From the superb MC Barnes..
MY EYES HAVE SEEN THE GLORY.
An army amassed just like centuries before,
In a city made famous by sieges of yore,
Where Constantinople and Byzantium once stood,
A new army now did descend like a flood.
An army of thousands in livery of red,
Liverbirds on their chests and a dream in their heads,
With smiles on their faces and songs in their hearts,
Of hope a new era was waiting to start.
Stood on the North Tribune I looked all around,
A sea of red swamping 3 sides of the ground,
Flags, scarves and banners that covered the crowd,
A show of red strength to make Chairman Mao proud. *
I surveyed the scene in awe and in bliss,
How could we fail on a stage such as this?
I reckoned without an AC Milan team,
With the class to make nightmares out of our dreams.
And so it transpired in a half straight from hell,
A Maldini sucker punch straight from the bell
With 2 blows from Crespo 5 minutes apart,
Milan drove a dagger through Liverpool’s heart,
We staggered and reached the refuge of half time,
Our worst fears were realised, 3-0 behind,
Ashen-faced Reds with their heads in their hands,
Slumped in despair on the steps of the stand.
An anger rose in me, but not with the team,
Where was the 12th man? Was Chelsea a dream?
We had to show pride, try to lift them somehow,
We’d come much too far to give up on them now.
Somebody somewhere had shared the same thought,
My faith was restored in our famous support.
YNWA grew in strength, as did I,
And I sang.. as if it was for the last time.
Looking back now I can’t honestly say,
That as I sang, I thought we would find a way
To come back, but I wanted the whole world to see,
We still had pride, we were still Liverpool FC.
That chorus will live on in legend and lore,
Cruyff said he had heard nothing like it before,
Maradona said it made him convert to a Red,
Luis said it spurred them to rise from the dead.
Then came the reverse of our first half ordeal,
6 minutes of mayhem that didn’t seem real
6 glorious minutes that none will forget,
When Stevie and Xabi and Vlad found the net.
Milan came again but at each turn were foiled,
Once more a siege played out on Istanbul soil,
As the seconds ticked down, the Redmen stood tall,
Though their muscles screamed ‘stop’ they ploughed on through it all.
Then came the moment God’s will became known,
The ball fell to Shevchenko with Dudek left prone,
With the goal at his mercy, our Pole somehow saved,
Someone from above must have smiled on the brave.
It was then that it suddenly all became clear,
Milan realised that this wasn’t their year,
Alongside the Reds stood an ally too great,
There was no resisting the power of fate.
So when the game entered it’s final test then,
They bore the demeanour of half-beaten men,
Defeat after so much no player deserved,
But while Milan’s men wilted the Red’s kept their nerve.
And when Andrei’s nemesis foiled him once more,
The night air was pierced by a deafening roar,
Destiny fulfilled all that was prophesised,
And I hugged all around me with tears in my eyes
The Redmen all met us, celebrations they led,
Carra The Lionheart, Gerrard The Red,
Sami The Mighty, the sturdy Hamann,
Dudek and all, heroes to a man.
And Rafa, our Moses, by his guiding hand,
He led us all back here to this Promised Land,
When the road became hard no excuse did he use,
And when all seemed lost here his genius shone through.
Emotion flowed down from the stands like a shower,
As we watched Stevie lift that old trophy of ours,
You’ll Never Walk Alone once again we did sing,
As we all heralded the return of the Kings.
Now on the bus back to Taksim I went,
My voice was in tatters, all energy spent,
Utterly drained but smiling ear to ear,
I thought back to the road that had led me to here.
As a boy I had watched all the legends parade,
As they conquered all Europe and history was made,
As the years passed, now no longer watching a screen,
I thought I’d never see what my elders had seen.
I wondered if my eyes would yet see the glory,
And whether in years to come I could tell stories,
Of great Anfield nights and of crusades abroad,
When the Mighty Reds put Europe’s best to the sword.
2004 then turned into 05,
And finally all of my hopes came to life,
It seemed fate was there with us right from the start,
It happened as if it was written in the stars.
I watched from the Kop on that December night,
The pivotal moment when dark turned to light,
4 minutes from failure, then hope was restored,
We all dared to dream, when Stevie G scored.
Echoes of the past rang as clear as a bell,
The late Kop end goal , the same scoreline as well,
My generation loved tales about way back when,
But we now had our very own St Etienne.
I was there against Juve when ghosts of the past,
20 years in the waiting confronted at last,
The Kop spelled out friendship in red and in white,
And in silence we remembered the fallen that night.
The whistle it blew and the silence gave way,
To a whirlwind of noise that blew Juve away,
I saw a red tide almost swallow them whole,
And I saw Luis Garcia’s 30 yard goal.
I saw Chelsea get their come-uppence at last,
On a night at Anfield that might not be surpassed,
The primeval force of The Kop in full cry,
For 96 minutes the noise wouldn’t die.
96 minutes for 96 souls,
They surely were watching the drama unfold,
For something divine intervened on our side,
‘Cos I can’t explain how Gudjohnsen shot wide.
The Kop danced long after the players had gone,
The glory of years passed remembered in song,
And when we were thrown out we danced on outside,
Around Shankly’s statue long into the night.
And now I had witnessed a moment so rare,
It’s drama and splendour were beyond compare,
A moment in Sport we may not see again,
A moment I’d waited so long to attain.
Istanbul was for one night, Heaven on Earth,
So special you can’t put a price on it’s worth,
I give thanks I was one of the privileged few,
I was there and I saw all of our dreams come true.
A banner I’d seen and there saw it again,
“My Eyes Have Seen The Glory” it proudly proclaimed,
Four symbolic stars were emblazoned thereon,
I could now say “me too” when the 5th one was won.
I’ve seen the Kop’s legacy upheld and enhanced,
And seen us win when no one gave us a chance,
I’ve seen us rise up and be crowned Europe’s best,
If it’s the last match I see I’d still think myself blessed.
Maybe they should read that before the interview.