This Is Anfield
In early March this year I went to Europe for the very first time in my life to fulfil a lifelong dream of visiting Anfield to watch a Liverpool match. It has been an amazing journey and I want to document my journey in words so that I can relive the moments again in time to come.
The journey began back in Sep’17 when I bought the Liverpool membership so that I will be eligible to try and get a match ticket from the official website when tickets for the second half of the season become available. It was simple, if I got the ticket, I will go and if I could not get the ticket, then dreams of Europe and visiting Anfield will remain as dreams. Armed with the wealth of information found on r/liverpoolfc and thanks to further guidance from fellow Reds like Pummpy1, I was ready to take on the madness of trying to get a ticket. As a new member without any previous match attendance records, the availability of seats will be quite scarce and I definitely will not have a chance for big matches against the top teams. Looking at the fixtures list, I identified the 3rd March match between Liverpool and Newcastle as the best match that I can possibly go for. Plus point is that I will be able to see Rafa Benitez as well if I go for that. The last time I watched a Liverpool match, it was in Singapore back in 2009 and Rafa was still the manager!
Fast forward to the fateful day on 16th Nov, the final ticket sale for general members without any match attendance priority was going to start at 4pm. I had multiple tabs and browsers opened in preparation as it was a first come first serve queue system. All my hopes were placed on a single browser tab that had a decent estimated waiting time whereas all the rest of my tabs looked too far back to have any realistic chance of even entering before tickets got sold out. After waiting for about 50 minutes, I finally got in and almost couldn’t control my excitement when I realised there were still a few seats left for the Liverpool vs Newcastle match. I had to make my decision fast and quickly grabbed a seat and made my payment. When the confirmation email arrived at 4.59pm, I wanted to scream out “YESSS!!!” so badly but I had to hold it in because I was sitting in the office at that moment. The first step to a dream coming true has just been initiated and the chance to watch Liverpool with Jurgen Klopp and all the immensely talented players such as Firmino, Salah and Mane on Liverpool 125th anniversary year will definitely be something special to remember in time to come.
Fast forward to arriving in Liverpool, I was super excited and the first thing I did was to check out the official Liverpool store, together with my heavy luggage and boy I was like a kid in the candy store but somehow I managed to resist my temptations so I didn’t buy much stuff haha. There was still one more day to go before I head to the stadium and I kept having this irrational fear of losing my membership card which my match ticket was embedded inside. No card, no entry no matter what.
So it was matchday and I finally reached Anfield about 2 hours in advance before kick-off and the ground was buzzing with excitement, packed with locals and people from all over the world, some attending their first ever match like myself. Managed to have quick chats with a few fellow Reds and everyone had good vibes which made the experience super enjoyable, I was alone but I never felt alone in that moment. It was really cold and chilly, with the weather hovering at about zero degrees so it was hard to take much photos. Some of the highlights for me were exploring the area around the stadium, finding the r/liverpoolfc forever stone and watching the team bus coming in.
Holding up my matchday scarf and singing the world famous “You’ll Never Walk Alone” with the entire stadium right before kick-off was bone chilling good. That was truly the difference between being there and watching the match from my computer. I didn’t record any moment of it as I was fully immersed in the atmosphere and boy what an atmosphere it was. In that moment, I hope the next time I come back, it will be with my family to experience the atmosphere. Glad I was able to watch Salah and Mane scoring for Liverpool and funny story about the second goal, I lost my footing during the celebration and fell down awkwardly. That was kind of embarrassing haha.
Thank you Anfield and till the next time we meet again! Hopefully this will not be the first and last time ever!