SATURDAY morning was after Friday night, which was the Si Hughes/Jamie Carragher book launch. Nervous drinking turned into celebratory drinking and I got in a bit later than I had planned. Although not as late as our esteemed author, who found somewhere to serve him alcohol until 5.30 in the morning.
So Saturday morning was a touch slower and blurrier than I had planned. We had a meeting in the office at 12, about Anfield Wrap stuff. A couple of the guys involved are based elsewhere so it is easiest to do it match day when everyone tends to be about. However my offer of presenting financial information was suddenly less appealing as I was struggling to count to 10. I remembered to take all the figures, but forgot my season ticket.
The meeting was fine and fun and when it got to my bit no-one asked any difficult questions — like “why do you smell like a brewery?”. Afterwards we all went for lunch in that new Tom Hall place on the front, because it’s near and it’s got loads of TVs. Glenn Price was in there, and strangely when it got to full time in the Manchester derby everyone clapped.
As we ate and drank time moved on and I was nowhere nearer getting my ticket for the match. Craig Hannan has turned up by then and we were having too much fun making fun of Johnny Milburn’s lunch to want to go anywhere. However when people started talking about taxis to the ground I had to admit that the ticket fairy wasn’t going to help me out, and so I had to go home if I wanted to watch the Reds.
Four months we’d waited to watch the Reds at home. I’d planned to get there early, have a walk round the developed ground and get in to hear 8,000 extra people singing You’ll Never Walk Alone. Instead I was running from the bus stop as the game kicked off and arrived at my seat sweating and late. Ah well. Start as you mean to go on.
Luckily, the Reds waited for me and then proceeded to be mustard. I thought we might win 5-0 until Lucas Leiva decided he should even it up a bit, like it was a school game that was a bit one-sided. Instead half-time was nervy. Conversations drifted to times we’d thrown away two goals leads and the sneaking suspicion about this team that you just can’t trust them.
Luckily the players had other ideas. At 3-1 we could relax again. Well, a bit. Jamie Vardy should have scored another. But that quickly blew over and we could enjoy ourselves once more.
We did enjoy ourselves, didn’t we? It was brilliant, and a little mad to see the new Main Stand literally bouncing. Everyone else seemed to feed off that in a spirit of “Yeah this is meant to be a laugh, isn’t it”. Maybe it was because we hadn’t seen each other for a while but everyone seemed to be a bit wittier and a bit prettier…well apart from my dad.
There was the old fella by me calling Nathaniel Clyne “Patsy” and willing the team forwards with his arms every time they surged forwards. And surge forward they did. There was the fella behind telling his mate that “that Jimmy Milner can do anything you know” as he fizzed another ball into midfield. There was a beautiful European couple who celebrated the final whistle by necking the face off each other. I loved them all.
After the game we bounced down to my dad’s car to find ourselves blocked in. We thought it was a late fan who had thrown his car anywhere but soon discovered it was a resident who had blocked us in on purpose as he was “sick of coming home from work on a Saturday and not being able to get anywhere near my house.”
He was a bit mad to be honest, but he has a point as well. For those who live on the outskirts of Anfield outside residents only parking, match days are an inconvenience they see very little benefit from. Now the club are dumping an extra 8,000 people on them with little suggestion of improvements in public transport. It is something they will have to bear in mind if they do develop the Anfield Road end.
Once our car had been freed I went out to do The Pink, where he had a discussion on whether we were “out” or “out out”. We were very much out out by the end.
It was an evening when everything and everyone came together. Me and Tim Smith started in Newington where we saw Adam Melia, who I think had been out out since Thursday, and Ben Johnno. Then we did a short pit stop in La’go to see Tim’s wife before meeting my mates in Pogues.
That is normally our final point until they chuck us out. (Some, occasionally, earlier than others.) However some of the lads wanted to watch the boxing, so after a few texts round on where had it, we all found ourselves in Esperanza on Hope Street along with, seemingly, everyone who had ever contributed to The Anfield Wrap.
Drinks were had, Brazilian forwards were toasted, cocktails were discarded and the late night dancing was suspect. A lot of fun, though. Until Sunday morning at least.
Up The Tequila Reds.
Liverpool 4 Leicester City 1 Reaction
- The Pink: Our Immediate Post-Match Podcast
- Match Review
- Match Ratings
- How It Happened
- Ten From The Terrace
For podcasts on every Liverpool game, exclusive interviews, past seasons reviewed and more subscribe to TAW Player for just £5 per month. Minimum sign-up is just one month. If it’s not for you, all you’ve shelled out is a fiver! More information here.
LISTEN TO OUR WEEKLY *FREE* SHOW HERE: