I HAD an exchange with a United fan this morning.
I expected him to be full of the joys of Spring, what with it being actually Spring (definitely helps) and the fact that his team had just bested their rivals, in their rival’s own back yard. Oh, and to add to all the things that had already gone his way, the three points, the Spring that was definitely in the air, he had also seen Gerrard, often his nemesis, sent off after about 40 seconds. I mean, if I was him I’d be happy. Wouldn’t you?
But he wasn’t happy. He wasn’t happy because “there were twats in our end”.
Shortly after I spoke to a Liverpool fan. Obviously with his fortunes being the reverse of the United fan, and identical to my own, I fully expected the darkness in his mood. I fully expected the misery brought upon by failing to compete, by not being any good at the actual football and by seeing our talismanic skipper do something so unlike him, so unlike him to be unjustifiable and stupid at the same time. But in all honestly he wasn’t that bothered about any of that. He wasn’t that bothered because “there were twats in our end”.
Peculiar concept this, isn’t it?
I would’ve thought, depending on how charitable your outlook is to your fellow man and woman, that if you’re anywhere where there is likely to more than about eight people that you run the risk of encountering a “twat”.
Twats at work.
Twats on the bus.
Twats in the queue at Sainsburys who have collected loads of coupons, amassed billions of points on their nectar card and then scrutinise the bill and the work of the lowly-paid cashier to ensure they are actually saving the £1.27 that they are entitled to while you’re standing behind all of this and the frozen food that you bought, what seems like three days ago, starts to melt.
Twats are everywhere, right?
So how is Anfield, a place that holds over 45,000 actual humans, supposed to be “twat free”?
The obvious answer is that it isn’t but, I repeat, it’s peculiar that people expect it to be.
So, I went back to the United and the Liverpool fan, joined together across the M62 in their anti-twat stance, and asked them, “What were they doing, these “twats”?
Their answers were remarkably similar and centred around this concept of “not real fans” — a group of people who despite going to the match, despite wanting their team to win, despite financially supporting the club they, er, support will never quite make the transformation into “real fan” status. Doomed forever to play the role of “twat” and anger the self-identified “real fan”.
Interesting, I thought. Better make sure I’m not one of these “twats” then. What’s the profile? How can I stop myself being one and remain a “real fan”?
Apparently, it’s the little things, the devil in the detail. So I listened carefully and wrote it all down in my “How not to be a massive twat” book. Volume 17. And here’s what I learnt:
1) Taking photos is a complete no no.
Only to be possibly excused if a massive flare goes off or real fans of one club are hitting real fans of another club. The absolute worst crime here apparently is to take a photo of yourself at this game that you may have travelled hundreds of miles to get to. Rumour has it they got that rule from the newspaper seller outside The Empire State Building who gets REALLY annoyed when tourists take photos of that great big massive building he happens to work in front of. Sorry, you’ve done that too?
2) Hang on, did I say worst crime? Sorry, my mistake. Apparently doing all the above with a selfie stick is even worse.
I too tried to get angry at these when I first saw them but I found it really difficult because it’s fundamentally just a stick that you put your phone on so you can take a better picture of you and your mates from a higher and more flattering angle. Wish I’d thought of that. Sorry, my fault, went off message then. Yeah, selfie sticks. They’re bad and if you’ve got one you’re obviously a twat.
I’m posting it again because it’s that nuts. In The Paddock at Anfield today: pic.twitter.com/3dCzOCkE
— Gareth Roberts (@robbohuyton) October 7, 2012
3) A half and half scarf is the worst thing you can ever wear at a football match.
I must admit this one came as a bit of a shock to me. It came as a shock because I regularly see people wearing bootcut jeans and sometimes I even see people wearing bootcut jeans AND boots. I also sometimes see people wear those combat trousers with about 83 pockets and a Karrimor fleece with loads of dinners down the front. Often these people also have those all terrain shoes when the only terrain they are likely to encounter is pavement and carpet. And once I saw someone wearing a Marillion T-Shirt from the “Conspicuously Unsuitable” tour. Honestly, away at West Ham I think it was. But look, I’m not making the rules am I so half and half scarves it is — they’re definitely the worst thing you can wear at a football match.
I can testify to this too, to the shame this brings upon a “twat”. I once saw a “twat” away at United in the League Cup who was wearing one. I had got talking to him. It was his first game, he had travelled all the way from Hong Kong and he was as childishly enthusiastic as you would expect a person in that position to be. He had got to the ground and saw people who weren’t from Hong Kong selling half and half scarves so, keen to fit in and pick up a souvenir from his big trip, he went ahead and bought one. And everything about that tiny transaction seemed to be going well until a bunch of “real fans” turned up, five minutes after kick off, and publicly shamed him. I looked at the “twat” about five minutes later and the scarf was in a bag and his bottom lip was trembling. What a “twat” for trying to fit in eh? Good thing those “real fans” sorted him out.
