Even though I have expressed my love for Birmingham City Football Club, as well as my frustrations, on this blog many-a-time, to people who truly know me well will remember me being a fanatical Liverpool fan. I shed many-a-tear in happiness and celebration for the mighty Reds. I remember them losing the FA Cup Final to Wimbledon, watching the Hillsborough disaster on tv, watching them win the FA Cup against Everton, screaming in joy when they beat AC Milan in that amazing final, singing You’ll Never Walk Alone, seeing the greats from Rush, Barnes, McManaman, Fowler, Owen, and now Gerrard and Suarez. I also remember when I was told at a summer football class at the old BIA sport centre near Highgate, Birmingham, that I looked like Peter Beardsley and how chuffed I was, but what turned out to be the biggest backhanded insult ever. I would stand up for Liverpool against the biggest bullies going. This is living proof of my football supporting past.
I then turned to local support, not because Liverpool wasn’t as good anymore (not that Birmingham has ever been close to matching Liverpool’s success), but I felt it was the right thing to do.
I couldn’t squash my passion on the Sunday we set off to Minas de Oro though. Liverpool was playing in that all important league game against Man City on the back of a 9 game winning streak. It’s Liverpool’s best chance of winning the league since 1990, also with the 25th anniversary of Hillsborough and Gerrard getting closer to retirement without winning the league, the pressure is on, especially against the riches of Manchester City who had teo games in hand and I can’t remember how many points behind.
Kick off was 1’ish in the UK, and 6am’ish in Honduras. Pam’s mother was coming to pick me up. With all my things ready, I set off sweaty with stress. I was tag teaming with Sky and BBC to video updates. Got in the car, Liverpool are already winning. Not soon after, another goal. But towards the end of the first half, the Internet became more infrequent as we were on the road out to Olancho. I was then having to use Pam’s phone. Every 10 mins I would get an update, while driving past a random Tigo signal. But before long, Manchester City had equalised and in control. A bit of a shock in the 10 mins without internet and I was panicking about what was happening. 15 mins to go Courtiniho scores, while we’re having a Honduran breakfast in rural family run eatery and the Pam’s family are giggling about my anxiety. The minutes ticked by, 5 mins behind British time, and the clock ticking by as slowly as possible. When they did get over the line, I raised my arms in celebration to even more amusement of the family, and I was finally in peace. The rest of the journey was a breeze, despite the bumpy dirt track road.
To be continued . . .