News — March 14, 2013 16:46

My Liverpool Story : Asian Liverpool Fans Speak to The Asian Kop

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We all know Liverpool Football Club’s appeal stretches far and wide. For many years now, Asian Liverpool fans from across the world have walked through the Shankly Gates and stood in the Kop and cheered the Redmen for generations.

The Asian Kop have been speaking with Liverpool fans about their own personal and individual Liverpool FC journeys.

And as part on an ongoing series titled,  ‘My Liverpool Story’, Liverpool fans tell us amongst many things, why they have a huge affection toward Liverpool FC…who their favourite player is...which is their favourite LFC goal… and why Liverpool FC remains so closely to their hearts.

A very open and candid set of accounts charting personal journeys of Liverpool fans that also reveal an incredible insight into why Liverpool FC remains an integral part of their day to day lives. 

If you would like to take part in our on going series and would like your ‘Liverpool Story’ to be featured on The Asian Kop, then please drop us a line at info@theasiankop.com and we will send you information about how you can get involved.

This week, The Asian Kop would like to thank Asif Khan (@Anfield_Talk) and Mandeep Deegon for sharing their Liverpool stories. 

My LFC Story – Asif Khan (England) @Anfield_Talk

Liverpool FC…just where for do you begin?

My love affair began after watching a game on LWT/ITV when I was 5 or 6 and I had only just been introduced to playing the game itself. Reds were playing whites and I remember the Reds winning 1-3 (at White Hart Lane as it transpired), and it just went from there (in hindsight, needless to say I am very grateful the Whites did not win!)

BG Rush

The passion grew despite the barren 90’s and the club essentially in decline. I even remember back then having my own little notebook every year where I would write down the fixtures then record the score of each game, write up a mini match report and give the team ratings out of 10 (I still have these books!). It even got to a point as I got older that when LFC were playing- if I could not be at home/at the game I would always carry around a radio everywhere I went – and then ultimately a pager when I began working on Saturdays! Not very social – but the Reds always came first! I also took a fair few bashings from my old man ringing ClubCall back then for transfer gossip and the resultant extortionate telephone bills!

Anyway, late 1990’s and turning 18 the very first thing I remember doing with my first pay cheque is jumping on a train to Selhurst Park to get a ticket for the then forthcoming Wimbledon/LFC game – back then you could do that! I remember the game well and though we lost it was the day Michael Owen made his debut and scored. This now became an addiction. I attended further London games at Selhurst Park primarily at ease of tickets (Palace, Wimbledon), at Chelsea, and at West Ham where I only managed to get a ticket in the West Ham end (and we lost 2- 1), I remember Fowler scoring a corker and unable to contain myself I jumped up celebrating – and nearly got battered.

RF

 Anyway London aside, the dream was always a trip to Anfield. This was not too far down the road either….driving licences now attained, a good friend of mine drove up to Anfield to watch a testimonial vs Celtic – and I remember having butterflies as we walked down after parking the car, all just at the very thought of seeing Anfield for the first time and more so sitting on the Kop. I saw a young player that day too who stood heads and shoulders above all and I recall coming back home telling my brother and my best friend that I have just seen a player who I thought would be better than Viera/Keane – they laughed their heads off….well let’s just say his name was Steven Gerrard!

SG1

From then on I went up wherever I could, European nights were especially special. I remember in particular the Barca game where we lost 1-3 and the UEFA cup Roma game where the ref changed his mind about a penalty. Anfield under the lights on a European Night as we all know is simply unreal! I was also lucky enough to be in Cardiff when we beat Man Utd in the Charity Shield, Birmingham in the Carling Cup final and again last year at Wembley against Cardiff…the 2 penalty shoot outs in particular were of course very nerve shredding but amazing experiences!! I have also been to derbies against Everton and games vs Man United.

SG Carling Cup

Over the past few years it has become harder to travel, I unfortunately slipped a disc in my back which made long distance journeys very hard. When I do go now, I go with my wife (who is also a big LFC fan) and we stay up there for the weekend around the game. We simply love the City Centre and people there in general are so very friendly!

In terms of best memories that must of course be Istanbul and the journey the team had in getting there (Juve, Chelsea etc). I watched that match at home with another friend of mine (for 20+ years) who is a Milan fan and it really was the ultimate week. My 5 a side football team won the London heat of the National Asian Sony TV tournament on the Saturday (eventually only losing in the grand final a few weeks later in a sudden death penalty shootout), LFC won the Champions League on the Wednesday and I got married a few days later!! The perfect hat-trick!

