Anorak News | Champions’ League Tears: Gerrard’s Liverpool Was Robbed

Champions’ League Tears: Gerrard’s Liverpool Was Robbed

by | 24th, May 2007

gerrard.jpgNO little lachrymosity on the Sun’s front page as Liverpool FC’s Steven Gerrard, his face contorted in “gutted” grief and suffering, illustrates the headline: “MERSEY CRIED.”

Liverpudlians are among Britain’s most emotive tribes, crying when their boys win, weeping as they board the plane to the match and weeping with joy or sorrow all the way home. There are stories aplenty of wet-eyed, whale-voiced men living nomadic existences in Paris, Istanbul and Rome.

Chins Up High 

Liverpool fans weep. And they weep when they are robbed.

“ROBBED by the hand of Zag,” says the Mirror’s front page. “THE HANDBALL THAT WON IT.”

Those among you who viewed the Champions’ League final may have missed this telling moment in which the traditionally cheating foreigners stole the silverware from brave Gerrard and his gutsy native and adopted British teammates.

So here it is. Look closely. See the ball. Note AC Milan’s Posh Spice look-alike Filippo Inzaghi (and he is just as likeable) close his eyes as the heavily struck ball approaches. Look as he twists, attempting to get out of the way. See the ball run off his chest and into the Liverpool goal. 1-0. Tears.

Did you see the handball?

“Kop’s hopes of sixth Euro cup is crushed by a handball goal,” says the Mirror. But the game finished 2-1.And, though the Mirror produces no pictures, the solitary Liverpool goal was scored from an offside position.

But no matter. This is cheating. Foreigners cheat. They are dirty, cheating foreigners. And we are the noble English who take life’s injustices squarely on the chin, with a stiff upper lip and the command “We will say no more about it.”

And It Burns, Burns, Burns 

But the lip is quivering. The lip is coated in salty tears of bitter pain. The lip is shaping words that cannot be repeated in a family arena.

Let them have their win. What is it without glory? In any case, Liverpool fans have their tears.

The Mirror spots one of the Red faction “distraught” at Liverpool airport. He and around a further 150 Liverpool fans had tickets for the match. They were on the plane. They were doubtless giving full throat to Ring of Fire, the Johnny Cash staple adopted by the supporters as they travelled across Europe en route to the unforgettable 2005 UEFA Champions League final in Istanbul.

And then the pilot comes over the Tannoy. The plane is unwell. The plane must stay on the ground. The plane cannot drive to Athens for the final, there isn’t time. So will all supporters please vacate the plane?

So to the command “Come ‘ed!” they storm the cockpit, take over the controls and in the finest traditions of heroic endeavour say to a man: “If any of should not make it, so be it. There’s a game to get to. And it is our duty to be there. Start the engine. Chocks away. We take our chance to say ‘I was there’. La.”

Or, rather, they all troop dutifully off the plane and sit in the airport, forlorn figures, the saddest people on the planet. Robbed. And we feel for them.

And they cry.

And cry…

And cry…

Posted: 24th, May 2007 | In: Back pages Comments (6) | TrackBack | Permalink