Hello fellow reds, this is just my story, or part of it about how I became a LFC fanatic…
I grew up in Ireland, moved to America almost 5 years ago now.. In my little community soccer was a big part in bridging religious relationships in a difficult corner of the world. We called it soccer mostly as we Catholics in Ireland played football… Gaelic football.( pronounced Gay lick… jokes in my inbox please🤪🤣👌)
Without getting too much into politics and religion, (a hard thing to do whilst talking about life in Ireland), the first man who taught me about the beautiful game.. soccer, was a protestant man dating my mother took me out to a few local games. When they finished he took me out onto the pitch,put the ball on the penalty spot and told me to hit the back of the onion bag and just close my eyes and listen to the sound of the net.. instantly I was hooked. He took me to alot of games in Ireland and England, and he was a staunch LFC fan.. he got me my first shirt. A keeper top, I loved it and my infatuation with LFC grew from there.. I’d watch LFC VHS tapes, first one was GOAL RUSH! All about Ian Rush and his goals and his troubled spell at juve then rejoining Liverpool.. I loved the man! A similar build to myself, I aspired to be just like him on the pitch. A ruthless emphatic finisher with a great touch and turn of pace in short a fast mind for football. My first idol!
After that the idols kept rolling in, and the more I learned about the illustrious past and European heroes I had no shortage of greats to try to emulate on the pitch.. king Kenny, John digger Barnes, big John Aldridge, Peter Beardsley, Alan Hansen, Irish legends Ray Houghton, Steve Staunton honestly the list can go on but then came GOD. Robbie Fowler. What more can I say, in short God sums him up for me, and what he meant to me..
My namesake Jamie Redknapp,although injury prone was another favorite. Macca and to be honest the whole team of that period early 90’s..
Then Owen of course, but we will stop that little can of worms right there.. I mention all this to say I’ve loved Liverpool since first sight.
By no means were my family rich growing up, but my ma and sisters knew how much I loved LFC. So when it came to my birthday or Christmas anything LFC related was sure to be a hit.. I had some great tops, home / away or keeper kits.. training gear whatever I had a great collection. Through the years some or most were lost or stolen along the way my favorites however I made sure to keep close, and still do.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit Anfield and watch my heros play on several occasions.
So when I knew my life was taking me to America after living in England for several years I knew I wouldn’t have many opportunities to visit Anfield in the foreseeable future, so any chance I got I went.. preseason, cup games, prem games, night games, and couldn’t miss the 96 celebration charity game to pay my respects.. afterall on that fateful day on April 15 1989, 96 men women and children as young as 10 years of age and as old as 67 died watching the team they loved. I felt a huge connection with those victims and families.. I can only imagine.
I always have stood on the spion Kop, well sat but mostly standing when visiting this beautiful stadium. HOME! Surrounded by mad reds singing your heart out leaving being unable to speak or sing anymore. It’s the only way for me.
One of my last opportunities to see Liverpool play before coming to America almost 5 years ago was against Middlesbrough in the league cup at Anfield. For those who don’t remember the game it was crazy. Jordan rossiter and suso scored for the reds but Middlesbrough brought it to extra time and then again at 120+3 equalised to put it to pens.
What happened next in front of my eyes in the Kop was unbelievable. 14-13 in pens. Yes that’s correct 14-13 on penalties. A record-equalling penalty shootout.
A pen missed by each team in the first five, meant sudden death pens. The next twenty were scored consecutively right in front of my dumbstruck body!
As if this could get any more like a Roy of the rovers comic strip, I called my wife gave her at taste of the atmosphere as I held the phone up to the Kop, then called my ma. She says my uncle is in Liverpool not only that he’s in the supporters bar down the road! He’s a Chelsea fan.??? So anyway I meet up with him and his mates we all have a few drinks and go back to his mates house right beside the stadium. His house is like a shrine to Liverpool in every way. China plates with all the greats on there wallpaper the lot I mean the lot. He has a row of 4 seats in his garden from the Kop when it was remodeled in the 90’s.
So needless to say I missed the train back from Liverpool that night and ended up staying on those seats outside this mans house John Riley right beside Anfield drinking and having the craic ( an Irish word, literally translated as fun) with my uncle and this madman scouser!! He gave me a few books and the idea for this series of posts.
So quote #1
“Vivid memories are frozen in my mind of crowd scenes at Liverpool’s and Everton’s grounds; the sight of a small, ragged boy appearing on the skyline of the Kop’s acutely slanting roof, stepping gracefully down the middle of it and sitting down, arms folded, a tiny, symbolic representative of the bravura of his people.” Arthur Hopcraft .English scriptwriter.
John had this quote circled and noted beside our Dwayne R.I.P. he told me he was his cousin.
Thanks for your time
Ideally this would start a thread on all of us. THE LFC Family and our stories