4) When your team scores you MUST celebrate in EXACTLY the same way as the real fans.
I wish someone had told me that at Villa away this season when Borini scored after 24 minutes and I accompanied it with a mild celebration befitting of a man who never likes to get too carried away with himself and who was simultaneously conscious of the fact that there were 66 minutes left in the fixture. Because the fella in front of me, who up to that point hadn’t really been watching the game, went absolutely mental when we scored and then turned round to me and, clearly affronted with just mild pleasure, shouted “Come on! We’ve just scored!”. I wish I’d known this rule then so I could’ve avoided ruining this fella’s day.
5) Finally, appearing to obviously be from somewhere else like Hong Kong, Scandinavia, America, South Africa or Australia when the tickets are in high demand and only meet certain criteria also makes you a massive twat.
Yes you. It’s definitely not the fault of the club you support who may sell a portion of tickets to the highest bidder or the “real fans” who credit hunt so they can sell tickets for a profit. No, it’s not their fault at all. It’s yours. You’re a twat.
Phew! Good thing I’ve got all that noted then. The last thing I would want is to go the match and for someone to think I’m a twat just because I’m not exactly like the people who decide who the twats are.
And there was me thinking the “twats in our end” were the people who had adopted “Grumpy Old Men” as a lifestyle choice.
And there was me thinking the “twats in our end” were the people who make being a fan a competition where all of the rules are decided in their favour
And there was me thinking the “twats in our end” were the people who sneer and belittle people for being different and allowing this sneering and belittling to ruin their own experience
And there was me thinking the “twats in our end” were the people singing “Always the victim it’s never your fault” during an inquest process that seems to be doing a good job of deciding fault, and the fans who retorted to that with shouts of “Shut it you Munich bastards”.
Yes, there was me thinking the “twats in the end” were the “real fans” with their unreal axes to grind.
But how wrong I was, because all along the “twats in our end” were the people in the half and half scarves, taking the photos and just being themselves. The people refusing to have a competition, refusing to sneer and belittle and refusing to sing any of those songs.
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda & PA Images
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Brilliantly put . I suspect if these people looked in the mirror they would see a twat looking back at them wearing a half n half scarf.
It’s engrained in the DNA of the football culture to sneer at those who don’t observe the unwritten rules … Been like that for decades – see The End … Admittedly a bit more tongue in cheek than the concept of twats in our end
Great piece Martin, thanks for writing it! This sort of vicious clique-ism is poisonous for everyone involved. People just need to grow up to be honest.
I’m an American who may someday make the trip to Anfield. Could you do a followup feature on the best places to sit where I may not be mistaken for a twat?
Yes what a twat of a piece
Care to explain why, Phil? Twat of a comment otherwise ;-)
There’s a fella sits by me in the Upper Centenary who is a twat. Loud, abusive, carefully racist (i.e stops just short of using language that’ll get him slung out but abuses black & foreign players with more gusto), hates everyone, slags the entire LFC team off, almost gives himself a coronary when his red-faced rants go into overdrive….he’ll think he’s a proper fan. But he’s not. He’s a twat!
And he doesn’t even have a selfie-stick!
Is this the same guy whose muffled rants sound like he’s shouting with his hand over his mouth?
It’s always amused me that “proper” LFC fans get so irate about fans from outside of Liverpool going to a game.
It’s part of what comes from supporting a club with a worldwide fan base. You get tourists who more than likely spend a lot of money to go to a game and more than likely put extra through the club shop and also spend their money in local businesses.
If anything, don’t alienate the visiting match goer. Make them feel welcome and do your bit to enhance their “Liverpool experience”
Agree with everything but the half-and-half scarves. Buy one as a souvenir if you want, but holding up the opposition’s name and colors has never felt right to me.
This piece was so brilliant I had to comment to say thanks. Difficult subject to be fair but you absolutely nailed it. Well done and thanks!
Never mind half and half scarves, there are many fans who think you a twat just by simply wearing a fucking scarf to the game.
(I am using RAWK as my point of reference)
The job of the real fan is to ‘get behind the lads’ ‘back the boss’ and ‘support the owners’. Its not to offer opinion or criticism. If you do you are likely to told by real fan that you a plastic or should consider visiting Stamford Bridge on a regular basis
Rightly or wrongly a lot of fans see these “twats” (I would not call them this) as a visual representation of the loss of the local working class fanbase,being priced out and relegated in importance in comparison to the fan who buys a shirt scarf pie and a program.
