14th April 2016. A few minutes past 10 P.M,I am swerving through the poorly lit streets of Kabarnet town. Around this time, it bears no life. The town is forgotten. In wavelength are only smokie peddlers selling their very last smokies and Bodaboda riders making their last rounds. I am eleven minutes late for a ritual. I rarely run late for my red injections or any event for that matter, but this day I did, and it played out nicely in the end. I was eleven minutes late. It is contemptuous to arrive late at Anfield. You miss out on the canticles and ordinances before the ceremony officially begins. I walk into the shrine located atArocho’s mini-hall and right then, I notice something bizarre. The yellow brigade was conquering the red army.
Borussia Dortmund had taken an early 2-0 lead against Liverpool. I had not even taken my position in the formation, and the war as it seemed was already lost. I had heard and re-watched the fairy tale of Liverpool’s famous comeback in the 2005 Champions league final from 3-0 down to finally winning the game on penalties. Yet, StevenGerrard’s slip was still fresh in my mind. Unlucky I had become, cursed I was. The Gerrard slip almost left me in tears. We were just 3 games away from being crowned England champions. But now we were 3 games away from heartbreak.
9 minutes into the Borussia game, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had their war face paint on. I sat there, my brain trundled with chaotic thoughts of what I had done to the soccer gods. Wasn’t it enough that I had been patient for almost a decade for a major Liverpool trophy? My brain knew it was over but my heart kept on believing. Origi helped the hope by pulling one goal back but Marco Reus canceled the goal almost immediately. In other words we had moved from facing a hill to fighting a mountain.
But mountains are just stones allied together. At its feet, you are horrified. Yet at the top, you are a conqueror. And that’s exactly what I felt in the 91st minute. The Croat Dejan Lovren rose above the defense of the yellow army and headed in a goal that will forever stick in my head. Impossible as it had seemed, I had just witnessed one of the biggest life lessons ever. Liverpool won the game and proceeded to the next stage.
Of course, there was a feeling of familiarity when the season ended trophyless. I sat in the same hall a few weeks later and relived the Gerrard moment when Sevilla came back from a goal down and won the Europa League. Déjà vu they call it. I somehow expected this. But the Borussiagame triggered some kind of hope and belief in me. The kind that recollects your confidence when you feel low.
Football makes me feel alive and Liverpool makes my vigor whole. It never hides. Through the shivers in my body whenever Liverpool plays. The sweating palms when we are boasting a narrow lead. The turning stomach when Alexander-Anorld played the cheeky corner and Origiscored against Barcelona. The pounding heart when Jordan Henderson lifted the UEFA Champions League. Words just aren’t enough to explain this feeling.
This wouldn’t be possible without the fans who keep on cheering and believing. I like to think of them as your circle. The ones who push you to do the unthinkable.Who, no matter the result,make your heart ring in tune with Celine Dion’s, my heart will Go on’. ‘If you can’t support us when we lose or draw, don’t support us when we win.’BillShankly forever reminds me with these words, what true support and cheer mean. Thatis why I love football.
However, loyalty is why I love Liverpool. Family is why I love Liverpool. Our culture.Our passion.Our history.Our city.Our fans.Our flags.Our crest.Our stadium.Our good times.Our bad times. This is why I love Liverpool. But most importantly, our thunderous anthem.It means more and it is why I adore Liverpool. Just go to YouTube and have a feel of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and let me know what you feel in your heart. Or instead, just have a feel of these words of our anthem:
you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark”
on through the wind
Walk on through the rain”
“Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart”
“And you’ll never walk alone,
You’ll never walk alone”
This is why I love football. This is why I chose Liverpool!