The Liver Bird  

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Educate The Ignorant

Russell Hawker is clearly a very ignorant and uneducated man, in case you haven't seen his recent tweets about the Hillsborough disaster i shall put the print screen below (click to enlarge). To cut a long story short, the man believes that the root cause of Hillsborough was hooliganism. Wrong.

I personally don't see why this man should get any rest, after all, he clearly hasn't learnt anything from the years of fighting for justice.If you would like to help educate Mr Russell Hawker feel free to tweet him @russellhawker

Better still e.mail him - russell.hawker@wiltshire.gov.uk

I found that to be the better option due to my disgust not fitting into 140 characters although Mr Russell feels 140 characters is adequate to crush the hearts of the Hillsborough victims families and anyone involved. My email is below. Say how you feel but don't stick your foot in it and get personal and offensive. Any amount of emails will never equal the suffering of those affected by Hillsborough so click send...

"Good morning Mr Hawker,

Quite a lovely morning isn't it? Warm, sunny, just the start to a lovely day that you would wish for.

Perhaps showing similarities to that lovely sunny April morning when 96 football fans made their way to watch their beloved football club play in what should have been one of the most exciting games of that season, young boys, daughters and mothers, grown men, but I'm sure you know all this don't you after supposedly reading the Taylor Report.

How on gods green earth you can sit back and tweet things with such ignorance is beyond me but the fact that you actually do believe that hooliganism was the root cause of Hillsborough, (and i can quote that from the saved picture of your removed tweets should you wish me to) is disgraceful.

Pushing occurred there is no doubt about it, but i ask you Sir, if you were with your daughter in a crowded tunnel after not being directed properly to your seat or designated area, despite the fact you had entered the ground peacefully and happily, excited about the game, are you telling me rather than attempt to get yourself and your daughter to safety, to an area just so you can catch a breath you would not do it?

Hillsborough was nothing, NOTHING to do with hooliganism. Liverpool fans have taken enough slack for Heysel and they accept it but to try to rub the blame again on fans who were using broken advertising boards to try to save peoples lives whilst being subject to the opposition fans and the polices same train of thought that you have Sir, that they were just causing trouble, well quite frankly it makes me sick.

I wonder if you would be able to compose yourself enough to go and visit some of the families within the Hillsborough Family Support Group, look them in the eye and tell them that you believe their son died because he was involving himself in hooliganism, or that the other fans around him caused his death because of hooliganism. You claim that you sympathise with the victims so why dishonour them in such a way that you brush off the total mismanagement of the entire match, the poor police organisation, the way you see it it was only the part of the problem.

Well, you are quite simply wrong. If you have the guts to i suggest you speak to some of the victims families, go speak to some Liverpool fans, go and sit at Anfield at 3:05 on the 15th April and for christ sake read some valid information from the people that matter.

I acknowledge the fact that you have apologised but it's far too little far too late.

So have a look out the window this morning on the way to work and enjoy the sunshine, 96 angels will never see the sunshine again, i hope the thought hits home hard for you and that you turn in your sleep because if i was you i would be utterly disgraced with my comments and i would be sensible enough to bury my head in the sand after completely re-opening the wounds of all the people who were involved in or affected by Hillsborough.

Your obviously a man with little heart or sympathy, little education and you take little thought into what you say, I'm a true believer in "what goes around comes around" so one day, somehow i should imagine you will get your comeuppance.

Yours,

A true human being."



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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Purslow, Hodgson, Hunt (Not Roger) & Help Save Liverpool FC


One day this will be mine... Alllll miiiinee muhahahahaha!
(I swear he's a Bond villain.)


After some slow weeks in terms of news for blog posts due to the majority of the Liverpool team being away on world cup duty and the managerial position still being a no go, this week there have been a few interesting points i'd like to highlight and i also want to just push you towards a fantastic idea and opportunity to show how you are against Hicks, Gillett, Purslow... In fact show how you are against the whole damn shambles of how our great club is being run.

To start off with Christian Purslow, who is already at the bottom of most peoples christmas card list has made things a lot worse for himself this week after popular Liverpool fans forum Red And White Kop (RAWK) was contacted by lawyers acting on behalf of Mr.Purslow. He was said to be unhappy with the personal information (more likely the harsh - but fair, comments from some forum members) that was contained in the forums.

