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A fan who crashed his bo***cks on the Kop

BB recounts his most painful memory of the Kop.

If you remember seeing an adrenaline propelled 14 year old running from Anfield to James Street Station, with blood coming from a leg wound, at about 9:30pm on March 16th 1977, please contact your local sports psychologist – for that spotty faced youth was me.

The date should well be embossed onto every true Red’s brain but, if you’re too young, the mention of David Fairclough should be enough.

The day (a Wednesday) had started grimly what with double Physics and a bastard of a Latin test but, brandishing falsified ‘Please excuse my son from games’ documents, Neil Sampson, his brother Kevin, and myself, slipped quietly into Liverpool City Centre. Of course we had managed to get rid of the school clothes and there, waiting for the 26 bus at 2pm behind the Empire, stood three scallies with red and white scarves tied to our wrists.

Even at 3pm, over 4 hours before kick-off, the queues to get into The Kop were miles long. We waited. I had a small wooden stool with me, it had been my perch at Anfield since 1970 and also served as a goal at one end of my Dad’s garage.

We got into The Kop at around 6 and there, for three and a half hours, we were squeezed, bashed, mauled and pushed, something you don’t get now we all have nice plastic seats. I don’t think I need to go into detail about the game. Needless to say, I didn’t see David Fairclough’s goal, he had just controlled Ray Kennedy’s pass and got into the penalty area when it all went black. And that was that. Now we had to get out and get home but we couldn’t move.

The goal (stool) was left behind as I was carried up the steps in a wave of sweaty bodies. Neil and Kevin disappeared – occasionally bobbing up further and further away.

Now, if anyone out there remembers The Kop how it was then get ready for a tear-jerking tale. At the top, in the middle, you had the choice of going left or right. On that night, I had no choice as, being about 2 foot shorter than all around me, I had to trust to luck – we went right. Then it happened. There, just at the top of the steps leading down and passed the bogs was a post, some 24inches tall. These days, Health and Safety would have come down on such an obstacle like a proverbial ton of bricks but that night, it was my bollocks that hit it full on. Screaming with pain, I was lifted from behind by some massive red faced docker and carried to safety. The post had ripped my Brutus Golds and pierced the skin from inner thigh to knee as Mr Stevador yanked me skywards.

Out in the street, dodging people and Cortinas, I made my way back down the bus route, breaking into an exuberant run as I got ahead of the crowds.

So, Scottie Road into town I ran, got on a train at James Street and phoned my Mum to pick me up. Bless her cotton support tights, she’d listened to the match on Radio City and had been too involved to tuck into a bottle of Cinzano. It was such a blessed relief when the familiar brown Austin Allegro turned up at Hamilton Square to take me home, my blood stained scarf still tied to my wrist.

“Where’s the stool?” asked my silver haired chaffeur.

An interesting point to note is that Kevin Sampson has gone on to be a renowned author and his book, Extra Time, which details a season in the life of an avid red, gives me and the St Etienne game a mention on page 28.

Hopefully, I’ll be invited back on this site as I’ve plenty of other memories regarding my beloved LFC to share with you all.

 

Nipping in back door of the Sandon for an illegal beer or two, David Johnson’s black eye, Skippy’s Datsun 280Z, The Mars Bar Man, Jimmy ‘Black Face’ Munro, the best goal ever (Steve Heighway against Birmingham City), the best save ever (David James’ from Jigsaw Barlow’s deflected shot)… In fact, most everything Anfield over the past 30 years.

BB 

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