Articles

Now He’s Munchin' Gladbach

Here are some of the memories some are just plain stupid some show how desperate we were in our quest for any liquid intake.

We pulled into Zurich station and as was the case an announcement was made over the train tannoy saying we would be here for half an hour, so we could get some refreshments from the station cafeteria. Like locusts the train evacuated in seconds everyone headed for the café, we where in a group of five so three went for food and drinks whilst two went for a look around to see what opportunities where available. The station was desolate apart from the café and it looked like our luck was out, that is until we opened this “dart board” located in the café but at the other end of the counter. The “dart board” was in fact supplies of cigarettes stored to replenish the cigarette machine next to it on the wall we closed the cupboard doors and legged it back to the train to get some plastic bags. When we got back nobody had touched the cupboard so we emptied it out into the plastic bags and scarped the others soon returned and we enjoyed some free food and drinks.  Once the train moved on stories came out about the sheer numbers involved and how the two Swiss women just couldn’t cope. After a time people just got behind the counter and passed out free food and drinks. We shared out our ciggies amongst those who smoked, the majority where given away to Reds fighting nicotine withdrawal systems.

At one of the German stations the train stopped once again, two lads legged it off first and ran across to a huge trolley full of beer bottles [The ones with the flip tops] they continued to neck the amber nectar. Everybody was hanging out the train windows thinking “As if anyone would leave a trolley full of ale at a train station and unmanned” one of the lads opened another bottle and poured out some of its contents. Before the fluid had hit the floor a multitude had gathered around and started taking bottles back to the train, every nook and cranny held our booty. The Railway police said “That the train wouldn’t leave until all the bottles had been returned” furious attempts where made to drink as much as possible as quick as possible. After 10-15 minutes and a couple more prompts from the Police drunken the groggy Red army returned some of the empty bottles… Wonder what the Police thought when they checked them once we’d gone?

At an Italian station a few of the lads found a trolley [like a hot dog stand] loaded with buns and hot fillings, this was wheeled onto the train much to the amusement of the hungry people. Once the train was on its way the lads set it all up and meals on wheels was available to the starving masses [free of course] the fillings where dead spicy but I don’t recall anyone complaining. The lads walked up and down the length of the train singing [Just one Cornetto] passing out sustenance along the way to those who wanted it. We did have on board a few British Rail police [They where as useful as a chocolate kettle] even they laughed when they saw some of the antics nearly everyone got up too.  The trolley was used as a cart with lads timing how long it took them from one end of the carriage to the other. Various attempts where made to create a record timing from many different people, it was finally lashed off the train in the middle of the Italian countryside.

Just before midday we finally arrived at Romes Tiburtine Station it was a relief to walk on Terra Firma - we sang a special welcome to the Eternal City.

We're on our way to Roma
on the 25th of May
All the Kopites will be singing
Vatican bells they will be ringing
Liverpool boys they will be drinking
when we win the European Cup

Once outside we boarded specially laid on coaches to be taken to the City centre, the humidity outside was intense. It was superb looking out the windows at the multitudes of Liverpool supporters already there - Rome belonged to Liverpool.  The cafes and bistro’s did a roaring trade as the people fought off the pains of hunger. Everywhere you looked you’d see Liverpudlians bedecked in Red in White singing their heads off and having a laugh. One of the most enjoyable memories I have is sitting on the edge of some fountain with me kecks rolled up and my bare feet in the cool water – bliss, absolute bliss...

Around 2:30 the heat was so unbearable that we had to head inside to the sanctuary of a pub, a few hours later and it was time to make our way to the ground. We boarded a single decker bottle green bus which was chocka full of Reds “Watch yourselves for Italian pickpockets” one of the lads shouts.  After 10-15 minutes this lad by us grabs this bloke who has his wallet in his hand “You fuxxing robbing bxxxxxd” he says as he then butts the Italian. The bus driver slams on the brakes and immediately apologises the lad was thrown off the bus minus his t-shirt and shoes.  We finally made our way to the Olympic Stadium [It looked SUPERB] everywhere was a sea of red and white and everyone was singing their heads off.  We only saw three or four Borussia fans as we walked up to the ground, with an hour to go before kick-off we wanted to get in early. 

Entering the Coliseum of Rome as a Christian must have been a daunting task but even that faded into insignificance once we saw the sea of red chequered flags that met us that night. This sight would never ever be equalled by any set of football supporters EVER!  It is estimated that over 30,000 Liverpudlians had somehow managed to beg, steal or borrow their way to Roma.  The local vino had certainly loosened many a Scouser’s vocal chords the noise that night would have frightened any Roman Gladiator or Lion for that matter. 

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark
At the end of a storm
There's a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark
Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone
Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone
You'll never walk alone…

 One huge flag said
"HERE WE GO GATHERING CUPS IN MAY. "

Another said
“PAISLEYS PANZER DIVISION”

Whilst one simply proclaimed
“THE midweek Match”

One said
“When in Rome do as the Scousers do”

A rather apt one said
“Tommy Smith is prettier than Sophia Loren”

But perhaps the greatest Liverpool flag EVER said
"JOEY ATE THE FROGS LEGS - MADE THE SWISS ROLL - NOW HE'S MUNCHIN' GLADBACHS. "

Phil Cummings: Originally it was just the 'Frogs Legs' The 'Joey makes the Swiss roll' was a natural for the Zurich semi-final. But we puzzled for hours over what to do for the final. Then my mum came up with a solution – run them all together. That's how it came about, in the end the flag measured 24 foot by 8 foot. The flag was created by Phil Downey, Phil and Jimmy Cummings

That is surely the greatest ever flag in the history of Liverpool FC and we've had some crackers over the years. David Fairclough was again left out of the starting line up. Ian Callaghan stayed in the team as Bob Paisley reverted to 4-4-2.  As both sets of players entered the arena for the battle, you could see the looks of amazement on our player's faces as they looked up at the scene that confronted them. The Borussia players looked nervous, as they looked up at the Curva Nord.


Back

Season archive

We've got all the results from official games, appearance stats, goal stats and basically every conceivable statistic from 1892 to the present, every single line-up and substitutions!