Author Topic: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997  (Read 4804 times)

royhendo

  • Guest
Also posted on Sporting Memories Network - an organisation that does some amazing work -> http://football.sportingmemories.org/memory/2823-roy-henderson/

-

My Dad first took me to Anfield in 1984. We played West Ham. We were in the Anny Road end, and when Kenny came over to take a corner, I can remember my Dad taking out his camera, and taking a photo of him, a kind of devotional act. My Dad loved Kenny. My Dad loved Liverpool. Years later, when he passed, we discovered a wooden crate of stuff he'd kept aside for us all - his kids. On the top, a sheet from the paper from the summer of 1978. Facing up, under the lid, a picture of Kenny scoring a goal for Scotland. Further down, a programme from the 1974 FA Cup Final. My Dad loved Kenny. My Dad loved Liverpool.

The years passed. My having arrived unexpectedly in 74, named after a favourite sheepdog (so he claimed - he'd been a shepherd in an earlier life), I grew up near a Dundee United side settting off on a decade-long European dream, and watched, usually from a distance on a Sanyo colour telly, a Liverpool side make its transition from vintage to vintage, dominating European and domestic English football in the process.

We'd go to the game at home, at Tannadice, usually enjoy a win, and he'd drive us back home, where I'd get leave to stay up late and sit on the carpet in front of him watching Sportscene (our version of Match Of The Day) or Sportsnight. Liverpool were, often as not, the team featured in the highlights.

We'd watched the big European moments together. The cup finals. We had a bond, and the common understanding that comes from going through that together, albeit in our case, it was a transmission of bigamous devotion, rather than the monogamous kind most are familiar with.

As I grew a little older, I happily discovered a mate - he lived 3/4 of a mile along the road - who was just as Liverpool daft, and just as Kenny daft, as I was. My mate Grant. My brother. I grew up with 3 elder sisters, and was the youngest of four. But Grant was my brother. And we grew into the Liverpudlian thing together really, through school, and bike rides to each others' houses for the games on the telly (when the games started to appear live on telly). And Grant, like me, grew accustomed to my Dad, sat there in his armchair, rocking back and forward to the edge of his seat, kicking every ball, heading every spotted ball to the back stick. Three bloody bigamists. It was all very odd. And all very routine.

And so we grew and grew, and the fortunes waxed and waned, the loves of our lives falling from previous heady heights to some extent, but still capable of delighting, and all the better when we were in congregation. That's how it works, after all. Football is a kind of communion for us, after all. We were all on the same side. We coexisted in empathetic harmony. A nasty challenge. A dodgy refereeing decision. Unity in our derision, unity in our joy, spoken or unspoken.

In 1997, both of us aged 23, we happened to both be home in January, not far off Granty's birthday. Cups of tea, choccy biccies on a china plate. My Dad in his chair. The fire on. The FA Cup 4th Round. Stamford Bridge, Shed End still under construction. Gullit giving it large as their manager. Liverpool not long since pumping them 5-1 at home. A walk in the park, we suspected. We settled in, the three of us in our usual, familiar spots. The telly now a Sony Trinitron. Retirement you see? You indulge yourself from time to time.

Early on, a sweeping move saw play switch from McAteer on the right, to McManaman, then Bjornebye on the left, and he delivered it low to God, who demonstrated his might, a simple finish into an empty net. The three of us, clapping, smiling. Chatting. And shortly after, Collymore fastened on to a mistake by Eddie Newton, and off he trotted, slotting home beyond the beleaguered Hitchcock. Familiar joy. But then shortly after, Fowler got stuck into Leboeuf, and oddly, my Dad reacted to it. Reacted as if there had been some injustice. And Grant and I, our eyes met over the sofa, and we shrugged, and kept on watching.

Grant and I talked at half time about the verve of the Liverpool side, and how we looked comfortable, and would you like another cuppa Dad? And Dad was for another cuppa. But today he wasn't chatting. And that was odd.

Mark Hughes came on at half time, and not long after, he took down a long ball from Stevie Clarke, and swivelled and rifled it home past David James. And my Dad punched the air, and muttered something under his breath. And I remember turning and looking at Grant, and the two of us were wide eyed, incredulous. Insult somehow seasoning injury. And so it went on. Muttering. Get intae thums. C'mon now Refs! And as the game went on, brows furrowed, and we witnessed this man somehow desert his roots, and seemingly betray his allegiance in front of our very eyes. And Chelsea of course, to compound things, equalised, a moment of what would soon become customary genius from Gianfranco Zola, my Dad seemingly delighted at developments.

