You probably didn’t see Sunday’s Community Shield match between Liverpool and Manchester City. It was a 1-1 draw and City won on penalties, but I’m sure that’s as meaningless to you as the idea of community.
It’s what happened before the match that may have attracted your attention. Liverpool fans booed the national anthem before the game. As your two young sons are supporters of Jurgen Klopp’s team it probably disgusted you. It certainly upset a lot of people across the country to judge by social media. Nanny probably ordered the boys to cover their ears but they would still have been exposed to seditious behaviour.
It must be hard for you to comprehend why so many people chose to disrupt God Save The Queen. Margaret Thatcher was very keen on creating ‘enemies within’ and she lumped all football supporters into that category. That was a mistake. Most followers of the game love their nation as much as you do. Liverpool fans are unusual. It might be worth finding out why.
Perhaps you should bring the boys up to Anfield for a game. Not in a corporate box but in the crowd, mixing with normal Scousers and diehard supporters. I’d be more than happy to be your guide and explain the club and the city to the boys.
Let’s start with the club. Politics is ingrained in its culture. That’s because the man who turned Liverpool FC from a provincial backwater to a continental powerhouse viewed the game as something bigger than sport. Bill Shankly was a miner as a teenager and brought the ethos of the pits to the pitch. “The socialism I believe in is everyone working for each other, everyone having a share of the rewards,” he said. “It’s the way I see football, the way I see life.”
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