There’s nothing in essence wrong with these fans who are perfectly entitled to attend the match; nor would I ever refer to such people as described as “twats”, but I understand the frustration.
The credits thing is definitely a two sided coin, fans bemoan the “oots” or “twats” they see in away ends that required 18 credits but half the time that fan was probably sold the ticket indirectly by a supposed proper fan.
As much as I believe half-and-half scarves and selfie sticks are appalling, I agree with Martin’s underlying sentiment.
Many supporters believe they have the right to gob off at whoever they like whenever they want because they’ve been going the game forever and a day, or I believe, because they come from somewhere within a 20 mile radius of L4. This has fucked me off for a long long time.
Me first game in 1986 was a wonder, not just because it ended LFC 6 Norwich City 2, but because the people of Liverpool stood out as incredible human beings. Beforehand in the pubs, around the ground, in the ground, after the match. The humour, the (mostly) happy faces. I guess we were the greatest team around then.
In 2001, having parked our car near Dortmund’s ground for the UEFA cup final, my two mates and I, none of who have scouse accents, got out the car and bumped into a load of bevvied up reds from Libpool. About three of them wanted to turn us over nick our tickets, the others talked them out if it, but only if we sung the Munich song to them. Fearing a hiding (none of us were big lads) and missing the game, we duly obliged. The half hour after that we all felt sick. I’d been to loads of games before that but never felt the same about LFC fans after that. We are full of twats. It is not LFC exclusive, but we have a ginormous twat %.
TAW shows me what real LFC fans are like. Knowledgable, funny, passionate, accepting. I loved that on The Pink this week post game, it was pointed out that a lot of the voices criticising and giving it down the banks were scouse voices, not ‘wools’, a term I love by the way. Thank you for doing that.
It’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at. Unfortunately I don’t think attitudes will change any time soon.
I wouldn’t want to play for Liverpool. The vitriol aimed a young players everytime they make a mistake rather than getting behind them (we are “supporters” after all!) is getting worse. The stick Sterling was getting yesterday from two old cunts near me in the Main Stand was brutal (and racist without actually using the words). Do they really want one of the best young talents in Europe to leave, a lad who will help us win football matches, which is the whole point of the exercise, for years to come if he stays?
I’m related to a fan like that; he acts as if supporting Liverpool is a very carefully orchestrated ruse, something you can’t do naturally but have to put a mask on and just try to be and do what everybody else does.
This fan also regularly asks for my opinion but, as I don’t have a season ticket and don’t sit in the Kop, I’m not as much a fan (nor am I as entitled to an opinion) as he is. This fan also bemoans his inability to occasionally get tickets to other games he deems to go to because of the (insert foreign country here) fans that only come on day trips. Oh, and they also spend money in the club shop, which is why they are able to get tickets. Awful that. God forbid they should actually spend some money at the club shop.
Rant aside, whenever I go, I always keep an eye out for those fans that generally stand with their back to the game for 95% of the match. They do this as they have little interest in the actual football, they’re there to be vigilant and keep a lookout for the fans that aren’t properly supporting the team, that don’t know every word to every song and don’t support in the ‘right way’.
I’m sure fans of most clubs will tell you there’s tw ats in there end but, sadly, I’m inclined to think we have more than our share, and probably the share of a lot of others too.
Second rant over – great article.
Perfect, but selfie sticks are for twats and that GoPro on the head is hilarious.
Well put. While there are undoubtedly massive issues with our atmosphere, as long as it’s blamed on where people are from, class, attire etc, then it will get worse before it gets better.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve heard locals making snide remarks about people with Irish/southern accents trying to have a sing. No wonder those that try soon give up. But it’s the same for all the locals who sing too, it might not be their accent that’s wrong, but their enthusiasm doesn’t sit well with the grumblers.
Also, what about a game like Man City when it was eerily quiet for 3/4 of the match, then suddenly got pretty damn good (based on the score of course). So the 70-odd-minute period of silence was the tourists, twats and OOTs, while the bouncy last 10/15 mins were all about the locals/regulars? How can that level of noise be made suddenly if the stadium is full-up of the “wrong” supporters? Or maybe it was more to do with the stale and too-cool-for-school brigade suddenly waking up.
