by IAN SALMON
IT’S the small moments that give you the true measure of a man.
Leaving The Kop at the end of the memorial service via Back Rockfield Road (go on then, it’s the alley way down to ‘The’Arry’) we noticed a small gathering surrounding a van at the end of Lothair Road (boarded up houses, owned by the club, leads up to the park). There was a degree of commotion, a light hubbub.
The object of this? The cause? Roberto Martinez in amongst a huddle of Liverpool fans, phones aloft, dodging in and out of his embrace for opportunistic ‘selfies’.
We know how passionate, how moving, how heartfelt Martinez’s address at the memorial service had been; how he echoed his Chairman’s speech of the previous year in saying that ‘they took on the wrong city’. We knew that he just simply ‘got it’.
The applause that he received was warm, genuine, appropriate. It was for him and for the club that he stood as an emblem of, and everything that they and their supporters had done over the last quarter of a century.
This small moment on the corner of a street though was purely him and purely of the moment itself. He posed with fans not his own and he smiled and he shook hands and he chatted. And he was warm and sincere and personable and charismatic and instantly, obviously, likeable.
And in time he moved on. Up Lothair Road. Smilingly ignoring the cries of “Ey, Bobby lad, is Barkley comin’ then or wha’?” as he walked. To his waiting car, one would assume.
One would assume incorrectly. Roberto Martinez, the manager of Everton Football Club, the manager of our neighbours across Stanley Park, WALKED across that Park back to Goodison. Roberto Martinez, once linked with ourselves, supposedly once having turned down our approach, walked amongst thousands of Liverpool fans and shook hands and chatted and smiled and was charming and graceful and just basically an utterly nice guy.
That a man walks across a park in daylight seems such a small thing but tell me this: where else would this happen?
This happens here. Only here. On days as important as yesterday, on days when unity and support and understanding are everything, days where we demonstrate to all that Red or Blue we are, and always will be, one family.
The small moments are everything.
Absolute class. Merseyside is united for justice and remembering the 96.
Very moved by Martinez heartfelt touching speech. There was no us, there was no them only we ,united for the common and just cause. Very impressed!
Shades of Rafa. .
More reason to love the great city.
That’s brilliant, I already liked him before yesterday but he has shot up in my estimation. Decent fella
Good on yer lads. We’re really proud of our club and Roberto Martinez is the embodiment of our values and spirit. You sum up what we say nearly every week: he just ‘gets it’. Changed my mind about Brendan Rodgers as well. He comes across as a good ‘un.
I’ve liked Martinez for quite a while and it’s stuff like this, and how he spoke out against Ferguson and his loyalists in their treatment of Rafa, that proves what a class act he is. The city of Liverpool are privileged to have the two best managers in the Premier League IMO.
Well said and well put by the writer. On a day when footballing rivalry pales into insignificance, it was great to see that both sides have always embraced each other regarding Hillsbro’ as we where all touched by the tragic events. As a Blue I watched as much as The Memorial service as possible and as usual found it touching and emotional but also proud how well Liverpool Football Club conducted the whole occasion. One day Justice will prevail.
He’s an absolute Wigan legend. Pure class he called at my grandads a couple of years ago when he was 100 and had all the time in the world. When my grandad died a few month later he got in touch to say how sad he was and honoured to meet him.
Class act. Another thing which impressed me more than anything, was that he had clearly rehearsed his speech and barely ever looked down at his sheet. Nothing against brendan who had more to say and had to read most of his, but the touches like that are mightily impressive
great piece. i was incredibly impressed and moved by Martinez’s speech. A shame he is at Everton from a football rivaly perspective as he has been and will continue to be good for them, i reckon. however from a merseyside pride point of view, it;s absolutely great.
I’m from Chester and I had the privilege of seeing martinez captain Chester for a couple of years at the end of his playing days. A true gentlemen and a big supporter of the club when they were in financial difficulty a few years back. Represented Chester incredibly well and now Merseyside (and Everton in particular of course) are lucky to have him.