I'm not quite sure who he thinks he is but it comes to a new low when you send a legal team to target an independent Liverpool supporters forum, he's already dropping friends like flies, how on gods green earth did he think this would help his case? And as RAWK have pointed out the information posted that was said to be personal is freely available from an internet search.

You can read a bit more on this story here & here.

Next up, those famous "we believe" comments are coming from the likes of the BBC this morning already on the news bulletins i have seen two presenters say that the BBC are led to believe that Roy Hodgson will be made Liverpool manager within 48 hours.

Roy has been a favourite in the race for the Anfield job for a good while and although i have no doubt that he is a fantastic manager i do have my concerns about his appointment, perhaps for a later post should he be appointed. No matter what though, we all must get right behind him because he is walking into a very difficult situation and a tough task, whilst he's at it i wouldn't say no to him bringing along Danny Murphy & Clint Dempsey, even if they do just sit on the bench.

You can read the BBC story here.

Thirdly we have a case of sheer ignorance from a man who is arguably sitting in one of the most important seats in sport. Jeremy Hunt the Conservative Secretary Of State For Sport made an unholy blunder yesterday after comparing Hillsborough as a similar circumstance to Heysel in an interview. Any football fan knows that Heysel may have been down to unruly fans but Hillsborough was nothing of the sort, to say such a despicable thing and almost glide it off the tongue as if it didn't matter and from a man who should be clued up on his area of work is disgraceful.

Shortly after Mr. Jeremy Hunt did apologise on his blog here and he also wrote an open letter to The Liverpool Echo here . Fair play to the man for having the guts to come out and apologise but i think it is pretty safe to say that the damage has already been done.

And to end on...

Pretty certain that a lot of you folks who read my blog are also Twitterers and if you are you will have no doubt come across the Save Liverpool FC campaign (@saveliverpoolfc). They are working hard to get a website up and running but have been grafting to get the message out on Facebook (here) too.

The king pin of their many ideas at the moment though is quite simply an excellent notion.

Kit Nelson who many people know for his artwork on deviant art as (Kitster29) has created a fantastic alternative kit design for Liverpool fans.



LFC alternative strip by *kitster29 on deviantART

Within the next month or so the shirt should be available to purchase online. I for one have decided that the money i was saving up and then going to keep aside until the Yanks had gone (bearing in mind this could have been another year) to buy the new away shirt would be put to better use by purchasing this alternative strip.

Not only will i be making my position clear on the owners and the way the club is being run but i will still be supporting MY CLUB and MY TEAM whilst those suits upstairs continue to drag us through the mud.

I think the design is superb and with a reasonable price tag i think it is a cracking idea and just hope that some of you get behind it too.

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Monday, 21 June 2010

Time To Leave Your Mark


Hey folks, just a short post giving you a heads up about a fantastic new website which is trying it's utmost to clean up football. As Liverpool fans we are all too familiar with the dangerous financial situation at our club, with the Premier League alone suffering massive debts it is time to get serious.

Oi! FA is a website not just for Liverpool FC fans but for fans of football clubs up and down the UK who are concerned about the current state of football, whether you are worried about your own club or just for the game in general, stop by and have your say.

It takes just two seconds to sign The Petition and it would be excellent if you could help spread the word, get your followers on Twitter or Facebook friends to spare a moment of their time for the benefit of the football club they love.

Oi! FA also has a Facts & Stats section where you can size up your clubs financial situation compared to any other club, with details being updated it is a great source of information.

They also have in line forums and many other ideas so show them some support and get your signature on that list, as a Liverpool fan it would be wrong not to.

For a more personal fight against the financial terrorists who are currently holding the reigns at our beloved football club, don't forget you can join Spirit Of Shankly.

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Friday, 18 June 2010

Fixtures


Liverpool released the fixture list for the 2010/2011 season yesterday and the Reds will be opening the campaign at home to Arsene Wenger's Gunners. With Man City straight afterwards at the City Of Manchester Stadium and then a massive game away to Manchester United just two matches later it is certain to be a tough start for whoever is appointed as the new manager of our football club.

