Lifestyle, Travel

THE MAGIC OF ANFIELD


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Liverpool, UK

The pilgrimage to Anfield and watching a live Liverpool FC match took many, many years in the making. After 14 years of loyally supporting our beloved football club (so many ups and downs!!), our dreams finally came true!

It all began in the year 2005. We were in grade 9 and a Liverpool match was on the television. I noticed Steven Gerrard straight away and was captivated by his style of play and incredible technical abilities. The game was at Anfield and the crowd was belting out their famous anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” #chills. After watching the amazing atmosphere and support from the home crowd, the rest was history. I was hooked and soon after, Elizabeth was too. Note: this was post the amazing comeback miracle of the champions league final in Istanbul, so our initial admiration had nothing to do with them winning this incredible title.

For those of you who may not know, we are MASSIVE football fans. From the age of eight we played football/soccer up until high school. And today, even though we don’t play anymore, we watch Liverpool games religiously – every weekend and also on the occasional weekdays in the very early hours of the morning #dedication. We had pictures of Liverpool players and the Anfield stadium on our dream board. For us, to go to Anfield and watch a Liverpool match was one of our biggest dreams as football fans. Last year we began to plan our travels and we’re SO happy we made it happen this year!

So we booked our flight tickets to The UK + our train tickets to Liverpool without ever purchasing match tickets because they were ALL sold out. We didn’t care, as long as we got to step inside the iconic Anfield grounds and be amongst the loyal LFC supporters during match day. We visited Liverpool during the last game weekend of the 2018-2019 season, which fell on May 12th. We arrived one day before the big match to settle in and go on the Anfield Stadium Tour. Nothing could have prepared us for that amazing first tour at Anfield. We had the opportunity to walk in the players tunnel, touch the iconic “You’ll Never Walk Alone” sign, sit in Jurgen Klopp’s seat for press conferences and have a bird’s eye view of the perfect pitch and the main supporters stand known as The Kop. You know the emoji of the smiley face with hearts as eyes? That was us the whole entire time! We couldn’t believe we were actually there, actually walking on the grounds that so many football legends have walked on before. We thought that would have been the best part of our Liverpool trip, BUT IT WAS FAR FROM IT!

The morning of the match, we get the most incredible news from our AMAZING Airbnb host, Ian. He found us two match tickets to the game that was to take place approximately 4 hours later….. *CRYING HAPPY TEARS* We simply couldn’t believe it. Up until that point, we were perfectly happy to watch the game in a local pub/restaurant with other fans and never thought for a single second we would watch it at Anfield. And a MAJOR bonus: the ticket prices were the same as ones on the website. Resellers are known to sell them at rocket high prices. How lucky were we??? We quickly got ready for what we knew was an experience we would never forget.

Arriving at Anfield that day and realising we we were about to watch our first live Liverpool match was insane. We were absolutely still pinching ourselves. We quickly found our seats at The Anfield Road Stand and waited patiently for the players to come out and warm up. That moment when they finally did was so exciting!! Giddy in our seats, we spotted Allison, Mane, Trent, Salah, Van Dijk, and Klopp!! For the first time, we weren’t watching them on television, they were right there in the actual flesh. #MindBlown

Kick-off began against the Wolverhampton Wolves. They are considered a very decent team, so were we nervous? Yes. This was the last game of the season, Liverpool were still in a two-horse race with Manchester City. They NEEDED to win this game if by any miracle City slipped up. Mane scored twice to give Liverpool the win and the crowd erupted with joy! It was an unbelievable feeling to be cheering together in that electrifying environment. And in the end, City didn’t slip. They won the title by one single-friggin-excruciating point. But at that moment, we didn’t care. We were there at Anfield and had just witnessed our team win. We were belting out the beloved anthem, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” alongside one entire stadium. We were so grateful for this moment. It’s a memory we will never ever forget. In our eyes, we had already won the biggest prize of all.

-M