I did not know how to open this article in the slightest being a Liverpool fan for a great deal of my life; and for many Liverpool fans who have had to wait for 30 years for this monumental achievement, this time is nothing short of being one of the most, if not the most, momentous occasions in our entire lives.
This year will be remembered for many reasons – some upsetting, but it is also necessary to commemorate remarkable accomplishments. The main reason this year will be remembered by us, the Reds, is 25/06/2020 – the day Liverpool won their 19th topflight title.
This club has been built upon an idea: the idea that football is far more significant than a simple matter of life and death.
Football for us is not just a sentiment which we enjoy for 90 minutes each game and forget about after a week. It is an astounding display of strategy, where the centre back is just as important as your right winger – every player is essential. Football is an experience that can expose the rawest of emotions that no other activity can evoke. That is football for us. When we say “you’ll never walk alone” it is, in all seriousness, our way of life.
Our fans have been through a lot, and not simply from waiting for success but also because of abhorrent moments in history. People mention miscarriages of justice, but how many of us know about the misfortune of the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster? As a Liverpool fan I have learnt what this club truly means; not only is it a club that presents to us astonishing football skills, it is a club that stands with the people and stands alongside justice. The incident in Hillsborough saw 96 Liverpool fans die that day, and ‘The Sun’ published repulsive lies about the horrific disaster along with the police acting in a corrupt manner. We have not truly, completely seen justice be served as not all those responsible have been held accountable. However, the club has plastered “96” on the back of their kits in commemoration of those who had sadly lost their lives -it was a truly heartfelt gesture and the handling of the tragedy by Liverpool FC, had won over the hearts of many.
Many people over the years would often ridicule me as well as many other fans for supporting Liverpool, claiming that we had left our glory days, and the last we had ever seen of our legendary players would be in the the miracle of Istanbul. Wednesday the 25th of May 2005, a day which would be remembered by us all. That match, in all honesty, will and has been hailed as the greatest comeback in football history. Gerrard’s header, Šmicer’s screamer, Xabi’s redeeming goal after a failed penalty, and the double save from Dudek. Yes, it happened many years ago and many of us have not experienced the joy of having seen us win a major title since (until 2019) but it evidently paints an inviolable picture of loyalty and faith that derives from the fans. We looked upon our great history. Shankly paved our way into first division football. There was a period of dominance under Bob Paisley, and of course King Kenny, a great player/manager and a legend who shall never be forgotten. We cannot forget the Miracle of Istanbul under Benítez, but then we succumbed to a period of waiting. Nonetheless, that was not an issue – it could never be an issue for a group of people who had come to love a club built upon the idea of its people and built upon a strenuous drive for success.
If we take a closer look at Liverpool’s history, we see successful season after successful season, and people would often state that those days for us are over. ‘Why would you support Liverpool now?’, but why would we not want to? This club is historic, it has provided us with phenomenal players: it presented us with Steven Gerrard, ‘Captain Fantastic’, greatest midfielder of all time. In a period of Messi and Ronaldo, Gerrard was widely regarded as the best player in the world, and not just by us Reds, but some of the greats who we had the pleasure of seeing play.
“Is he the best in the world? He might not get the attention of Messi and Ronaldo but, yes, I think he just might be”Zidane
“For me, for the last five years Gerrard has been the best player in the world”Pelé
A few years later Liverpool had finally come close to winning the league in the 2013/14 season but we were unfortunately snubbed by a 2 point gap, but then Jürgen Norbert Klopp, one of the greatest in my eyes, arrived. When looking at what Klopp managed to accomplish with Dortmund, returning them to their winning ways – it filled us all with hope.
And believe we did.
Klopp arrived and transformed a team struggling to make it into the top four, into one that would go on to compete, not just for the Europa League, but for the Champions League as well as the much-adorned Premier League. Klopp is a manager who reinforces the passion that the club so heartily exhibits – he is truly an essence of what Liverpool is. Klopp has done great things: he signed the likes of Van Dijk, Robbo, Alisson, Mané, Salah, Fabinho, and of course, he introduced Trent who quickly became a Liverpool phenomenon at the age of 21, with his style of play reminiscent of Gerrard. Klopp re-built us into a bastion of invincibility, as Shankly had wanted.
The road here to this prodigal victory has seen many disappointments; we had been denied by a single point in the previous season. In a sick twist of fate, if we had obtained that many points in any other season, we would have won the league. However, we are Liverpool, and that was not going to deter us – this loss only fuelled us with more passion and vigour. We wanted to win the League, so we did what needed to be done. It upset me personally that we could not celebrate it as we had wished to with a parade, but the time will come – we will support this club in success as we will in hardship.
Written by Shanaj Begum