We have to wait until October 16th for our first Merseyside derby, the first leg will be at Goodison Park and the match at Anfield is some 3months later.

Our first meeting with the current Premier League holders Chelsea is on the 6th of November, one i am most looking forward to from a selfish point of view as it is just two days after my 21st birthday.

We do not meet the likes of Tottenham and Villa until late November, the trip down to London is followed directly by a match at Anfield against Midlander's Aston Villa.

My free ticket to see the boys courtesy of work means i will be freezing my ass off on the January 22nd to see the lads try to better their 0-0 draw at the Molineux last year.

Our second clashes with Chelsea and Manchester United are quite close together with the game at Stamford Bridge taking place on February 5th and the clash with United at home on March 5th.

We end the season with a trip to Fulham, a home game against Spurs and then an away trip to Aston Villa.

Here's hoping that 2010/2011 is somewhat of a positive campaign.

You can see the full fixture list here.

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Saturday, 12 June 2010

Past Players: Volume 3 - Kenny Dalglish

Basics
Full Name: Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish
Nickname: King Kenny
DOB: 4th March 1951
Height: 5"8



Kenny Dalglish was born and raised in the Scottish city of Glasgow and was a huge Glasgow Rangers fan as a boy so it was quite a surprise when he signed for Celtic and broke into the first team for them in 1971, all that remains to be said is that Rangers must have been gutted that he had chosen the hoops.

Dalglish was based at the club from 1968 but it took the three years for him to mature and prove his worth before Jock Stein called him up to the senior side. He did have trials as a schoolboy at West Ham and Liverpool but they came to no avail. Just 4 years after the young Scotsman burst onto the scene he was made captain of Celtic. Dalglish scored 112 goals in 204 appearances for Celtic.

Dalglish collected many honours in his time at the Scottish club and put in some excellent displays of football, his increasing success made him worthy of an international call up and he was a member of the 1974 Scotland world cup side that went unbeaten in the competition, the irony being that they still went out after picking up one win and two draws in the group stages. His time in international football also saw him make two records, firstly by playing 102 times for Scotland and secondly by scoring 30 goals - a record shared with Denis Law.

In 1977 Dalglish signed a contract offered to him by iconic Liverpool manager Bob Paisley, the record transfer fee (£440,000) seems like nothing compared to today's wheeling and dealing but you can make comparisons to the prices asked for the likes of Fernando Torres and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Scottish footballer and Liverpool player/manager Kenny Dalglish.  He later became manager for Blackburn Rovers.  Original Publication: People Disc - HD0036   (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Dalglish was part of the European Cup winning side in his first season in a red shirt and actually scored the winning goal in the final. He continued to lift silverware with the boys from Anfield and also tallied 31 goals in his 62 matches in his debut season and you don't need a pie chart to work out that percentage of greatness!

His skillful and clever style pleased thousands each week who came to and from The Kop and he is still as much as a hero now as he was then to Liverpool fans old and new.

Anfield folklore shall never forget such a fantastic supplement to some of the greatest football seen in the English leagues and King Kenny can be found in chants, on shirts and on banners on match days. Dalglish scored 172 goals in 515 appearances for Liverpool.

In 1985 Dalglish stepped up to take the role of player manager for Liverpool (in all fairness i could have put him in the "Past Managers" section of my blog just as easily, this is how successful in the footballing world the man was). He did this following the tragedy that happened at Heysel in the ill fated European Cup final in Brussels and the resignation of boot room member Joe Fagan.

Dalglish was also the Liverpool manager 4 years later when the Hillsborough Disaster shook the club. Through tough and emotional times at our football club, he was a superb role model and a gentleman in doing all he could to help those affected whilst keeping the team that linked them all together on track.

Kenny resigned from the managerial post at Anfield in 1991 on health grounds, after an eight month break completely from football he restarted his challenge...

Dalglish had managerial posts at Blackburn, Newcastle and his first club Celtic after his Liverpool days had ended. With Blackburn, he shook up the regularity of Premier League winners and lifted the title with them in the 94/95 season. His time at Newcastle saw him complete a respectable run seeing them finish second in the league, his time at Celtic was not fantastic but this by no means dampens his managerial record.