By this time, I was spitting pins. "You're just winding us up. What are you playing at?". But he just ignored us, and ramped it up. By the time Chelsea took the lead, Vialli nodding home a Zola free kick, we'd sickened of the whole affair. "He's just trying to wind us up Grant." But he wasn't the type to wind us up. He wasn't the type to wind anyone up, my Dad. He was a kind, devoted man. Devoted to the thing he held dear.

Chelsea went on to win 4-2. An abject capitulation in the 2nd half from a team that maybe, on reflection, was only lacking that bit of backbone. That, had it bolstered with exactly that kind of steel, might have done a thing or two. But the memory of the game, both mine and Grant's, is of our bewilderment at my Dad, and the strangeness of it all. I raged for quite a while. It's a hard thing to let lie, after all.

And then of course, came the 2nd Newcastle 4-3, and normal service was, it seemed, resumed. And the weirdness, the snideness, never again returned, with many a joyful moment shared in the years that led up to his passing. A passing after years suffering at the hand of Alzheimers, and progressive onset Dementia.

Those years led to many a strangely happy, comic moment. My mum would lose my Dad when they were out for a walk, and know to look in the Bakers first. He'd usually be in there on the mooch. And he'd still seranade us with a song in his heart whenever he saw us, no matter how the week before had been for him.

Looking back on it, I believe that Grant and I witnessed the early signs of that deterioration taking place. The consultants said he'd suffered many small myocardial infarctions over the years before his diagnosis, slowly creating little holes in his brain, impairing his normal function, slowly changing him into the man he'd become. Still a lovely, lovely man, but a man who was suffering nevertheless.

Odd to think back to a day when, at the time, both Grant and I found ourselves raging at him. Age and perspective lends a little colour to these things from time to time. I think back to it now and it makes me smile, because it seemed to be born of devilment. I like to think he was 'at it' that way. And the times that came after bore that out. Normal service was resumed.

Dementia is the oddest of ailments, in that it can make you unrecognisable, even to yourself. You have to look for the joy in it, and the comedy, however black. That, and good old fashioned love and support, are what gets you through it as a family.

-

Merry Xmas - sorry if that was a little dark. But mind and spare some love for your family this festive season, and maybe spend a little less time on here. ;)
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 12:44:03 PM by toyhendo »

Offline Christmist Time_Mistletoe & Wine

  • RAWK Supporter
  • Believer
  • ******
  • Posts: 5,726
  • CORGI registered friend (but not a gas engineer)
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #1 on: December 3, 2013, 08:52:28 PM »
That was great Roy.

Touched a nerve with me as my dad's not too good. Comes to us all eh, but life's all about family because of his illness and I sort of now wish I'd written about one of the games we went to together.

Given me an idea though - think I'll sit down with him over Christmas and ask him if he fancies writing/dictating a little tale about one of his most memorable games. Or just his memories of Stubbins, Liddell, Sidlow and Balmer. Hey, is that an idea for a thread in the new year? "Your old fella's Red recollections" ....or something.  :D

Anyhow, thanks again, enjoyed it.

Offline Hinesy

  • RAWK Editor. Giving it BAFTA’s. 57'sy. Caramel log dealer and comma chamaeleon
  • RAWK Staff.
  • Believer
  • ******
  • Posts: 20,285
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2013, 12:00:58 AM »
If any thread defines the very best of RAWK and the community it is, this one would be a very strong contender for it. Thank you Roy. 
Yep.