Lots more youth and enthusiastic vocal supporters are needed to bring back some atmosphere. Something that gets to me a little as well is the revisionism of some fans about the ‘old days’. No, Anfield wasn’t a swirling, swaying sea of noise, emotion and spontaneous wit every week – that happened at big games and sometimes just when the mood was right. The rest of the time though, or most of it, there was still formidable support – particularly the kop and anfield road. And although we knew we had our own songs that were unique, there actually wasn’t that much snobbery or elitism most of the time about short, sharp burst of fairly generic chants. If it meant support and was easy to get involved with it was a positive. The quality-control check that songs need to pass is a fairly new thing. Lads and lasses were far more likely to just join in than sneer. With all that, the generic chants were never in danger of killing off the better, unique songs
I agree that sometimes we get too caught up in what “being a real fan” is about… but I also think this article is just trying to delberately go against the grain just to be different… you’re so ‘indie’ you’ll even stick up for selfie sticks. I’m sorry I do have a problem with selfie sticks & people taking too many photos. I find it narcissistic. I don’t get it. Some people behind me on Sunday all got their cameras out when Utd got the penalty… keen to get a snap of Rooney compounding our misery. My misery. I could barely look. Let alone want a photo of it. I also don’t like half n half scarves…. I have bought them on European nights, especially against unusual sides. But English sides we play twice a year, every year? Really?! And sorry… call me small minded or bitter but I don’t want anything that has a Man Utd badge on. I rarely get to go away games now but when I do I enjoy it a lot more than going to Anfield because I feel like I’m surrounded by like minded people. I feel like I belong. That’s no coincidence is it? And what’s wrong with that? One of the big problems is… you can’t go to a game & sit with more than 2 or 3 mates. If big groups of ‘twats’ or ‘non twats’ could just gather together, everyone would be happy amongst their own.
Haha, fair play mate!
Glad you finished like that. Naturally, I was thinking ‘am I a twat’. I decided the answer was yes but definitely not at Anfield. I’m innocent on both sides. But then I remembered my photo’s of the Liverpool v Hull game 2008 (I think). We won 6-1 (I think) Gerrard scored from the touch line and Torres got a hat trick. It was my lads first visit to Anfield. I love photo’s. I kind of collect them of my kids after realising there was only about 10 of me, total, prior to adulthood. So, I did the tour. Stand there son, let me get a photo. Statues, gates, souvenir stalls, let me get one with the pitch behind you etc, etc. It’s the only day I’ve ever taken photo’s at Anfield but if anyone had criticised me that day then I would most definitely become a twat. I’m a bit touchy like that. I feel for people like the lad from Hong Kong. I can’t stand seeing enthusiasm tempered by bitterness. Saying that, haha, yesterday the lad in front got his video out every time the Kop sang (can’t remember whether he got it out once or twice), but it made me stop singing. I thought, I don’t want to be the lead singer on your You Tube video ya cunt. Thing is though, I did empathise with him though and gave him no clue that it was pissing me off. I think I’m probably a tolerant twat. I think it but I don’t acknowledge it. I was gonna wrap this up with ‘what happened to fun’ as a dig at the miserable bastards who fill Anfield but the truth is, I don’t see this selfie and check in obsession as fun. I find it a little bit disturbing.
Great article Martin. I go to all home games and sit in the Upper Anfield with my kids in the family section. There’s a few angry twat type fans up there – those who constantly berate our players, get on their backs & never have anything positive to say about the team. They don’t sing & don’t add to the atmosphere. Dreadful for the kids to have to sit through too.
Same in Lower Centenary when I’ve sat in there – moaners down there though! Won’t sing, criticise. I’d rather have a ‘tourist’ who tries to add to the game and support the team than the lot I tend to hear on a regular basis. There’s nothing better than leaving the match with a sore voice from 90 mins of singing & yelling support.
But I do agree that there are twats everywhere… and Anfield has been full of them for years. As much as I said I enjoy going away more than Anfield I’ve also experienced some awful behaviour from our “fans”. But ultimately I can understand the frustration from dedicated supporters, from anywhere, who feel that our support is being diluted too hevaily by people who don’t understand the club or the city. Would the auhor condone someone reading The Sun in Anfield the same as a selfie stick?
I wouldn’t compare the two to be honest.
One is a stick designed to help you take a better selfie, the other is a national newspaper which has systematically lied, hacked and distorted the truth to serve their own political agenda and self interest which has had a consequence of heaping misery upon thousands and thousands of people.
So yeah, me personally, I wouldn’t compare the two
A trite & silly comparison I admit. I suppose what I am getting at is… there would have been plenty of people at Anfield on Sunday who won’t have the knowledge of Liverpool as a city or a club to not read the Sun. Is that ok?
Do traditions… ways of behaving… culture…. history, not matter at all?