Outside of football Kenny Dalglish is the same shining example of a man that he is within the game. He has four children - Kelly, Paul, Lynsey and Lauren. Kelly is now a well known presenter and his son Paul manages an American side called FC Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Along with his wife he also founded the Marina Dalglish appeal which helps raise money for breast cancer. He is also a patron of Marine FC - a team based in Crosby, Merseyside. Dalglish also competes in a charity golfing event regularly called the Gary Player Invitational Tournament it raises money for worldwide children's causes.
18 Oct 2001:  Kenny Dalglish tees off during the 2001 Dunhill Links Championships held at Kingsbarns, Carnoustie, and St Andrews in Scotland. \ Mandatory Credit: Andrew Redington /Allsport

Fun Facts
Dalglish took Liverpool to their first ever "double".
Dalglish is only the third manager in history to take two different teams to the football league first division/premier league title.

Honours - Personal
FourFourTwo in 2009 named him the greatest post war British striker.
Topped the list of 100 players who shook The Kop.
PFA Player of the year (POTY) 1983.
Football Writers Association POTY 1979, 1983.
Entered the English Football Hall Of Fame 2002.
Member of Scotland Football Hall Of Fame.
Part of the FIFA 100.
Freedom of the city of Glasgow.

Honours - Managerial
Liverpool
Football League First Division (Now the Premier League) x3 - 85/86 , 87/88, 89/90
FA Cup x2 - 86, 89
Charity Shield x4 (Twice Shared) - 86, 88, 89, 90

Blackburn
Premier League - 94/95
FL Second Division Play-Off - 91/92

Newcastle United
Premier League - Runners Up 96/97
FA Cup Runner Up - 98

Celtic
SPL - Runners Up 99/00
Scottish League Cup - 00

Rest Of The World (Soccer Aid)
Winner - 2010

Honours - Player

Celtic
SPL Winner x4 -71/72, 72/73, 73/74, 76/77
SPL Runners Up - 75/76
Scottish Cup x4 - 72, 74, 75, 77
Scottish League Cup - 75

Liverpool
FL First Division x6 - 78/79, 79/80, 81/82, 82/83, 83/84, 85/86
FL Runners Up x3 - 77/78, 84/85, 86/87
FA Cup - 86
League Cup x4 - 81,82,83,84
Charity Shield x5 (Two Shared) - 78, 80, 81, 83, 87
European Cup (Now The Champions League) x3 - 78, 81, 84
European Super Cup - 78

And i think it's only fair to end on my favourite quote from the great man, in reference to Sir Alex Ferguson - "You might as well talk to my baby daughter. You'll get more sense out of her."

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Monday, 7 June 2010

“Yes, he misses a few, but he gets in the right places to miss them.”

A great man said that - Bill Shankly. Those words were uttered in 1966, a memorable year for most fans of football, he was describing the legendary forward Roger Hunt who had a superb 11 years at Liverpool football club.

I bring this up because in case you haven't noticed, the World Cup starts this week and i figured it would be a good time to do a post i've been thinking about for a while on attitudes to the whole England versus Club argument.

I'm a massive Liverpool fan as i'm pretty sure you are all aware but you're also aware that i do not reside or come from the wonderful city that is Liverpool. Because of this (even if i wanted to) i cannot join in with the "We're not English, we are Scouse" folk.

Such is Liverpudlian humour and the wit of the Liverpool fans, i can always totally see where these people are coming from. I too will not be going absolutely mental if Wayne Rooney nets the winner against USA in a few days time, and you certainly won't catch me praising a last minute John Terry tackle with full sincerity but you can bet your bottom dollar that if Gerrard is on the end of a screamer or Johnson makes a great run, Carragher a great tackle, i will be up out my seat protesting and supporting the boys.

I fully see the reasons why some Liverpool supporters do not get as worked up about the World Cup as other fans but i just feel it is a shame, especially for the few lads flying the Liver Bird under those Three Lions that we should not get behind them a bit. England is a lowly second to my football club but it doesn't mean i won't enjoy watching my country with my family and friends and hope that we do well and do the country proud, and most importantly that the lads representing Liverpool have a stormer of a competition.

