So Sunday 11th of December 2016 and my first trip to Anfield. Oh OK not my first. Had many a year on the old standing Kop as a season ticket holder and been to many matches since but over recent years on a much more dwindling basis. Modern footy eh. Today though was my first trip to sit in the new main stand at Anfield. So we headed up to Anfield via the train with my mate Phil who has the spare ticket (Cheers Guff) and we got off at Sandhills Station and walking up the hill from the station a strange gravitational pull lured us into a pub after about 4 mins of walking. Anyway it was called The Lighthouse and we ended up having four pints and watching the United match before a quick dash up to the ground. The new main stand is an imposing figure on the skyline of North Liverpool and looking back to the Mersey was one of the best sunsets I have ever seen (See picture below and Credit to Pete Byrne @Peter_J_Byrne on Twitter) Such are my infrequent visits to Anfield over the last few years every time I visited it seemed another local street around the ground had bit the dust. A few more have made way for new “Big Stand” and surrounding area. Entering the ground it was up several escalators reminding me of how modern I thought Goodison was as a child having escalators up to their top balcony. It felt like I was on of out European lads trips away and I was entering a ground for the first time. Impressed with the concourse underneath the stadium it was time for what seemed like a luxurious piss for Anfield Standards and into our seat high up in the new “Big Stand” Wow its very high up and at first I was more interested in the views offered of the city from such a vantage point but sadly as it was dark all I could see were the twinkling orange and white streetlights of Walton below.
First up what a privilege to have some leg room at a match and the view even though high up was fantastic offering a more tactical view of the match as you could see gaps for players to aim/run into for and how play would develop. Secondly though matches under the floodlights always seem better such was the amount of floodlights now used at Anfield the pitch really did look illuminated just a pity some of the play wasn’t quite as illuminating. Now having last had a share of a season ticket in the main stand in the Rafa era. A ticket I gave up partly due to the twats who sat in front of me who at one point in a match were cheering each pass from Liverpool. Not in support but cheering the fact that the ball had not gone out of play so Lucas Leiva couldn’t come on as a substitute. That was the old main stand. This new main stand had pockets of people getting songs going and there was actually some kind of atmosphere in the upper main stand much to my surprise. Well done indeed. Now the match itself was a disappointing 2-2 draw but pull the moans in this season is going great and a top 4 finish will do me. I am lucky enough to have seen us win everything in my time. Indeed I only need to see a UEFA/Europe League win “live” and I will have the full set of trophies. Its still amazing though that back in 1990 as a 17 year old I came out of the old Spion Kop and bought several bottles of Merrydown Cider from a corner shop opposite the Kop for the lads to neck whilst getting the 25 bus home. It is now the holy grail of my footballing watching life that I just want to have a legal bevy bought in a boozer to celebrate a league title and Mrs Fay knows that should this happen that there will be a lost weekend in my life.
There was a twat in front of me with a “Selfie Stick” modern footy eh. I allowed myself one photograph and left the rest to the day trippers. Many of whom seem to be on The Kop as I noticed several of the older songs being sung by a small pocket of fans but the songs never take hold, such a shame. That era has gone but I least I was stood on the famous Kop when we were indeed “Famous Kopites” So a pint at half time though authorities wont trust me to take my plastic pint to my seat and the luxury of seeing the first half action. Modern footy isn’t all bad just most of it. So full time and down many many flights of stairs we headed for a pint in “The Dark House” AKA The Barlow Arms.
So an enjoyable day out and a few pints early to bed and fresh for work on a Monday morning. Impressed with the new main stand and Liverpool Football Club heading in the right direction. Now if you can just win this bloody league one more time before I die it will be much appreciated.
Fay x x x x x x x x