Twats in our pub too.
I’d love to be a real fan like the ones who come in at all hours to watch the match only to stand there like Wenger on the touchline, staring up at the big projector screen and having a moan about who’s shit, not up for it, not fit to wear the shirt, shoulda done better. Wish I knew football as much as them. Imagine having such a great knowledge of football, having all the answers to the game, that your only recourse of action is to come down to a pub at 7am on a Tuesday before work to have a moan.
Imagine the twat me who thinks the game is for enjoying and having a laugh. Not even a scouser am I, the big twat that I am.
Absolutely brilliant piece. Totally agree.
good article, yes the world is full of twats and quite a few of them are attracted to football grounds. the big problem is twats don’t realise they’re twats. i recently took my wife to a game and as i was belting out YNWA i noticed she had her iphone out recording the kop in all it’s glory. inside my head i was saying FFS put the phone away you fuckn ejit but better to say nothing that have to explain to her the error of her ways and me looking like a twat. her crimes against football and the traditions of the kop were soon put in the shade by the regulars behind who never cease to amaze with their abilty to produce the most vitriol for the very players they come to support allegedly. no words were exchanged but i can safely say both parties were oblivious to their crimes.
That’s brilliant Martin. Very contrary.
My Real Twat Life in Adelaide Down Under –
Going to the games, early kick off, ooh midnight, a luxury.
3pm kick offs, 2am, welcome to the grave yard shift.
Those Sunday 4pms are a real killer… do I stay up and watch live, or pretend it’s live at 4am? just enough time to watch before starting work at 7am. Midweek evening games, running out of excuses about bad traffic and emergency early morning visits to the dentists.
Listen religiously to TAW, feel a part of it, we are all in this together, oh no sorry, I’m a twat.
I’m a tourist twat as well, paid for tourist twat tickets in the Anfield Road End, Spent loads in the club shop, even bought a TAW t-shirt to wear for the big day, I’m a twat. Villa did a job, Liverpool did very little, but I had a great day though, lots of photos, I’m a twat.
The Reds are coming to Adelaide and Brisbane! Tickets for both games wow, flights and hotel booked for Brisbane. Time off work sorted…”I’m a Real Fan now”
‘TAW’ t – shirt !?!
Glad you recognised that one Maude, I tried to be subtle.
1. Taking photos is ok, just because a few people don’t like it doesn’t make it a huge point. Taking endless selfies mid match or taking photos of Rooney and Di maria from every angle possible. Pisses of the people around because their son/daughter or any other family is at home cant afford a ticket. People are allowed to take photos just that theres a match on as well.
2. Selfie sticks are just long and uncomfortable. get in the way off the match. There not just hated in Anfield or football for the matter. Universally split opinion because people think you look like a tool with a pole a few feet in front with a camera attached.
3. Half and Half scarfs? you taking the piss? WHY would you buy anything with a united badge on or any other rival team? Your there to support Liverpool in their biggest game of the season. Passion, hatred and bitterness. No shaking hands with home and away end or swapping scarves. Buy any scarf you want, buy a Roy Hodgson red and white for all i care but your there to support the reds not for a nice draw and clap the Utd bus away.
4. Celebrate how you want to celebrate i never see people being berated for not risking a neck brake over an equaliser at home to stoke or hull. Neither at aways either. I doubt you ruined his day. Pathetic point this.
5. No one likes touts, no one.How foreign support get tickets is often suspect. Why wouldn’t someone pay £500 for two tickets for one of the biggest fixtures in european football? Still there is an argument Scouse kids are deprived by touts and unfair ticket office regulations. How can a 13 year old come up with £60 let alone £250. Their kids being deprived of something that all the dads and mums will so fondly look back on. Someone who will go to one game and go to an arsenal home game next. Not their fault they live so far away but nor is it the young Scouse contingency.
So maybe blaming the Scandinavians or Asians, yanks or even uk supporters outside of merseyside is a valid frustration. The fact is though at home when you want to blast 2000 volts of passion into a player in reds veins. You cant do it while no one around knows fields of Anfield road or even basic we are Liverpool. I don’t expect them to learn english for the kop but i wont blame the week in week out contingency criticising for the lack of passion from a majority of foreign support. There is some good lads from all around the globe but day trippers will kill the flags, the songs and the famous nights. They will turn Anfield into a museum. The clubs know were the money is.
As for Munich shouts, it is what it is. Some have gone with that kind of mentality already in their systems others will have heard “the sun was right Murderers” or “Always the victims its never your fault” or “In your Liverpool slums” the will have bitten on the rod hung out by the away end. Dont blame them, disgusting songs but sometimes you just say things you don’t mean.
