What a team. What a feeling. What a night that has turned into two, or maybe more. I don’t know, I have no concept of time any more. I feel like I’ve been up since about Tuesday. At some point in that time, I watched Liverpool lift the European Cup for the sixth time.
The build-up in the fan park had been amazing. For some fans not lucky enough to get tickets that was their main event and wow they made the most of it. A sea of red as far as you could see. I did The Anfield Rap on stage with John Barnes. I think. That seems too ridiculous to be true, but I definitely remember it. The sun baked down on us and we sang for our team and our heroes who would take the pitch that night. It was beautiful.
Then for those of us who did have tickets, it was off to the ground. Getting a penalty after less than a minute was surreal. Like in Istanbul when we conceded just as quickly, you expect everyone to decide it was too early and start again with everyone ready this time. Instead, Mo Salah slotted in front of the Spurs fans, and at the other end, we went wild.
You’ve seen the game after that, it wasn’t a classic. Spurs had most of the ball but seemed reluctant to commit too much forward, perhaps worried about the Liverpool counter-attack. Liverpool couldn’t keep it at all, maybe too keen to launch that killer ball over the top. I remember being nervous. That clock moving so slow. 55 minutes gone. 60 minutes gone. Hang on its 58 now. How has that happened? Is it going backwards??
Just after Spurs probably have their best spell chances wise and I’m starting to worry about the prospect of extra time, Origi seals it late for Liverpool. Bedlam. We’ve done it. I’m made for Origi, even by Liverpool fans who like him he is too often referred to like a bit of a joke. He’s the one laughing now.
He’s scored the winning goal in a Champions League Final. He’ll have his name sung forever.
The full-time whistle sees wild celebrations and trying to find everyone you know, and many you don’t and hug them. We’ve done it. Champions of Europe for the sixth time. There are tears in the eyes of young supporters who’ve not seen it before, and a few older ones who’ll never get tired of it. As the Liverpool players run towards us I am leaping up and down on the spot. Literally jumping for joy. They look so happy. They deserve it. They’ve put so much in this year.
I was lucky enough to be asked to DJ at the club party after the game. It did not finish early.
It was wonderful to see so many people who work for Liverpool, kicking a ball or otherwise, so happy. So proud. Still not quite believing they’d done it. Exhausted yet exhilarated. Not wanting to miss a minute of how wonderful this feels. I apologise to the footballers who were hugged by a man who definitely needed a shower.
An early flight home meant zero sleep, but a chance to see the parade and our heroes again as they drove through the streets of Liverpool. Fully deserving their welcome by all the fans of the city and more as the Champions of Europe. They’ll never forget that. We’ll never forget them. Thank you Liverpool. For everything.