Our next stop was one of our rare one night stays. We have mostly done 3 to 4 night stays as it allows us to take our time to see the sights. But occasionally we have done a one nighter – and this was a special occasion. For the whole of this trip I (Rob) have been trying to get tickets to see Liverpool. Since the day we arrived, I have been looking to find tickets – but no such luck. When they went on sale for this season, I waited in an online queue with 60,000 other people for 6 hours … and no tickets. I was beginning to think I would not get to see my team again at Anfield (their home ground- I have only seen them at Anfield once- in 1999 and they lost 1-0 to Watford – so I have never seen them score at Anfield – we had actually watched them 3 times on their visits to Australia – but they were friendlies – not a real Premier League game). Luckily my boss was also traveling through England at the time I was looking for tickets and he had got tickets to see his beloved West Ham from a contact and he passed it on to me (thanks Craig!). So we booked the tickets about 4 months ago (very, very expensive – but a once in a lifetime experience!!). So the day finally arrived and we drove into Liverpool city – the flags gave us a hint at what was to come!
This was a Saturday and the game was on a Sunday (at an early midday kickoff) -so we thought that we would park at the stadium and look around and check out the shop the day before the game as it would probably be quieter. The stadium was massive and it was a thrill just walking around it – let alone standing at the Shankly gates.
The store was great fun to explore – bought a few (small) trinkets – hard to pack all this extra stuff!
We finished the day looking around the outside of the stadium before retiring to our apartment to try and get some sleep!
The next day we woke up early and excited. Match day! We had prepurchased a car space online through the club as, after the game, we were going to our new accomodation. The parking was right near the stadium so that was good. There weren’t many people around as we were there about 3 hours before kick off (our hospitality package opened at 9am) – this was great as we got to find a good seat in the hospitality area and scope out the food. There were a lot of pastries, meat, beautiful bacon (more like roast pork!), made to order omelettes, sausages – a nice feast. We found a comfortable seat and had our food.
Delicious! The place started to fill up as it got closer to kick off. It was Remembrance Day as well so at 11am we all stopped for 2 minutes silence. The bar then opened but, as kick off was at 12 – we wanted to get out seats (you can’t take your drinks out). We were given matching bands as hospitality members and a free programme. Our seats had a good view of the stadium.
Once the stadium was full -some people didn’t realise they had seats.
Soon the Kop was in full song and You’ll Never Walk Alone was lustily sung by the crowd. Such an emotional moment. The players were out and the match began.
The lineup was probably the best to see as all the stars were playing – Fulham played very well and it wasn’t the thrashing some were expecting. Salah and Shaqiri scored in the end making it 2-0. An awesome game and certainly a trip highlight.