Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Anfield Experience pt.2


Part 2 of my Anfield Experience! Read here of the first part if you haven't yet.

I had booked a stadium and museum tour for 9.30, so it was so good to have a place to stay 100 yards from the stadium!

Here you have the statue of Bill Shankly, Liverpool's manager, who revived the team during post-war times. He believed that the fans were the most important, who stayed (and still stay) loyal no matter what. Below the statue is written 'He made people happy.'

The Legends' Room. One day we'll have players like Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher there. Hopefully not for many years yet.

The former Boot Room, where players and manager went through tactics. There was a superstition going on among the players that they had the visit the room before the match, so they'd win. Starting from season 90-01 Sky Sports wanted TV rights, so a media room had to be built. They got rid of the boot room, and ever since Liverpool hasn't won the league.

manager's office

old dressing room

Everyone expected the dressing room to be fancier. Or at least have lockers. It really hasn't change much, since Shankly's times like you can see in the picture. He thought that there shouldn't be any distractions, and that the players must sit with whom they're playing with. This way there wouldn't be any clicks; the players are there to do their job, not make friends. And you only get to go to the manager's office, if he asks for you. So not even the captain can barge in without an invite.

In the away dressing room there isn't the expensive non-slippery mat on the floor, no air condition and no noise proof walls. So the visitors can hurt themselves, suffocate and not hear anything what the manager says.

Shankly ordered to have that 'This is Anfield' sign put up to intimidate the away team. Liverpool players touch the board before they get on the pitch. Tall players give it a kiss and the short ones just a wave. Earlier an Oldham player who is a Liverpool fan had also been at the stadium tour, and all of his hair went up when he saw that sign. Imagine how he must have felt before the match!

Anfield is probably the place, where you have the home and away substitute benches closest to each other. And it takes about 3 days to clean the stadium thoroughly after a game.

The view from the empty Kop.

April 15th, 1989, 766 Liverpool supporters were injured and 96 lost their lives at Hillsborough football stadium due to being crushed. This resulted in the elimination of standing terraces at all major football stadiums  in England and Scotland. Among the victims was also Steven Gerrard's 10-year-old cousin. Every year they commemorate them at Anfield. I also noticed during Friday's game that in the end they started chanting 'Stand up for the 96, stand up for the 96'.

The man in the picture above is John Houlding, the founder of the club after a dispute between the Everton FC committee and him. After Liverpool FC was founded they used the blue colors of their rivals for a while yet.

It was said that manager Shankly didn't care much for players who were injured until they were fit again. Also that his favorite song was 'You'll Never Walk Alone' and everytime he went to The Kop and lifted his hands the fans started to sing the song.

Liverpool had been three times European Champions, before a stadium disaster happened in Brussels an hour before kick off against Juventus. 39 Juventus fans died, and English clubs were banned from all European competitions for some years with Liverpool a year longer.

There you have King Kenny doing the Anfield Rap. And it does exist.

World Cup medal from 1966. The only time England were the champions.

League Champions 18, European Cup Winners 5, European Super Cup Winners 3, UEFA Cup Winners 3, FA Cup Winners 7, League Cup Winners 7, Charity Shield Winners 10

The first cup won that I've witnessed.

Even this guy was performing there;

Every time a club wins the Champions League they get a replica of the trophy to bring home.

When a club wins it for the fifth time, they get to keep the trophy.

Clubs like Ajax, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Manchester United are in good company at Anfield.

That night in Istanbul was amazing!

One of the match balls.

AC Milan opened the champagne bottle already during half-time when they were leading 3-0. I guess during the second half the drink started to taste bad.

moses said..
Those who have no idea/remember what happened, it's time to educate yourself.

So the Liverpool players heard AC Milan celebrating in their dressing room during half time and also heard the Liverpool fans singing 'You'll Never Walk Alone'. Which then lead to the greatest come back ever.

It was time for me to leave back to the city centre. I had many hours before my bus left, so I thought I'd walk, even though I didn't know the route. But I figured if I follow the bus route, and check every now and then the bus stops that I'm going to the right direction. Glad I did it this way, there was some nice things to see.

2005 celebrations

One of the best trips ever made. And it was nice to see other places in England too. So not all English people are miserable!

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