Here’s my Five from Fitzgerald for tonight’s game:
1) The Anfield Wrap’s Kate Forrester
I had the following conversation with Kate Forrester on WhatsApp earlier:
“Can you send me your Five Things from Fitzgerald after the match tonight, I’m the one updating the website,” she said.
“It’s not called Five Things From Fitzgerald,” I replied.
“It’s not called Five Things from Fitzgerald”, I repeated. “No one’s ever called it that and I don’t want you fucking things up by giving it a different name. It’s just Five from Fitzgerald.”
“I’ll call it whatever the fuck I like,” she said.
“No. You. Won’t.”
“Yes. I. Will.”
She then sent me the emoji for a prawn, I don’t know why, and said: “Have that you prick.”
Still, I think I made my point.
A bunch of us were walking to the stadium and amongst us was the genial Clive. He was telling us this was his 99th Merseyside derby and regaling us with highlights of the games he’d seen – The 5-0 when Rush scored four, Kenny’s last game, and the FA Cup semi final at Maine Rd when McDermott twisted and turned before scoring.
Despite the fact this was his 99th derby, the subject turned to next season’s inevitably century and how Clive would mark the special occasion.
A keen cricket fan, he said: “I was thinking of doffing my cap and saluting each stand with my bat.”
A few people laughed, everyone seemed happy, until Charlie said: “Clive, they don’t let you take cricket bats into the stadium mate”
3) Some fella
I sit in the Upper Centenary, almost level with the half way line, and some fella behind me said to his mate:
“This a great view. These are better than TV seats.”
Like the fella from the other week who said “that’s a yellow in the name of the law!”, I knew what he meant but couldn’t stop thinking about his choice of words. Not that I’m complaining – this column would be considerably worse if people didn’t say silly things.
There was a woman sitting next to me with the demeanour of a suburban vicar’s wife. She was neat, pleasant, and undoubtedly made great sandwiches with the crusts cut off.
I liked her and decided she was called Helen.
As the game began, she was was restrained – tapping her sensible shoes, and smiling at the play like she was watching the school nativity. As the half developed, her tapping became more furious and occasionally she would punch her corduroy thigh as a substitute for clapping.
She was getting involved, letting herself go as the action unfolded.
She started talking to herself, barely within my earshot:
“Come on” she whispered.
“Please,” she pleaded.
I kept glancing at her, she was becoming more agitated, more animated at each missed chanced.
“Oh please,” she pleaded again.
Then Origi scored and she looked at the away end and said: “Fuck off back to North Wales you gang of cunts.”
Obviously I’d misjudged her.
The second half is the most I’ve ever laughed at a football match in my life.
Some blue lad got sent off, loads of their fans went home with goals ringing in their ears, and at one point Coutinho and Moreno were just firing shots into their end so their remaining fans had something to do.
Helen spends most of the half giggling and saying: “Take the piss, make them cry. Take the piss, make them cry.”
What a woman.
Meanwhile, on the pitch we’re in total control – the last time I saw this much possession was that Halloween when me and some mates watched all the Exorcist films.
As I leave the ground, I see a young Evertonian upset at what he’s witnessed and looking for answers from his mum.
“What’s wrong with us?” he asks
“Nothing son,” she replies. “It was just one of those nights. It’s this weekend that matters – we’re at Wembley and they’re not.”
Ultimately, you have to admit it’s good parenting. That ability to pretend and convince your progeny of something that isn’t true – like the existence of Father Christmas or the tooth fairy.
But it all catches up with you – kids grow up and parents stop pretending. That’s when you come with face to face with the truth.
They were the first football team to be formed in Liverpool and they called themselves Everton.
“We’ll just name ourselves after this little bit here, this postcode, and we’ll leave the rest for the other clubs that might come along. Maybe Aigburth will want a club? Maybe Toxteth? So yeah, we won’t interfere with that. We’ll just call ourselves Everton and not get in anyone else’s way. We’ll be no trouble, we’ll be over here, called Everton.”
Then another team did come along, saw the opportunity, and took the fucking lot for themselves.
That’s what’s wrong with them.
Up the Liverpool Reds