44 Years With the Same Bird by Brian Reade

By Brian Reade

Fusing the blind ardour of a lifelong supporter with the chilly eye of an award-winning journalist, this is often an up-close and private view of the whole glossy period of Britain's so much winning soccer membership. From their first ever FA Cup win in 1965 to the Champions League defeat in Athens in 2007, this review takes at the striking tales at the back of the forty eight trophies Liverpool has gained. Highlighting the memorable nights that propelled the membership to 5 eu Cups, 3 UEFA Cups, 12 titles, and numerous household cup triumphs, this account additionally discusses their sour mess ups, the tragic failures in Sheffield and Brussels, and the barren years of the overdue 60s and the 90s.

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Who were you playing? ’ OK, it wasn’t seven-nil every week. Occasionally it was a bit tighter, but we always seemed to be handing out batterings. Unless we were playing St Kevin’s, who had twelve-year-old kids with facial hair and Mister Universe muscles. When you lined up against them on their wind-blown Kirkby wilderness it felt like you’d landed on the Planet of the Apes. De La Salle’s pitches have always teemed with talent, producing the likes of Wayne Rooney, Franny Jeffers and Paul Jewell, and in the seventies there was no better school in Liverpool.

Any second now he will turn and unleash a volley of insults aimed at cutting me to the size of an ant, call off the interview, and boot me out of Melwood, back to the sixth-form block and rank humiliation. He stops, does an about-turn, and unleashes a bark: ‘I’m making a pot of tea. ’ There’s a sigh of relief which I have to emit in short bursts for fear of being sucked inside out. The hands stop shaking but a stitch gnaws away at the high waistband on my Birmingham Bags and fear drifts slowly from my brain, spreading right down to feet doing epileptic taps.

Football moved me about as much as one of my little sister’s dolls (less when you factored in how much damage you could do to Tiny Tears’ eyes with a dart). I didn’t get why Vic took the scissors to Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly and covered his wall with pictures of men in shorts. What was cool about that? Why hadn’t he butchered Fab 208, like me, and taped up The Beatles, The Searchers and Sandie Shaw? For a start, you rarely saw it. Match Of The Day had begun that season on BBC2, but nobody had the channel, and all the radio gave you was the shipping forecast and Sing Something Simple.

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