I get the story every time from my Dad of 1966 when he was lying in the living room on the carpet with his older brother, a true old fashioned raw football anecdote which ended with his brother smashing his head off the lampshade, something i can now relate to after doing the same thing the first time around we beat Chelsea in the Champions League.

As a Liverpool fan i am 100% proud of the fact that Roger Hunt a legend in the Red shirt was such a key aspect of the 1966 World Cup win for England. Along with Ian Callaghan and Gerry Byrne.

It still makes me proud seeing John Barnes skill up the Brazilian defence... Heck i'm still filled with pride (albeit mixed with a bit of laughter) when Heskey nets the fifth against the Germans.

I think it's partly due to the sense of togetherness, for a short time, everyone is as one - which as a rule is an LFC tradition itself. Liverpool are still the root of the celebrations though and i'll be the first to criticize any mistakes from the pompous London boys, but wouldn't it be just great to see Steven Gerrard lift the World Cup...

Okay... That's not gonna happen but you catch my drift.

Get some booze down ya and one of those silly St. Georges top hats, sit in a pub with some bitters (the fans not the drink that is) and at least get behind the boys a bit.

Vindaloo, Love's got the world in motion and all that...

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Sunday, 6 June 2010

Well Red: Nice Spread.

Centre Spread: Rome 1977

Similar to what you expect from a decent buffet at some ageing relatives anniversary celebration, Well Red offers what you want on a platter and more...

The bread sticks provide the grass roots and security of knowledge and opinions, they know what they're doing, they've done it for years - just like Well Red's columnists.
The cheese dips provide you with the variety, the choices and the ability to make your own decision - just like the wide range of opinions and debates in this must have magazine for any Red.

And if you're lucky enough (as we are with Well Red) you sometimes get that extra special double chocolate gateau which provides that extra je ne sais quoi.

Well Red is not just your average outlet of media for Liverpool fans, it ties crucial facts and realism with opinions, banter and that sense that it is speaking to you as a fan. It is not saying what everyone wants to hear like the flickering white at the bottom of a Sky Sports News page... It is saying it how it is.

Well Red is the product of life long Red Gareth Roberts' imagination. As the editor of the magazine he also supplies a lot of the captivating articles, some of which in this issue unfortunately had a very depressing feel to them, despite this the magazine and Gareth's sole focus is to get it's point across at all costs and help educate the fans.

Gareth ensures that the bulky and possibly quite daunting section "They're Bleeding Us Dry" is focused and straight to the point, yes it makes some despondent reading but its what needs to be said. With a variety of articles and a mix of journalists it is a major tool for any Liverpool fan striving to understand the financial situation at the club. Gareth has also been generous enough to put up a free web version of this section of the mag that you can read here.

Other articles offer a more uplifting feel i.e. the Roy Evans big interview and a heartwarming story about a fans Father's boxing day mishap.

The sheer spectrum of writers in Well Red makes it very refreshing to read, with upcoming journalists such as Richard Buxton (@rbuxton87) and already established journalists such as Paul Tomkins (@paul_tomkins) - you get a real blend of writing and views.

Certain articles i feel will stand out
for anyone who picks up a copy of Issue 2 of Well Red and i personally thought the article by Kristian Walsh hit home hard. In times so difficult for the club and fans it really was one of those wake up and smell the coffee moments - a riveting read for any Liverpool fan.


Well Red also does a superb job of making outsiders still feel as involved as those who live two streets down from Anfield. With pieces on the global Liverpool fan base - no one is walking alone.


The layout and feel to the magazine is also gratifying. It isn't afraid to throw you big chunks of text because it is confident in the quality that is within those paragraphs. It balances titles and images well and it isn't scared to slap in the odd iconic page filling photograph.

What Well Red is, is an essential link to the fan base, it has no agenda, it simply puts down what needs to be said.

In this day and age when the internet is said to be killing off the newspaper, i have to say i can't really agree with that argument. Newspapers for sports fans, especially fans of Liverpool football club have been planning their own funeral for years - with their poor journalistic jabs at ex Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez and pathetic paragraphs of dribble from ex - Liverpool players such as Stan Collymore.

