Last year, RAWK had its first ever Advent Calendar, 24 articles on RAWK's Scribes' favourite players. And we think it went down a storm. So to bring in the festive season this year, we've decided to repeat the calendar except this year we present to you 24 matches in Liverpool's history that have some meaning to our Scribes and Writers.
Each day we'll put up a new match, with memories and words from the particular writer, telling us why they loved/hated/remembered that match.
We hope you enjoy this as much as you did last year's!
To start us off, I want to take RAWK back to Tueday the 3rd May 2005.
To be honest I can't really remember much about this evening. I just have a sense of occasion, and a dim memory of being at one with a sea of noise, a wall of constant persistent consistent deafening noise. Songs yes, but also just cheers, shouts, whistles. Of colour: a large patch of dark green in front below me, a dark sky above, it felt cold though I can't think why given it was May but I remember it being dark, I can't recall the early evening. Oh, except for this:YNWA
Now I've been to a good few matches. I've been at the back of the Kop v Man Utd and heard the noise we make, I've been at the far side of the Kop and heard YNWA v Barcelona when Gary Mac tucked the penalty away, and I was at Roma when Capello hugged Houllier. But to be fair, I've never heard a noise like this. We all know John Terry
works for the race relations board
's reaction in his autobiography (p.37 after the colouring in bit) where it shocked him and we know their manager who doesn't bear naming, noted it before and used it afterwards as a justification for defeat. But they've not been there every week, they've not been there to hear the noise, the racket, the din, in the 70's v St Etienne and the 80's and 90's (not so much the 90's lets be honest).
But I know arl arses and lads who were, and relatives too. And no-one pretends or nostalges (its a new verb, live with it) that they were noisier than that night in May.
I don't recall much of the match, it was an electric night, we all knew it was 0-0, winner takes all, or in Chelsea's case, draw takes all too. But I can't remember the teams coming out, the shitty drowned out Champions League 'Anthem', all that shite. I just remember a buzz. A deep electric buzz and yes a mob rule created feeling, a swell of emotion. I'm getting hairs on the back of my neck thinking about it right now.
Of course we stood. Of course we chanted at Chelsea but to be honest it wasn't a league game where we take the piss out of the visiting fans, irrespective of what they're made of, even if then it was plastic.
Because that night in my memory was about one team only. It belonged to us.
Then of course we've hardly got adjusted to the game started and this happened: He drinks sangria
Bedlam. Sheer madfuckingtearsandscreamsbedlam.
I genuinely believe it was a goal. I honestly utterly do. Full stop. None of this Cech would've been sent off and we'd a scored from the spot and what ifs and buts. We were in Kop 102. I don't care if I was partly responsible for breathing it in, all whatever'000's capacity the Kop is, we went absolutelyfuckingdaft.
The rest is a blur. A bag of nerves, and whistles and Didi Hamman and Cisse should've put it away to make it safe but half time came and went and there was a second half people tell me.
You see I knew I couldn't go the final if we made it. I knew that my job would've let me and my tickets were safely going to a good pair of hands. So for me, this was my final. But more than this perhaps. This was a moment that was a culmination of 15 years of nearly's and false dawns and evenings at Anfield that became themselves in history. Not an echo of a night past, a commentator's cliché, but right now, right here, we were in history in the making. We were at the ground the night we took the semi final. And knowing that was as far as I'd be going, it was poignant and important.
But more than that, Yes I'd been to European nights but none like this. I was envious of my uncle who was in the Kop when we played Milan in the 60's, I was a lad in the 70's listening to the radio to cracklefm (BBC Radio 2 at 2 mins past 8 since you ask, am wave) and watching us in '77 but never there.
And now, that feeling from kick off to way way into the night, that this was something, well perhaps that's why that match sticks out for me. I was part of a greater thing, an energy and a madness.
Meanwhile during all this pretentiousness, there was a match drawing to a close. Then it happened. Up pops a board with 6 minutes extra time. Yes 6. That's six. Not 3 as is usual in these things, or perhaps even 4, but fucking 6. Let me put as clearly as I can for you:
To this day I still expect Gudjohnsen to score.
Block 102 allows you an excellent spec of the corner flag and anyone in that channel as well as a diagonal view of the goal. People talk of time slowing down, well it did for me. I'm still surprised no-one died of a heart attack in the ground at that moment. Then it was all over. God having a laugh with us. Bill toying with us from above? Typical Liverpool, you can't totally believe its over til its over... I thought that terrority was owned by Man City, not us. Have a listen:Fuck me breathe in breathe in he missed(I've not used video because I want those that were there to relive it in their mind, from their perspective. And for those who weren't, to understand how emotive radio is at the best of moments in sport.)
I'm not sure I can remember the whistle going, it did obviously, but all I knew was that from a sea of statues, frozen with hands to their faces, to those who can properly deafeningly whistle encouragement to the ref to end the game, to suddenly, quite suddenly a release, an outpouring of emotion and relief and ecstacy and song and hoarse hoarse raw throated shouts to anyone who would listen.
Leaving the ground was like a bunch of kids racing on Christmas morning to the tree. It took me a week to come down and longer for my throat to heal. Even writing this makes me emotional, it was just a brilliant fucking place to be.
Important for those who look back to what we represented, old money v new money, fabric not plastic, substance not style and a real reminder to a world who thought we weren't even near a hill to climb that just occasionally Anfield still shows the world what a proper European night is.
I've linked some press reports below because the match is almost secondary to the shock of how loud and electric an atmosphere Anfield generated that night.
Welcome to the Festive Season and I hope you enjoyed Match #1 of your RAWK Advent Calendar http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/4501277.stmhttp://www.redandwhitekop.com/forum/index.php?topic=63639.0http://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/latest-news/mama-we-re-all-famous-now?webSyncID=d3e7249a-153a-2ccb-dc51-b2b0baad5296&sessionGUID=2ac800d7-740c-7783-8384-83373352b029http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/2359108/Glorious-Liverpool-a-big-noise-again.html