The first I can actually remember of realizing I was indeed a Liverpool supporter was the day my father (God Bless him, and he was an Evertonian) walked through the door one saturday evening in May 1950 proudly wearing a Liverpool rosette and scarf and a heavy wooden rattle decorated in red and white ribbons.
We had just been beaten to Arsenal 2-0 in the F.A. Cup Final and Dad had been to the game, I remember well his voice was hoarse, although he was an Everton fan he wanted Liverpool to win because he knew that I had become a Liverpool fan (although the date that happened I will never know). He gave me his souveniers and I proudly kept them for many years.
I did not start going to games for some years later because I had no money (in them days I got threepence pocket money).
Later, in 1953 my father got two tickets for the sixth round of the F.A. Cup Everton v Liverpool in an endeavour to convert me to becoming an Everton fan, we beat them (was it 4-0 or 5-0? I forget now in my old age), anyway, we stood in the paddock at Goodison Park, and to say the least I was "over the moon", Dad and his friends were quietly embarrassed by my behaviour and tried to quieten me down.
After the game we travelled by tram to my Aunt Mary's who lived in Everton Valley. On the tram I was still very excited and Dad again tried to quieten me but I would not give up my rattle (those elder supporters will remember that a rattle was a wooden device that we twirled around and it made an awful lot of noise) but the tram conducter came along and ordered me to maintain the peace !!! (he must have been an Everton fan also).
The days following were a wonderful memory of Liverpool F.C. and the glory days which were to follow. Yes, we spent many years in the second division and I used to go into the boys pen, then it was just 9p and we would climb over the railings into the kop.
In them days we would get as many as 35,000 for a second division game, such was the support for Liverpool. I was at the last game we played in the second division at Plymouth Argyle, at the invitation of Ronnie Yeates and met Bill Shankly for the first time. It took a little time for us to achieve success (attention you Rafa haters) but Shanks eventually got us there.
Went to the 1965 Cup Final, took dear old Dad and we had a great time (well remember sitting in the guards van on the train home (Dad was on the railroad and knew the guard) I sat on a case of beer and cried with joy all the way home, later gave the case of beer to the guard and ten shilling to the train driver for getting us back to Lime Street before the pubs closed. We were welcomed back to Liverpool by thousands and had a great time, went to my local the Broadgreen Abbey (built in 1848 and closed in the late 60's for the M62 motorway flyover). Later remember going to a club when Everton played in the Cup Final and was overjoyed when Sheffield Wednesday scored against Everton, then I remember my dear father and started to cheer for Everton, they went on to win, good old Dad, God Bless him.
Yes, I have many many memories of Liverpool F.C. but I also have many memories of football as it was in those days, there was no bigotry, yes we did boo the blues but at the end of the day we still went home together. I met Shanks a couple of times later and the last time he signed my left arm, was going to get it tattooed over but my girlfriend said No. Shanks was to me my hero, and today I feel that Rafa is ready to follow in his footsteps, watched Bob Paisley, Billy Liddel, Allan Acourt, Joe Fagan Albert Sidlow and all the rest. Yes, although I have now lived in Canada for the past 34 years I am as big a Liverpool fan as I was back in those dark days of the 50's
. My recreation room is decorated in red and white and I have pictures on the wall of myself with Shanks, Ian St John, and others on the wall along with trophies of our cup successes. I wear Liverpool shirts when I play golf and often get ribbed by our club pro who is a Man U fan (but I am slowly converting him), on the golf course people often ask me about my shirts (they are the Euro final of 2005 and one bears the five stars of our Euro glories and I proudly tell them of my team. I have a ball marker (for the golf initiated) which bears the Liverpool insignia, also have Liverpool F.C. golf balls which I refuse to use but are proudly displayed on my golf bag. Yes, even although I am now in my late 60's I am so very proud to be a Liverpool fan. I hope I have not bored you youngsters with my ramblings, but maybe when you are as old as me you to will have such wonderful memories to pass along, alas I will not be around to hear them...YOU WILL NEVER WALK ALONE (by-the-way, I remember the day that was first sung on the kop