20 November 2010

A Return to Anfield

I used to visit Liverpool a lot during my first few years in Dublin. It helped that the city is quite close (just under 250 km across the Irish Sea) and was either a few hours ferry trip away (the ferry I took used to dock right by The Royal Liver Building) or under an hour's flight away to what was then just plain old, Liverpool Airport (John Lennon's name was only added in 2002). Oh, and the fact that my sister used to live in Liverpool also helped, free accommodation and all. 

For some reason, my visits to Liverpool were never uneventful. On my first visit there, I had my first encounter with snow. A couple of friends and I were outside at around 3 o'clock in the morning, making snowmen and having snowball fights. We were like a bunch of kids locked-in a toy store overnight. These days, having gone through a few horrible winters, I think it's safe to say that I'm not as keen on snow anymore.

On another visit, my flight back to Dublin was cancelled because of bad weather and a bunch of 20-30 people were stuck at the airport as there was no way for us to get back to civilisation. I eventually made it home when a bunch of us decided that hypothermia wasn't an option and broke-in to a parked bus, hot-wired it and drove it all the way to Lime Street where we returned it back to the public transportation system. I still had an uphill walk on icy footpaths to my sister's place on Princes Street but that was the least of my worries. I didn't get arrested the following day for stealing a Merseytravel Bus so I suppose, I need't have worried too much the night before.

Obviously, the most memorable of visits to Liverpool was my first match day visit to Anfield. It was the summer following Liverpool's treble-winning season and the place was absolutely buzzing with optimism. The visitors on the day were John Gregory's Aston Villa who ended up beating Liverpool 3-1 on the day. Not a great result but standing there amongst the crowd on the Anfield Road stand that day was definitely an unforgettable experience on its own. Thanks for the free ticket that day Abe!

A couple more visits followed since but then, life just took over and unfortunately, I've yet to watch a match at Anfield in over five years now. 

Well, I certainly hope that the wait would end in the next few weeks where I hope to travel to Anfield once again. This time, to watch Liverpool play host to Fulham. Hopefully, today's win against West Ham starts to become a trend and I'll have some happy memories to bring back home.


azwazis said...

I remembered that day....It was Dudek's first game at Anfield and that idiot let in 3 soft goals....damnitt!!!!

Chip said...

The seats were brilliant though. We were so close to Dudek, we could smell the sweat off him...ahaks!

I'm heading to Anfield with Sham and Che' Wan this time around. Should be a good one.

Kere said...

Oh ho! So that's how you get back from the airport that day! I bet it was them Scousers yg curik the bus. Berani betul

Chip said...

Eh? How did you find out about my "secret" spot on the inter-web?

Anyway, the Scousers around us that night were quite well-behaved. It was an OOT dude who broke into the thing after he found out that one of us could actually drive a bus. Thought I told you about all this...?

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