The natives are restless but the club know once they leave theres no coming back. So they see the future and with their half and half scarves. People don’t like change but english football isn’t an institution now its a brand. The young hear about saint Etienne at home and wish they had been born fifty years earlier. They heard about King Kenny and looked at David ngog in front of them.
You probably had some bad times with local support you think were knob heads because we celebrate a rich culture passed down for years. Liverpool is a city that rejects the south and goes hand in hand with a large Irish community. The unique mix has formed one of the most world wide renowned football teams of all time and Everton too. They stand for a belief system passed down and protect it with every kick. It is for some Life, Football and Death.
Well Your The Twat I Guess Im Trying To Say xx
As an American supporter who travels over for matches and has had bullshit like this happen to me I’d just like to say thanks for writing this
I agree with a lot of this (although selfie sticks are for twats and it doesn’t matter where you use them) but I can understand the frustration of fans who don’t properly follow the club attending games when tickets are in such short supply. For example, earlier this season I saw a group of foreign fans on a train down to London having been at a game. Imagine my face when they pulled out the S*n and started reading it….people like that shouldn’t be at games and I don’t care how much they spend in the club shop.
They did it because they didn’t know any better, Becky (yes, it is possible). Your job is to educate, not berate.
1, It’s a matter of timing for me, nothing wrong taking pictures inside or outside the ground. Anfield is a cathedral of football and I’ve visited other cathedrals of football on the continent and have happily, and shamelessly, indulged in this. However to do it while the game is on, or worse still, when Rooney is about to take a penalty or Fabregas is about to swing a corner in is something that I personally just do not get at all and find embarrassing.
2, Selfie sticks, where do I begin? Made by divvies, bought by divvies, used by divvies. My opinion that of course, no right or wrong and I respect anyone of a different persuasion regarding this. I hate selfies as they are and I’ve reluctantly been a part of this many a time, usually when my wife decides it’s time to send her mate one, often with her pulling a zany face or pouting, me looking like awkwardness personified. They just seem all to vain for my liking.
3, Half and half scarves are one of the things that epitomises modern football for me, although still a long way down from unaffordable tickets etc. I don’t find them offensive, just fucking weird. Not a scarf man myself, if I were I’d probably opt for the red and white ones, you know the old fashioned ones. Boss them.
4, I doubt you ruined this man’s day and you’ve paid your money to watch so you can celebrate how you like. I have to say though I have never ever celebrated going in front and yet have remained conscious of how long of the game is left still, thus neutering my celebrations. Sometimes I go nuts, sometimes I am a bit more reserved but never because I think “easy fella, 26 minutes to go yet”.
5, This used to be a bug bearer of mine when I was a teenager, didn’t understand wools/foreigners etc coming to “our” ground to watch “our” team. This resentment I think had its roots in the winding up from Evertonian mates of how local their support was and how ours, well, wasn’t. Over the years and through basic maturing I’ve come to accept this, and respect a lot of the dedicated non-scousers who are a credit to this club.
Good article, a lot I disagree with but it was thought stimulating and that will do me nicely.
Good reply. Article wasn’t bad either.
I hear and see loads of negativity from “real fans”. Some are just waiting for that first defeat in 14 to get back on their judge’s bench to point an accusatory finger at everyone and everything they have ages ago decided isn’t good enough for their club. It’s so sad. The same people usually watch the games in physical distress. Agonizing over everything that goes on during the 90 minutes. Confident it will all turn to shit whether it’s 0-0 or we’re winning 3-0 on 85 mins. (OK, I do that to an extent too). Like your typical army lieutenant they’ll be quiet if the grunts are showing good form, but anyone even comes close to dropping the ball and all hell breaks loose.
I also see loads of tourists at the game not contributing to the atmosphere, but rather just being, well, tourists. People wearing Liverpool shirts and scarves but acting like neutrals. And so they’re entitled to, I guess. But excessively taking photos at any event is a waste of life, and the same applies to doing so at a football match. Why would you take seven million pictures for later viewing, when the thing itself is happening right there waiting for you to take part. Even if it’s a once in a lifetime thing. The photos are never going to give you feelings anything like fully taking in the actual experience will.
Sure, take a couple of pictures of your favourite players if you like, but please try to have an ability to make circumspect decisions.
Much of football has turned into shit, you know. So much shit to endure it’s killing me. I don’t even watch much of it anymore. Only Liverpool. It’s just people waiting to have a go at fellow people. People in constant state of outrage. It’s killing me. Good thing there’s TAW.
