Reading some of these have made me want to talk about my relationship with the city. Before my first visit, in 1996, that information came from my granddad (not really my granddad, but he earned the title but that story is for another time and place), he talked of a friendly place, one where his Irishness wasn't an issue, where despite his imposing presence, 6' 7", hands like shovels, he was accepted. His natural charm, the fact that, to this day, he is the nicest man I know all contributed to his getting on. To this day he describes Liverpool as his fourth favourite place in the world, which sounds low, but he has travelled and when you hear the other three, maybe some of you will understand. The three although were his childhood town, by my grandmother's side and Hong Kong, though the latter was always a partially jokey answer, work took him there and he loved he could buy suits and other clothes, made to measure, affordable, something his 6'7" frame wasn't used to in the UK.
My first visit came in 1993 . I remember the ease of getting served, not even having to use my 'fake' ID, as I was 16, a 2-2 draw with Swindon Town, not a great result, was my first Anfield experience, though not the first time seeing them live, I'd seen them in Germany and several grounds south of Birmingham, though always in the home end and knowing I had to keep my trap shut. This was the biggest thing I noticed, as I breathed in my first experience standing on the Kop, I noticed Swindon fans in with us, no violence and it was clear, be respectful and we'll tolerate you. It's something that made me fall harder for the club, something that has eroded a little in the last two decades, but I was heartened to see Dortmund fans treated the same way, in the Upper Centenary. For me, this added to the uniqueness of the club. Little things, the applauding of the opposition keeper, the, sometimes grudging, respect and acknowledgement of good play by the opposition and, last but not least, the atmosphere. Not active for 90 minutes, but it was ubiquitous, coming in waves.
I've abandoned going to away games and sitting in the home end, for the most part. I travel up to Anfield, stay over and I've been lucky. I've not, so far, had a bad experience in the city. I'm a little odd, I offer a little TMI at times, but I've always had a great time, especially meeting new people, including several on here, you know who you are. I'm an outsider, currently Bristol is where I live, but every time I hit Merseyside, I'm made to feel at home and for that, I'm eternally grateful.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2016 10:11:45 am by Roddenberry »