By John Duggan
As we got the bus I could sense the atmosphere building up as the scouse accents around me and the red and white bedecked Liverpool supporters bantered away happily. I was taking it all in dizzily, getting high on the whole blend of colour and noise and anticipation.
We got off the bus a short distance from the ground and walked with and among the ever increasing crowd of chanting and vibrant supporters, munching away on pies and pasties, supping their pre-match pints outside a lively packed pub, scarve and flag sellers were touting their wares, it was great, it couldn’t get any better than this. Then we approached it. The temple of football in England -Anfield ! I was here at last !! Wow, its beautiful, its big, I’m here !!
It was getting close to the kickoff, we had to get to our seats. We went up the final steps towards the stand and then it happened. Just as I got to the top, the noise erupted. It was awesome. My young ears were pierced with the fantastic sound of 50,000 supporters cheering as the team came out !! What timing, what an impression, what a way to start your first game at Anfield. I took it all in, watched every move Liverpool made, screamed, booed, swore, and laughed and loved it all, especially when we scored twice to beat Arsenal 2-1.
After the match I was probably the last person in the stadium. I didn’t want to leave, I wanted to impress this picture on my brain first, take it all in. I was glad I waited because down near the press box was the one and only – super-sub. I harassed my dad frantically for a pen and raced towards the press box and excitingly and with awe asked David Fairclough for his autograph which he gave willingly.
I was on cloud 9 and floated down the steps out of the ground and then around to the shop which at this time was a small extension with two side entrances. I pushed my way in among the packed crowd and didn’t mind waiting as I was again taking in all the atmosphere. I was among my own here, all Reds supporters, all wanting a bit of Liverpool FC.
I got my pieces of Liverpool that day, in more ways than one . I’ll never ever forget it -my first trip to Anfield. Definitely not my last !!