Home game at Anfield – Liverpool FC
I’m writing this diary entry with a slight headache, so pardon its brevity. Yesterday I had an unbelievable day. As planned, went to the Stanley (a pub) with my cousin Jackie pick up her ticket. We had a couple of beers and then made our way to Anfield, home of Liverpool FC, in search of a ticket for me. Jackie’s mate Jimmy came through as promised. The ticket cost me 20 quid (pounds) but I didn’t really mind. That’s pretty cheap considering Premier League is the world’s most popular sporting league.
Anyway, we headed inside bout 15 minutes before kickoff. My seat was in the famous ‘KOP’ stand at Anfield. Wow! As the crowd sang ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, the hairs on my arms and nape stood to attention. My dad’s stories and years of watching Liverpool (and my beloved Everton) on TV have come to life. Having been to big footy (Aussie rules) and cricket stadiums back in Oz, I’m surprised how compact a soccer stadium really is. I can see the majority of the pitch from this vantage point.
The singing, the chanting, even the abuse of opposition players or the referee are both exciting and entertaining. It creates an atmosphere like no other. Too bad the game doesn’t match the passion of the fans and the electricity within the stadium. Newly promoted Bradford play deep but attack with well-constructed passing moves. Their defensive formation, with just one striker and five men in midfield is difficult to break down until midway through the half. The fans rejoice in song and walk away happy.
Celebrating a victory
We headed back to the Stanley after the game. Then we headed to The Pacific, where we enjoyed a few more lagers with some great lads. They’re all thrilled to chat with a young Aussie, half-Scouser. We talk about football, my family in Liverpool, life in Oz and my travels. Most of them are surprised a little guy like me is circumnavigating the globe alone.
In the evening I headed into town with Brin and Chris. We went on a bit of a pub-crawl but didn’t stay in one place long enough to really enjoy it. Saw some gorgeous lasses, but it’s hard to chat them up when you’re with two guys 15 years older than you. I need to have a big night out with my younger cousins. That would be entertaining.
A piece of advice for Japanese visiting the U.K. for work or stusy. If you go to a pub with some locals, take it easy! British men (and women) drink both a lot and really quickly. The first couple of hours you’ll average perhaps 3 pints, and then it slows down a bit after that, but geez. . . If you’re not a big drinker, DO NOT try to drink at their pace. No wonder I’ve got a headache this morning!