I remember staying up all night 25/5/05 and watching it over and over. It was and is simply unreal. Credit to my Milan fan mate too – for my birthday the next year he bought a massive Gerrard picture lifting the trophy – which still takes pride of place and is the first thing anybody sees as they enter my house – the single greatest moment in my LFC supporting life!

Steven Gerrard Champs League

There have been others of course, Olympiakos, the two 4-3’s with Newcastle, the Gerrard cup final, the treble of 2001, the Madrid rout, wins in San Siro, Bernabeau etc. but at the same time extreme lows….Hillsborough, Dalglish resigning after the 4.4, Hicks/Gillette/Hodgson, Athens 2007, Fowler/Torres leaving, and the 90’s in particular were not pleasant being a LFC fan.

The pain after that FA Cup final loss to Man Utd (white suits) and to Wimbledon in 1988 all still stick in the mind. Hillsborough haunts the mind the most though and still very much even now as I remember watching it as a kid on the TV…and have to admit to shedding many a tear when the recent verdicts came out. Unbelievable, atrocious and sickening what transpired on the day and the years after!

Favourite player? I always modelled myself on Ian Rush – loved his movement, diagonal runs and sharp turns – so always love a number 9….so for me has to be Fowler! Torres also was right up there – but we all know how that’s ended up. I remember actually sitting on my till at Tesco when I got a message on my pager that Fowler had been sold to Leeds – and again I am not afraid to admit I shed a tear!

IAN RUSH

Most memorable goal? There are so many – Steven Gerrards in the Cup Final vs West Ham sticks out – talk about Roy of the Rovers stuff! Then you have Collymore vs Newcastle, Owen’s second vs Arsenal in the 2001 cup final and not to mention McAllisters free kick at Goodison Park that year in stoppage time! This is to name just a few!

GM

@Anfield_Talk

Finally now into the present and @Anfield_Talk. This is my LFC Twitter account which to be totally honest I only started so I could vent at JW Henry re: Roy Hodgson and vent in general with other fans about Hodgson. It then became a platform for fans in general to talk, debate and it just grew and grew and still does. The idea is to keep up to date with news but more so to promote the views of fans and generate debate. For me it is very reminiscent of being in the playground again talking about and debating LFC for hours. I do not get half as much time on there as I used to/would like but still just about manage to keep it going and currently have just over 14,500 followers!

I have always thought LFC fans as being the best in the world – and recent generations wanting overnight success – I still believe this to be the case. On my account I always hash tag #RedsKnowBest as I feel and have felt over the years that Liverpool fans in the large generally see the game in the same way and generally really understand their football! I think the whole club is very unique and Anfield in particular where the impossible so often has become possible!

Kop 1

I have kicked every single ball LFC have since I can remember. It is hard to explain but there is an eternal internal magnetism towards the team and the city. I also disagree with those that say that you have to be support a local team – the bottom line being for me that you stick with the club through thick and thin and with LFC, the fact the fan base is just so global and diverse and not just from the City is why the club is as famous as it – or else we would be Everton! Like many now I share the same dream…. the Premier League title arriving at Anfield much sooner than later!

My LFC Story – Mandeep Deegon (England)

I support Liverpool because they are a people’s club with great tradition and service to the sport of football.

My earliest memory of Liverpool was 1989. beating crystal palace 9-0 in the league! I remember running around the dining table doing a ‘lap of honour’ after every goal.

LFC V Crystal Palace 9-0

My favourite Liverpool player is  Steven Gerrard because I have followed his career from the beginning and watched him give his heart and soul to the club over the years, not to mention some very solid performances!

My favourite game was  the 2005 champions league final. I think that  game optimised the spirit and belief the club has.

My most memorable Liverpool goal was when Steven Gerrard scored a pile driver against Olympiakos in the Champions League.

steven_gerrard_olym

My first Anfield game was  the 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur during the 2005-6 premier league season. Harry Kewell scored the only goal of the game, and what a finish it was too – on the volley.

Harry Kewell

The best game I have been to is  the Charity Shield victory over Chelsea in 2006. I can never forget how we outnumbered the Chelsea fans, the atmosphere in the red half of the stadium was electric.

My favourite Liverpool moment was seeing Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher lift the Champions League trophy. It was made extra special due to the fact the two players were born and bread in Liverpool. It is always beautiful to see home town players achieve success at the highest level in the game.

JC and SG

I watched the 2005 Champions League at the pub and when Dudek saved Shevchenko’s penalty I got elbowed in the face from the guy standing next to me who reacted a split second before me!

Liverpool are the greatest club because they have the best fans in the world. A football club is nothing without it’s following.

This Is Anfield

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2 Comments

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  • Thank you for your kind comments freemason – YNWA

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