Offline "Albie Home For Christmas!" (via the 92A bus)

  • Alberto Incontidor. Peneus. Phantom Thread Locker. Mr Bus. But there'll be another one along soon enough. Almost as bad as Jim...
  • RAWK Staff
  • Believer
  • ******
  • Posts: 7,029
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2013, 11:20:44 AM »
Sat there reading that in tears. We've had to put my Dad in a home in Huyton because of his Alzhiemers, I get down there as much as possible saying my long goodbye to the man who instilled in me my love of football. I think this will be his last Christmas and like you Roy so much of our relationship was tangled up with supporting Liverpool, when he's lucid apart from the war i can still get through occassionally talking about Liverpool and football. Moments of brightness in what is a terrible condition. This series just gets better and better. Wonderful writing thanks for sharing Roy. Sony Trinitron's how I lusted after one of those ;D
Still Dreaming of a Harry Quinn

Online OLD SAINT NICK'S GOT BIG SNOWY BALLS

  • is a cushy number for the Plod who work in this largely crime free suburb. Ate two, Brucey. Thread locker extraordinaire. Might answer to Nick CRoxy. Imaginary cock prognosticator. Has experience of being a bit of a twat. VERY well drilled at the back!
  • RAWK Supporter
  • Believer
  • ******
  • Posts: 74,046
  • Poultry in Motion
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2013, 11:28:50 AM »
Very touching Roy. Merry Christmas.

Offline rafa4eva

  • Kopite
  • *****
  • Posts: 558
  • We all Live in a Red and White Kop
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2013, 11:55:20 AM »
Thanks Roy for sharing that, don't remember that game per se and didn't have a positive relationship with my father or a shared love for Liverpool, but appreciate your honesty.

I guess having positive memories of a loved one is a small blessing in the whole scheme of things, try and remember his life not his passing away is what I try and do where I can.

from the little I know of you Roy from the rawk experience, id like to think your dad would be proud of you .... Unless you are a complete get outside of rawk !

Ps nice to see you are part of the 1974 team :)


Offline John C

  • RAWK Staff
  • Believer
  • ******
  • Posts: 33,572
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2013, 12:31:13 PM »
Also posted on Sporting Memories Network - an organisation that does some amazing work -> http://football.sportingmemories.org/memory/2823-roy-henderson/
My Dad first took me to Anfield in 1984. We played West Ham. We were in the Anny Road end, and when Kenny came over to take a corner, I can remember my Dad taking out his camera, and taking a photo of him, a kind of devotional act. My Dad loved Kenny. My Dad loved Liverpool.
Whether its alcohol, Liverpool or fatherless induced you caught me on that line and I read the rest with tears in my eyes, fucking hell mate. Its one of the few games I remember, a shocking defeat which continued my unbiased and unnecessary hated for anything in or ex Man U including the supposed quiet man of football. Hughes was a talented player who would get in to any team today.
Then the last paragraph finished it. Fucking hell mate.

Love you Roy.

Offline Red number seven

  • RAWK Supporter
  • Believer
  • ******
  • Posts: 4,293
  • Today's newspaper, tomorrow's chip paper
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2013, 12:34:18 PM »
Touching that, Roy. Really good piece.
"You just have to give them credit for not throwing in the towel" - Gennaro Gattuso, May, 2005

And then we'll get 4th as well and everyone in the whole world can do one.

royhendo

  • Guest
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2013, 12:35:18 PM »
Ta boys. It was nice to write something for the guy behind this charity, he's a top man. And yeah, years on (a decade now, amazing how quick it goes in), it's nowt but laughs when we think back to the way he got to be. The hard stuff is gone really. You'd leave a can of rice pudding on a counter after taking the lid off, and the minute your back was turned he'd be into it with his hand, rice pud all over his moosh. And then he'd clock it, and he'd burst out laughing. Stuff like that is nice to look back on.

Anyway Albie mate, I'll raise a glass to you and the family tonight. It's a special time that.

royhendo

  • Guest
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2013, 12:36:19 PM »
I should post the actual photo really eh?

Offline Hinesy

  • RAWK Editor. Giving it BAFTA’s. 57'sy. Caramel log dealer and comma chamaeleon
  • RAWK Staff.
  • Believer
  • ******
  • Posts: 20,285
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2013, 12:41:45 PM »
yes
Yep.

royhendo

  • Guest
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2013, 12:44:26 PM »
Done :)

Offline Anthony

  • Snot a Sailing Specialist
  • RAWK Supporter
  • Believer
  • ******
  • Posts: 6,994
  • We don't need anyone to tell us this is golden...
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2013, 01:31:21 PM »
It's ironic that this entry is so bittersweet and family based. It's also the first one of these that I have looked at because I too look back at this for family reasons rather than the game that I remember virtually nothing about and cared for even less.

