This post has been sitting in the drafts folder for nearly four years. After the stadium tour and stumble around the docks that (to our shame) counted as sightseeing, we returned to our accommodation where some watched an episode of Victoria, some slept, and I penned this. It never got published because the wifi couldn’t cope with uploading the photos and, in a sulk, I decided sleep was a better option. Each time it gets close to the anniversary, I make a mental note to “definitely post it this year”…and always miss it. With the death of Andrew Devine earlier this week, it seems fitting to post it now. Our hearts go out to his family – to all the families; Never again. YNWA.
We turned up half an hour early for the Liverpool FC Stadium tour to beat the crowds…chance would be a fine thing. All those despondent folk we had stood among listening to “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the wrong side of the stadium turnstiles the day before had been of the same mind – and slightly faster off the mark. We exchanged greetings with our friends of yesterday and before long we were taking the escalator up the six levels to the top of the new stand that houses the Liverpool Stadium Experience.
There’s one word that embodies an experience like this: Passion. I’m not talking the whole heavy-breathing, red roses and champagne deal here – as Bill Shankly famously said “…it’s much more serious than that” – I’m meaning infectious enthusiasm, extremes of joy and sorrow, and that spark that reminds you life is for living. I watched Farm Girl feel it’s full-force as we were waiting to catch our first glimpse of the hallowed turf. One of the guides (a gentleman of The Bean Counter’s vintage) asked her if she was a Liverpool fan and she solemnly nodded (at this stage she was a little afraid to speak as she feels the divide between Chelsea and Liverpool in our family keenly and can’t chose a favourite – something we had advised her to keep quiet about during the tour). “Do you know who these men are?” he asked, indicating the walls bedecked with larger than life photos of the men who had built the club and then, before she could answer, guided her, hand on her shoulder, to each photo in turn. “This is Bill and he…. Bob introduced…Joe won…King Kenny…” and she was smitten. His passion was infectious.
Even The Farmer admits that Anfield is a special place
And it puts on a great show, even when it isn’t game day
We dawdled over our lunch in The Boot Room
and so, by the time it came to sight seeing in the City of Liverpool all we were up to was a quick drive past the well-known landmarks and a jog around the docks
for which we apologise profusely. Liverpool and the Wirral deserves more way more attention. We’ll just have to come back 🙂
9 thoughts on “Passion in Liverpool”
What a thoughtful way to remember both your trip and Andrew Devine.
Sometimes something just clicks. Everytime I blogged, Id see this draft and tut at myself. With the news of Andrew’s death, I realised why I hadnt already posted it.
One of those family adventures that will just live on into the realm of those stories that will always come out as “do you remember” in front of future generations. We’re not a sports minded family – what little I know in the sports world is usually related to the Olympics or ice hockey, although there was a time when I could tell you far more than you wanted to know about equestrian grand prix and my hero was a horse called Red Rum, three times winner of the Grand National. I do know “of” LFC, MU, and Chelsea, if only because a close friend’s husband is a rabid Chelsea fan. Liverpool for me would have been about the docks, and finding the house my father’s mum rented after she was widowed and from which she embarked as an ambulance driver in the blitz, while he was doing convoy runs out of Liverpool with the Navy. Also, that trip was 4 years ago? Wow, time flies.
Yep, four years ago in September! How the world has changed! Liverpool the city deserved way more attention than we gave it but we were just so tired at that point in proceedings. As for sports minded…I worked out early on that I needed to learn about the beautiful game or there’d be a lot of silence on our house 🤣
My, hasn’t Farm Girl grown (matured) in the 4 years since these photographs were taken? I have to admit that like the humour of Monty Python, adulation of sporting codes and the Olympics is lost on me. However, I acknowledge we all have our sacred spaces and for some thousands, this football ground in Liverpool is theirs.
She has changed so much, and not just physically, in the intervening 4 years. I agree with you re sacred spaces; the passion these spaces evoke (be it church, temple, forest, mountain, stadium or whatever) fascinates me
Wow! Four years ago!? I have to whisper this – I am not a football watcher or a supporter. However, I completely understand and empathise with a supporter of anything, as it means that person, as you rightly say, has not just love but passion in their soul. They are loyal and true and those are qualities to be admired and coveted by all.
Liverpool is a wonderful city and I have a great fondness for it. I lived there for a year and had a fantastic time!
As usual, Clare, you have summed up the point I have stumbled around perfectly: loyalty and being true to something is exactly what passion indicates! And while we’re confessing, Im a Kiwi who really doesnt get rugby 😁