watch. Jamie Redknapp didn’t win anything near the amount his talent deserved, but I feel it’s important that talent is remembered. It was still evident in the Celebration of the 96 game. I’m not trying to say his talent is forgotten by anyone, but it’s important to me that it lives on in my head. I do this by collecting DVDs, books, pictures and memorabilia and putting it in my folder, for me to look through and relive.

Another thing I want to remember is favourite kits. I’ve always loved a good kit. I still remember when I was 10 and my parents bought me the home, away, keeper home and away for that season. Any minute I wasn’t in my school uniform I was wearing one of these kits, and would rotate between them. I still remember asking my mum repeatedly for hours on end if the latest stain I had got on my shirt would come out. I hated having any imperfections on them, and any little mark would worry me until it was washed and removed. I still love kits, although I thought I had grown out of this obsessiveness with them. That was until the 12/13 kit. In my eyes this was the perfect kit, and rekindled my love for a good football shirt. Everything from the old school LFC badge, to the fact it was 100% red. I would like to point out I only bought the shirt, I don’t want to face any accusations of being a full kit wanker. 2012/13 wasn’t a great season. We ended it pretty well but it was a season of transition with few highlights. I want to remember it though. It was a season this young exciting team started to come together. It was the season Suarez started to show how prolific he is capable of being. This is the season when Sturridge and Coutinho arrived and upped the excitement levels even more. This was all done in my favourite kit from my time supporting the club. It may not be significant memories, but its things I want to remember, and so there are hundreds of photos of this season in my folder.

I guess my point is that with a league that’s ever changing, and when winning seems to be more important than ever we shouldn’t lose sight of little victories and memories. Last season was amazing for so many reasons, yet one of my favourite memories is when Sturridge back heeled the ball for Suarez’s goal against Cardiff, and Henderson was jumping around like an excited fan with the best seat in the place. I want to remember all of this, and everything about the club that I love. I know some people can do this just fine without having to have a folder containing it. I don’t trust my memory to remember it all, and I’m scared to forget it so I have my folder of Liverpool. My folder of memories. And in case anyone is wondering, of course Hendersons jumping around made it in there. Hopefully next season there will be a lot more memories like Hendo’s hopping, and a league championship to go with it.