???️ What Makes Liverpool, Liverpool?

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“When hardly any players play for the shirt anymore, what is the point of following a club? What makes Liverpool, Liverpool? Location; is that it?” This was a question that got asked to Chris on last Wednesday’s Daily News Show and one that has got my creative juices flowing all weekend. On deciding to write this article, I put a tweet out asking people what Liverpool Football Club means to them and I found the results to be very interesting. Apart from the generic answers of “Liverpool means the world to me,” I discovered that this was a very personal question as the football club means different things to different people. So I chose to write this article on some of the key aspects Liverpool Football Club means to me and draw on some of my own personal experiences.   Enjoyment: We all love watching The Reds play, and nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing Liverpool win. Even as a child, playing footie in the back garden, I would always pretend that I was Rush or Fowler scoring the winning goal in the FA cup final, or even being David James, saving a penalty. As a child, growing up in a time where we couldn’t afford Sky Sports, apart from Match of The Day, we rarely got to see our heroes play; footie in the garden was the closest we got to experiencing that raw emotion of celebrating a goal. It was brilliant, amazing and euphoric, and just for one minute you were able to forget your own reality and not just watch your heroes, but become them.   Identity: Like any Liverpool supporter, I grew up with loads of posters above my bed. My primary school was a boarding school, but even in the boys’ dormitory I had my own my own little shrine dedicated to Liverpool. I was quite lucky in the sense that my bed was in the corner of the dormitory, I had a wall not only behind, but also on the side of my bed, so that whole corner of the room basically got dedicated to LFC, and everyone in the school was aware of how devoted I was to the club, at school this became huge part of my identity; I was a mad Liverpool fan. Even as I got older and my interest in Liverpool grew, so did the way I identified myself with the club. I remember one time we had guests over at my house; they were asking my mum about me and what I was interested in, my mum basically told them that if you cut my heart open, you’ll find the words ‘Liverpool Football Club’ embedded within it. This saying has always stuck with me, and it’s a saying I still use today.   Strength: I’ve been a Liverpool fan for about 25 years now, and one thing I’ve always been  able to drawer from the club is the strength to cope whatever’s going on in my life at that time. People always ask me “what is your greatest Liverpool goal?” And with such a wide range to choose from, this question can leave some fans with a mind-bending array of choices. For me it’s simple; Steven Gerrard’s goal in the 2003 Worthington Cup final against Manchester United is by far my favourite. I can see a lot of eyebrows being raised, so let me explain my decision. That match came four weeks after my mum passed away. I was very close to my mum, she was my best friend. A Reds fan as well she meant the world to me so it was a really difficult time for me, my sister and my dad and as you can imagine, we were in a pretty dark place at the time. If ever I needed a player in that red shirt to pull a rabbit out of the hat, that was the game. I can remember that goal as if it was yesterday; my dad was still in the shower at that time so I was watching the game with my uncle Arif,  my sister and my best friend Ikram, the minute Stevie got the ball onto his right foot, me and my uncle Arif both screamed “hit it!” It was almost as if he heard us because no sooner did we say it, Gerrard obliged, and the minute that ball left his foot and clipped the toe of David Beckham, we all knew it was in. After the mad celebration that followed, uncle Arif whispered in my ear “that was for your mum, my son” and I will never forget that goal and the impact it had on me, for the rest of my life.   Family: I’m quite lucky in the sense that my whole family are as fanatic about Liverpool as I am. My dad, my sister, my cousins Ebrahim, Attiyyah, Ammarah and Sadiq, are all barking mad when it comes to Liverpool. The lifeblood of Liverpool literally runs through my veins. The beauty of having a family of Liverpool supporters is that those big, big matches and big moments for the club seemed to bring our family unit closer together. The best example of this has to be Istanbul ’05; we all watched that game together and I think all of us are in agreement it was one of the best nights of our lives, not just in terms of Liverpool winning the Champion’s League but because of what it did for us as a family. The night brought us so close together, and the effects of that were felt in weeks and months to come. I remember that summer, everything we did, we did as a family unit, even if it was just going to the park for a kickabout; it felt like we were going as a unit. We nicknamed ourselves the LFC Gangsters, and even though it’s a bit cringeworthy looking back on it now, you still can’t help but look back on that time with great fondness, knowing that all that came from that one night. Going back to the final, the moment Dudek saved that penalty and I exploded with raw emotion, all I wanted to do was hug my dad, and the look on his face as he came running towards me was absolutely priceless, even when I bearhugged my sister, the love and warmth that was felt in embrace is something you cannot recreate.   Friendship: Some of my great and best friends have come about because of LFC, most notably my friends Ikram and Keith, who both mean the world to me. Me and Ikram have been childhood friends for as I can remember. We’ve grown up on Liverpool and you could argue it’s one of the foundations of our friendship. I cannot tell you the amount of times he had almost ripped my head off by literally hanging off my neck after a Liverpool goal, mind you; he would probably say he cannot tell you how many times I’ve almost given him a black eye doing the same! Who says football isn’t dangerous! It’s pretty much the same thing with Keith; he used to be a carer for me  when I was at university and even after he left the care agency I was with, we’ve still kept in touch. Again, the amount of injuries we could have caused each other from celebrating a goal doesn’t bear thinking about.   Escaping reality: I think this is the very essence of being a Liverpool supporter. Somehow, no matter what you’re going through or whatever troubles you might have, once those men in red cross that white line, all your problems seem to melt away. As a young disabled adult I’ve found throughout my life people have always underestimated what I am able to achieve. Everyone from the first UK doctor to diagnosed me as having Cerebral Palsy, who said to my mum she should just keep me “locked in a room” as I wouldn’t be able to do anything, to my college I.T lecturer; who told me “you’ll never make it at university.” Thankfully, I’ve always been in a position to prove them wrong, and in the case o f my I.T lecturer I ended up graduating from university with a first, but one of my sources of inspiration has come from Liverpool. Even our anthem, when it’s sung from the soul, somehow has a way to lift you, and not only inspires you but also allows you to forget the harsh realities of this world, as we all unify in our support of Liverpool.   I know a lot of people will have their own opinions on what makes Liverpool, Liverpool, and please feel free to comment below; I for one would love to hear them, but these are just some of the aspects that I think make us the greatest club in the world.   Article By Imraan Adam @imadam786
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