When I was a kid growing up in Liverpool in the 70s and 80s it was incredible to me that people from all over the world supported my team (before satellite telly and the internet). I was so proud of that, that they chose us, as opposed to falling into it through an accident of birth.
Thanks for this timely reminder that no-one deserves to have their dreams crushed at Anfield, especially not by their fellow reds.
Brilliant peice , honestly fuck those people
Brilliant piece. This is an issue that really bothers me.
I’ve been supporting Liverpool since I was a child. I am from the Philippines. Yes, I am a wool. I guess I am a twat.
Before I went to Liverpool, I managed my expectations about the city and its people. I told myself not to expect to be welcomed into the city, and not to be treated as one of the Scousers, especially at Anfield. I knew that people would give me disapproving looks. I expected the worst.
I was proven wrong. I immensely enjoyed my time in this beautiful city. The moment I step foot into Liverpool for the first time ever, until the moment I left, most of the Scousers I met and chatted with were so friendly and welcoming. Everyone was so helpful. I remember a gent asking me if I needed help going around the city, or finding my way to the stadium. Whilst waiting for the bus, a lovely elderly couple offered to split a taxi with me and my brother. At the grounds, the man selling the match programmes, as well as the staff in the LFC shop, were so nice to me. Even most of the men seated around me in the stadium were sweet. I was so excited, it being my first time to finally watch a match in the hallowed grounds of Anfield. I was trying so hard to contain myself in the fear of being frowned upon by the locals and regulars. I tried to act normally, like it was no big deal, but at one point, I said, fuck it – I’m just going to enjoy myself.
So I did. I took photos both outside and inside the stadium (nobody looked at me disapprovingly, by the way). Who cares, it’s my first time. I bought stuff from the club shop. I waited for the players to arrive, and took more photos. I smiled at everyone who was smiling at me. Everyone I encountered was happy for me, since I made my dream come true. I was bouncing in my seat, lapping up the pre-match atmosphere and watching the players warm up. At this point, I couldn’t contain my excitement anymore and I was squeezing my brother.
Then came the Scouse girl who sat next to me. She looked at me head to foot, with her eyebrows raised, then proceeded to sit down, talked to her bf for a bit, then texted on her phone. The match started. She was still on her phone. Half time came and she was still on her phone. WBA scored a goal against us – she briefly looked up, and proceeded to text again on her phone. All the way until the match ended, she was on her phone.
So, I’m the twat here, yeah?
As for the old grumpy men, I did encounter some of those too. Slagging players off, cursing, growling, what have you. Atmosphere-wise, it was really flat, which was a shame. I was looking forward to singing and chanting along, but there were only a handful of songs sung, and even “Liverpool, Liverpool” was chanted in such a sad tone. Mind, this was during a period when we weren’t winning any matches and the general mood was gloomy, but still. I was scared to start my own singing. That would be so weird. Nobody was singing in the Lower Centenary.
For the record, I got our match tickets from the club site. So no, I did not spend an exorbitant amount of money.
Anyway, my point here is, a lot of people slag us foreigners/OOTs off, but what about those who go regularly yet do nothing else but complain, and give the players a bollocking? What about the girl who was sat next to me? Are they not twats, because they’re Scouse and regulars to the stadium? Are people like me, who have made an effort all throughout the years to learn about not only the history and traditions of the football club, but the city of Liverpool as well?
I am glad that I did not have a horrible experience, unlike the lad from Hong Kong. But to this day, there is that stigma – that foreigners/OOTs do not have the right to support the football club we love so dearly. I feel that if I open my mouth and give my opinion on LFC, nobody’s going to listen because my opinions are not valid, being a wool. It’s heartbreaking.
But I am also glad that there are the Scousers who do not discriminate, those who are friendly and sweet enough to welcome us into the city you call your home. It is these people who have made me fall even more in love with Liverpool, and I can’t wait to be back.
Munich songs havent been sung en masse at Anfield since Hillsborough happened, you might get the odd shout or someone doing plane gestures but that’s it.
It massively annoys me hearing this argument “yeah but what about the Munich singers” being rolled out to justify the behaviour and attitide of the new breed of fans. Munich singing is a totally separate issue to why loads of us are fed up with the new breed, their tacky corporate brand of supporting the team and their utter cluelessness about our traditions as fans.
I also think the other examples above (e.g going mental or not at a Borini goal in a run of the mill away) are petty and miss the broader point.
