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Crazy Soccer Mum Loves Liverpool FC


Do ya want to speak to her?...It's some Crazy Soccer Mum...
The receptionist forgot to mute the phone as she yelled out across the office...The title stuck.
When did I become a Crazy Soccer Mum? Maybe it was at this moment, when I rang a local property developer, to ask if they'd sponsor the kids soccer club...Na, was the reply... That made me both crazy and mad... If Crazy Soccer Mum was born on this day...
...She came of age, the day we went on the Liverpool FC tour of Anfield, and became a Liverpool Fan...

 
I didn't grow up with football, I just got sucked in through the kids. Moving countries as often as we did, meant we had to adapt quickly. A new country, meant new schools, new house and new soccer club. Having the right soccer team for the kids was up there on the list of priorities, along with buying a new car and learning the language.
An average Melbourne week now involves twelve football (soccer) commitments to be scheduled into the weeks events... In our house we have three players, two of whom coach three teams, one referee and one barista who makes coffees for the parents on Saturday morning... not to mention the rostered jobs of Ground Marshal, Linesperson, BBQ etc...
I never barracked for a soccer team growing up in the UK, nice girls generally didn't. This was the era of soccer hooligans and riots... Anyway our local choices of Swindon, Oxford or Reading didn't quite excite in the way that I can see growing up in London, Manchester or Liverpool would...
 
We liked Liverpool. We went last time we were back in the UK because I've always wanted to do a Beatles tour and it seemed like a fun place for a weekend. The city offered something for everyone and was well placed for my cleverly chosen Christmas present gifts of tickets to watch some of the best English Premier League football teams in action.
The boys were able to do a side trip to watch Manchester United play West Bromwich Albion, at Old Trafford whilst us girls, just back from trip to Barcelona to watch our (now) mega hero Messi and Barca play, went shopping in the newly regenerated fabulous city shopping precinct.

We squeezed in a quick match at Goodison Park to watch Liverpool city rivals Everton v Chelsea. So we knew a thing or two about The World Game by the time we rocked up for the Anfield tour, last December... But my, there is something about the Liverpool Football Club that is unique and special. Crazy Soccer Mum needed a British Football Team to support and Liverpool FC would do just nicely...
 
Melbourne is going off at the moment. Grown men were hyperventilating at the Airport on Sunday when the Liverpool team arrived, like teenage girls waiting for One Direction. The papers are reporting it as bedlam. The Reds anthem 'You'll Never Walk Alone' will live as true here as anywhere. Everywhere the Liverpool team go on their first visit to Australia, they are being mobbed... Last night 20,000 Fans turned out in force to enjoy free tickets to watch Liverpool train, it sold out, just as the match tickets did, as quickly as you can say 'Will Suarez be playing?'
Tonight Liverpool play A League club Melbourne Victory at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, commentators are suggesting it could be in front of one of Liverpool's biggest ever crowds ever. This is Liverpool's first visit to Australia and a full MCG at capacity will hold up to 100,000 people. By contrast Anfield Stadium holds 45,000, but wow what a stadium. During the tour you get to sit in the Manager's dug out and imagine what it must be like with 45,000 Scousers singing as one.
 
 
For anyone lucky enough to visit Liverpool at their home ground, Anfield, you will find that you can't help but feel in awe of the place. Anfield is in a pretty rough looking area of run down properties. Standing proud in it's midst is this stadium, rising like the true cathedral to the sport that it is. From the moment you walk in past the huge bronze statue of Bill Shankly, you have the sense that you are at the home of something special...
 
Add in the warm welcome each visitor receives from Club Officials who combine of a mix of pride in their Team with a wonderfully self depreciating Scouse humour and it's a winning combination, for one of the most successful teams in soccer history. The Liverpool logo reminds you of the rich Club history, established in 1892. Wow! 121 years ago in Australia's history, we were just working out whether to be kicking a round or oval ball...
 
 
Tours of Anfield run throughout the day starting from the museum. Yes, there is a whole museum dedicated to the clubs history and there is a Liverpool superstore where of every type of Liverpool merchandise you can imagine is on offer from shirts, to mugs to bikinis to birthday cards.
You get to see all the behind the scenes areas like the dressing rooms, media centre and of course to touch the famous 'This is Anfield sign' as each player does without fail before they run out onto the pitch...
 
Just looking at those smart red seats gives you goosebumps, especially when on the Anfield tour they talk about the history of the Spion Kop, where the hardened supporters used to stand. This was in the days before the Hillsborough disaster which claimed the lives of 96 supporters in 1989 and led to the elimination of all standing terraces at all major football stadiums in England, Scotland and Wales. The Hillsborough disaster at Anfield is a poignant memorial and the mood changes as we pause to remember those who went to watch a football match and never returned home...
 
We loved our time with Barcelona FC, but I have to say impressive as Camp Nou is, the Anfield tour was better than the Camp Nou tour which was maybe too big, too commercial. At Anfield you get to feel the heart and soul of the club and that is why they will always be my EPL team of choice!
 
Last week in Sydney Manchester United drew a crowd of over 83,000 at ANZ stadium. Is this the biggest football week Australia has ever seen? Congratulations to Football Federation Australia, 175,000+ spectators in two matches in the same week. That is good for the sport here in Australia. Add in our recent World Cup qualifying for Brazil 2014 and the future of the game Down Under is going well...

There is no doubt we have seen here in Australia this week that the passion for the mighty Reds extends well beyond those able to get to follow and support them in the UK. Melbourne has just been a sea of red this week as supporters arrive from all over the Country, all over the world, to watch one of the giants of global football, both in terms if their on field achievements and their off field support. Welcome Liverpool FC.
 
Our Victorian Premier Dr Denis Napthine has called Liverpool's match as 'one of the Great sporting occasions in Melbourne'.
Liverpool FC very nice of you to visit us, after we came to visit you. Thank you!
We hope you have enjoyed your time in Melbourne,
Have a great match tonight...and may the best team win!
 
Little Wandering Wren

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