Well Red may have just created a new future for a Liverpool generation, as bold as it is of me to say so, i think the magazine already has so much support that it is fair enough for me to comment. I personally can't gather any reason as to why a Liverpool fan would not enjoy the independent Liverpool supporters' magazine.

For just £3 of your hard earned money (you don't need a leveraged buyout for this piece of LFC *coughcough* H&G) i would fully recommend this excellent magazine written by and for passionate Liverpool fans.

In my opinion there's only two choices, you should either fork out the cash and wait for Mr. Royal Mail to post something through your letterbox that is actually worth your attention or use it as your bus fare to Goodison Park - no returns.

You can purchase Well Red online at the following address - http://www.wellredmag.co.uk/buy.html

Well Red's editor Gareth Roberts also has a blog worth checking out - http://robbohuyton.blogspot.com/

And i'm sure he wouldn't mind you giving him a follow on Twitter - @robbohuyton

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Thursday, 3 June 2010

Adiós Señor Rafael Benitez

Rafael Benitez Liverpool manager waves goodbye to the Kop? during the game
Liverpool today officially parted ways with manager Rafael Benitez after the Spaniards 6year tenure at the club. In what was described as (but probably wasn't) a deal of mutual consent, Benitez has been paid £6million in this severance deal, some £10million less than what was in his contract should he have been sacked.

Rafael Benitez for many months now, maybe even seasons in some cases has split the fan bases opinion. Everyone always appreciated what he had done and achieved as Liverpool manager ~

UEFA Champions League - 2005
FA Cup - 2006
UEFA Super Cup - 2005
FA Community Shield - 2006

Highest points tally generated in Liverpool's Premier League history, finishing in 2nd place with a total of 86points.

Took us to another Champions League final in 2007.

Ensured Champions League football was a regular feature for the Reds up until his last season as Liverpool manager.

And not forgetting some famous results against the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, Everton... The list goes on.

But not all thought that was enough to support him in his fight against an astonishingly difficult situation. Don't get me wrong i respect and can understand the variety of differing opinions on the man but one thing i am certain we can all agree on is that Tom Hicks and George Gillett who probably sat back and laughed their heads off as supporters turned against Benitez and forgot about the turmoil they had both caused made it almost unworkable for any manager at our football club.

What Benitez did in such a tense period, a cash strapped and frankly embarrassing moment in time for "The Liverpool Way" has to be admired. As Benitez was continually denied transfer funds, control and support, he tried his utmost for the club he now held so dearly and the fans he held in even higher regard - he did his damn well best. I for one feel we must respect his efforts.

So as we wave goodbye to an era and a true gentleman, i hope you all join me in wishing him the best of luck, whatever your feelings are about him and whatever path he may go down.

There's only one Rafael Benitez and that my friends is fact.

Football - Liverpool Training

In a similar theme to this farewell to Benitez and the highlighting of the importance of removing the two Americans from upstairs before we can truly start to rebuild i feel it is a good time for me to again nudge you in a good direction.

I joined Spirit Of Shankly today, i had been meaning to do so for a while and to be perfectly honest, i'll make no bones about it, i should have done it sooner. The interview on Sky Sports News the other week with Hicks spouting even more lies was the last straw for me and i'd set it in stone that i would join our superb supporters union on payday.

I never thought that today's pay day would also fall on such a poignant and important day for the football club, to me this just makes me more aware of how vital it is to stand up and fight for our club. Our Liverpool FC.

Recent situations in modern football involving teams such as Portsmouth and Crystal Palace and their financial state have been just an indication of how bad things can get in football these days, in Liverpool's situation, the fall from grace however (should we manage to save the club) would be unmeasurable, unthinkable.

Although this of course at this point in time is a hypothetical situation, if it doesn't scare you to think your club could be folded into liquidation then you quite simply are not a fan of Liverpool FC.

Things are getting worse at this stage and with Tom Hicks and George Gillett at the helm... things will certainly not get better.

As Liverpool fans we need to stand together and fight for our club.

The Reds are the blood of our Liverpool FC lifestyle, we are the heartbeat. Without us pumping, the Reds will be bled dry.

Please - Join Spirit Of Shankly

www.spiritofshankly.com/join

Twitter - @spiritofshankly

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