You see, the day before this game we lost my dear Auntie Eileen, my Mum's Sister and best friend and my own biggest fan . The previous August she had been in a car accident and was sitting in Casualty in Cashel (or Clonmel) Hospital awaiting an x-ray on a broken arm when she complained of feeling sick and suffered a brain haemorrhage. Against the odds she had come out of the resulting coma and we had the chance to visit her and tell her how much we loved her but, like my Mum, she was on Warfarin and ultimately we couldn't keep the balance between keeping the blood clot-free and thick enough not to bleed again. When she died my Mother herself was in Hospital with Warfarin complications (she's convinced it was sympathetic with my Auntie Eileen) and so could not go to the funeral. As the game was taking place I was at home packing getting ready to get the overnight boat train from Euston to Holyhead and, like I said, remember that I couldn't have cared less when Chelsea won that game.

So prayers for your Dad, Royhendo, and prayers for my Auntie Eileen. Prayers too for another Uncle who, devastatingly, seems to have entered that personal hell of dementia in the past couple of months. As Royhendo says, value your family this Christmas...
"We will win the European Cup one day. Aim for the moon and end up among the stars" - Gérard Houllier 2001

Thankyou Rafa and Jürgen  for taking us to Heaven!

"Hicks could have purchased Dallas' MLS franchise but decided not to. 'In hindsight, I probably made the wrong decision' he said" - Sports Illustrated/AP 2007

Offline Yorkykopite

  • Misses Danny Boy with a passion.
  • RAWK Writer
  • Believer
  • ******
  • Posts: 24,869
  • The first five yards........
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2013, 02:04:03 PM »
That's a great piece of writing Roy. Effortless. (You must have worked hard at it. ) Mrs Yorky's mum has just gone into a care home which, typically, she now thinks she's running. I recognise the truth of what you say at the end about 'looking for the joy in it'.
"If you want the world to love you don't discuss Middle Eastern politics" Saul Bellow.

Offline Harinder

  • RAWK Star. Top Kharbooja. Heat-Sikhing Missile Launcher. Purveyor of burning bushes, interpreter of dreams, provider of Egyptian travel before the age of 30, and saviour of RAWK. Also he has a beard.
  • RAWK Staff
  • Believer
  • ******
  • Posts: 7,626
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2013, 02:35:41 PM »
Very touching piece Roy and sincerely hope writing it was not too hard

Big hug over the internet to ya.
Just clicked on the main board and my virus scanner came back with this

"When we visited this site, we found it exhibited one or more risky behaviors."


:lmao

Strip his knighthood https://submissions.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/47770

royhendo

  • Guest
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2013, 03:10:40 PM »
Thank you boys. It was a joy to write, quite honestly. It's a funny memory now. Thanks a lot. :)

Offline No666

  • Married to Macca.
  • RAWK Scribe
  • Believer
  • ******
  • Posts: 14,195
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2013, 03:22:06 PM »
Proper Christmas piece, that. Looks like my old Dad's in hospital this Christmas so the nerve-endings were jangling as I read. Thank you for taking the time to write something that was emotive without ever being maudlin, mate.

Offline Corkboy

  • Sworn enemy of Bottlegirl. The Boston Toilet Mangler. Grauniad of the Cidatel. Into kinky S&M with the Lash.
  • RAWK Supporter
  • Believer
  • ******
  • Posts: 31,774
  • Is it getting better?
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2013, 11:58:20 PM »
Thanks, Roy, that was very sweet. Mrs Corkboy's dad went that way, I recognise the details.

Offline Jingle Hells Razor Smells

  • Cos he's shaved his balls. Dreams of a handjob from Timmy Mallett. Chronicler of seasons past. Cares more than Prelude Nr 5, or does he?
  • RAWK Scribe
  • Believer
  • ******
  • Posts: 24,180
  • Take me 2 the magic of the moment on a glory night
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2013, 10:05:19 AM »
lovely photo

nice story
yer ma should have called you Paolo Zico Gerry Socrates HELLRAZOR

Offline Hinesy

  • RAWK Editor. Giving it BAFTA’s. 57'sy. Caramel log dealer and comma chamaeleon
  • RAWK Staff.
  • Believer
  • ******
  • Posts: 20,285
Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #14 - Chelsea 4-2 Liverpool, FA Cup 4th Round, 1997
« Reply #19 on: December 25, 2013, 12:03:08 AM »
Bump for Christmas
Yep.