This isn’t a scouse v non scouse argument. It’s not a colours / dressing casual argument. Some of the best reds I know wear colours, some dont. Some of the best reds I know are from all over. It’s about people “getting” it. We’re Liverpool FC, scouse, representative of the city which bears its name. The famous atmosphere which everyone wants to see and buy into is part of that – raw, scouse, working class passion. If it’s lost forever, then we become generic club FC – middle England, selfie stick waiving, sun reading quaisi-cockney crowd. Sorry, I dont want that. I want to be part of something that feels scouse and feels Liverpool – raw, angry, passionate and acerbic. It’s up to the newcomers to embrace that and become part of it – not for us to roll out the red carpet to a series of social inadequates there to spend 90 minutes watching Linda pout from the Main Stand and screeching at Stevie G.
I can give an example of what I mean here. I normally sit in 207 in the Kop where its mostly scouse lads who’ve been there since the seats went in, decent atmosphere, people letting on to each other – it feels like going to watch Liverpool should be. Knowledgeable time served fans. The final game of last year I ended up in the lower Anny next to the away fans, and if there were 2 dozen locals in there I’d have been amazed. Half and half Standard Charter scarfs, ipads aloft, a Kenyan and Indian flag being waved – it was just weird. I’m not going to abuse anyone due to where they’re from, or because they look different to me. The fact is though, in a game when we had an outside chance of winning the league it wasn’t like being at a Liverpool game. If that becomes the norm around all of Anfield, the golden goose will have been killed once and for all. I don’t buy into the idealised notion of one big happy family, there’s 43,000 people watching a footy match and we’re all different. No problem there. But there used to be a thread which united us and made the crowd, at times, greater than the sum of its parts. Scouse. Bit of swagger, bit of anger, bit of a ‘fuck you’ attitude. That’s what did Chelsea in 2005 whereas this season, most of the crowd were just happy to see Madrid come to town, rolled over and had their tummies tickled.
The biggest load of bollocks I’ve ever read. This has made me so angry. Fuck off to Old Trafford with you Utd friend, people like you are the reason why Anfield is shit. Twat.
Which one is shite? Andy’s posts or the original post?
Well said Martin!
The behaviour of some others is irritating (I probably irritate them too) but so what? Nobody died and made any of us Mr (or Mrs Liverpool). The fact that we are from Liverpool and not somewhere else is an accident of birth.
The tale of the fan from Hong Kong saddened me more that I can say. The fact that grown men thought it was OK to upset somebody because he was wearing an article of clothing (not one I’d ever wear but who cares?) is shameful. It does our reputation as being a welcoming city no favours either.
I’ve seen one of my mates berating people for being Korean and being at the game and I was ashamed of him for it.
“Nobody died and made any of us Mr (or Mrs Liverpool).”
Speak for yourself.
Perhaps the best article on TAW yet. As one of the American twats that’s taken pics at Anfield it’s encouraging to read a little rationality from a local.
I enjoyed reading that. People forget their first ever games, the incredible excitement and anticipation; not many didn’t dress up in some Red memorabilia, whatever the fashion of the time.
My first Anfield match was 1964; as supporter of the visitors!. I’ve now been an Anfield regular for 40 years, season ticket for 30, and regular away game fan. As I’m not from merseyside I “enjoyed” the cynical comments of “out of towner” for many years before seeming to be accepted as genuine .
Some things never change …..
Where’s the best website for these stick things ….??!!
After several years of getting up at 6am to watch Liverpool play, my friends and I made our way to Liverpool and Anfield, unknowingly becoming TWATS.
We took pictures. Tons of pictures (no selfie sticks tho). We honored the Hillsborough memorial. We took the tour. Yep, bought more than we could fit into our suitcases at the shop. Took our obstructed view seats early, sang every word that we knew. Gloriously celebrated as Andy Carroll put us ahead vs Man City. The poor steward had to ask us to leave we stayed so long. To this day, I still wish I had purchased a half-n-half with the date on it. Still one of the greatest sporting events I’ve ever been to. I can’t imagine being so angry at life that you need to disparage a fellow supporter, especially at the grounds. What a day-to-day life that person must have.
If that day, one of the best in my life, makes me a twat? I’ll take it.
Great piece here.
Its about time out of town & foreign fans are welcomed with open arms & treated with respect by local scousers.
If you are so worried about the atmosphere then introduce these fans to a few scallies who’ll get them on the lemmo and sort em a North Face jacket to look the part.
No matter where they’re from…China, Pakistan, Wigan to Parramatta…buy em a few bevies and teach them a few bouncy songs like the Gary Mac and the Daniel Sturtidge song in the hours leading up to the match. Show them how its done in Block 305.
We are Liverpool fans…the greatest supporters in the world are we not?
Educate not castigate! Welcome not Hellcome!