Break


Liverpool: Red till the day I die

WITH four more games to go, Liverpool, a club mired in history and past glories, may finally have the chance to secure a English Premier League title. Reds fan Heng Khuen Cheok shares the emotional upheavals of supporting Liverpool and the reason he will forever be a fan.

Preston-North-End-v-Liverpool-FC-July-2013

PNE vs LFC Friendly at Deepdale Stadium July 2013 Photo: Ross Bradley via Wikimedia Commons

Liverpool may finally have the chance to secure a Premiership title since the inception of the Premier League in 1992. But, what kind of club has a motto like “You’ll Never Walk Alone”?

Seriously, I mean, like, what kind of a pathetic cry for victory is you will never walk alone? “Let’s Kick Everybody Else’s Butt”, or “We Are The Best, The Rest of You Are Losers”, sound like more appropriate (read: macho) club mottos, maybe, but “You’ll Never Walk Alone”?

Can you see Mel Gibson in Braveheart yelling, “YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE!!!” instead of “FREEDOM!”. I didn’t think so.

And yet, that is the most endearing cry of all. Bleeding from every Scouser heart (native or abroad), lingering in every tear-stained eye, welling up from the deepest souls of every Liverpool fan, resonating around the Kop and to the rest of the world, is not a rallying call to victory – because we know that winning or losing is temporary – but a promise of faithfulness to Liverpool Football Club for the rest of our lives.

The Liverpool economy is still recovering from its post World War 2 decline, and itself has four of the ten poorest postcode districts in the United Kingdom. ‘Blue collar’ and ‘working class’ were all words used to describe Liverpool. The inhabitants are called Scousers after the term ‘scouse’ – a kind of stew. That doesn’t exactly scream sophistication, does it?

Yet it is this underlying rough-as-guts community that takes their football so seriously that it has spread contagiously throughout the world.

You’ll never walk alone. We will be there with you through sunshine or torrential rain.

BUKIT JALIL, MALAYSIA - JULY 16: Liverpool soccer fans cheer during the game between Malaysia and En

Inexplicably, even when Liverpool are well and truly beaten on the field – towards the last five minutes, a few fans would inevitably start singing the song and like a ripple, it will spread, building up to a swell of “You will never walk a…lone, you’ll NEVER WALK ALONE!”.

Confused fans from the opposition will wonder what we have to sing about. Almost like a phoenix, the fans rise and sing of reconciliation, the hope of the next game, the promise of next year.

I think every football club has a personality and will attract a certain subset of fans. And that is what separates us from the other soccer fans.

It is moments like these in countless breath-taking matches that speak of a truth – in a game where money has made fickle fans of supporters, Liverpool remains one of the few clubs in England, where, whether you are a player or a fan, it is all about the heart.

Perhaps clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea have been so used to winning that they take it for granted, with some of their fans almost blase about victory. Accusations of home fans keeping quiet in Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge in 2008 is evidence of that, and yet, the term “The Twelfth Man” has only been credited to the faithful Liverpool supporters year in, year out.

We are the most successful English club in Europe and at least half of the current supporters can’t remember that far back. We used to dominate the local league as well, but since the inception of the Premiership in the early 90s, when I started supporting the club, we have yet to win the Premiership.

We have never taken our past successes for granted, however, because in supporting Liverpool, the disappointment of defeat is to be expected as much as victory, but we have redefined the phrase,”snatching victory from the jaws of defeat”. How many times have the commentators screamed the phrase, “You couldn’t write a fairytale like this!” when it comes to Liverpool matches.

No club in recent years can conjure the romanticism of soccer and comebacks as well as Liverpool.

Liverpool-FC-You'll-Never-Walk-Alone

Moments like in the 2001 season of the unique treble, when we beat our fierce rivals Everton in the dying minutes – with only 10 men – to qualify for Europe. Moments like the Champions League finals in 2005, when almost every Liverpool heart had surrendered to a, “Well, we’ll just have to do better next year” at half time and yet came from 3-0 down to win on penalties. Moments like the FA Cup final of 2006, when all seemed lost until the gifted right boot of Gerrard changed everything in the clock’s final ticks.

It is moments like these in countless breath-taking matches that speak of a truth – in a game where money has made fickle fans of supporters, Liverpool remains one of the few clubs in England, where, whether you are a player or a fan, it is all about the heart.

And the heart attacks from watching them play, I must add. I am sure my life has shortened by a good few years since supporting this club.

You will never walk alone. A song to outlast the fluctuations of time in the game of football. Not just a motto, but an attitude to life. And that is why I will be, Red till the day I die.

Which team do you support and why? Share your views with us in the comments section below, or contribute a discussion piece like this one to meld@meldmagazine.com.au

Submit your comment

Please enter your name

Please enter a valid email address

Please enter your message

About

Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

Many international students live in or around the city because of the proximity to their colleges and universities, and that was where we decided to focus our efforts first. Many of us live, work and study locally too. Our editorial team is made of both local and international students, and it has worked to our advantage in providing local content in every sense of the word.

Meld Magazine – Melbourne's international student news website © 2016 All Rights Reserved