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What it's like to be a Town fan! Liverpool Report
By: Richard Lord
I DOUBT many Town fans believed we were just about to witness one of the greatest nights in the club's history when we made our way to Anfield.
Every fan will put their hand on their heart and say: "I didn't think we would really win." The fact is, we did. What a venue to pull off the shock result of the season so far. The day was truly incredible.
So what was it like to be part of 6,300 ecstatic fans at Liverpool? Everyone was there to enjoy the match and it seemed that most supporters didn't mind a defeat - just as long as we scored a goal. In my mind, that would have been enough to make the trip worthwhile. If only we knew we were going to be treated to two - and the quality of the second!
1400 The day really began at 2pm when I began to make my way to Orwell Street where I boarded supporters' coach number 10. The walk down there brought back memories of Wembley with Town fans - young and old - making their way to the coaches lined up near Riby Square. Fans held their scarves aloft and their singing could be heard down every street, a truly euphoric feeling was upon the Town.
This was no ordinary away match. There were twelve or thirteen coaches waiting to be boarded by buoyant Mariners for the trip across the Pennines. On our way down to Orwell Street we managed to talk to some fans that were unable to make the game. They remained positive but deep down knew that Town would come away as losers. But it wasn't about going to see your club lose, it was about the whole day and the Cup fever that had swept the Town. It was a magnificent sight to see the coaches lined up. Town fans flooded into them in good spirits with a feeling of anticipation.
1500 This was the time the coaches were due to depart and eventually they did. Unfortunately our coach took a while to get going but it didn't bother us on board. Laughing and joking went on as whispers of the game ahead could be heard. "3-1 to Liverpool" and "2-0 Liverpool" were heard and the starting line up was discussed. "Lennie said he won't play 4-3-3 again, so who's going to play in midfield?" It remained a mystery until the squads were announced at the ground.
1640 The coach stopped at a service station near Pontefract. As with Wembley, I stepped off the coach to be presented with the vision of hundreds of Town fans wearing their Town shirts over their jumpers. Flags, hats, scarves - the lot were seen. Scenes like this haven't been witnessed since Wembley although the stakes this time were not so high.
1700 The coach continued on its way to Liverpool. Supporters on the coach cheered every time a car overtook us with Grimsby scarves flapping out of the windows. Other supporters' coaches were seen and minibuses full of Town fans were witnessed, one of which had a driver who wouldn't smile, until he was instructed to do so via a message made up of masking tape stuck against the back window of the bus. The occasional boos and jeers were made when Liverpool fans drove past in their cars.
1830 By this time we were entering the city. After some traffic problems on the M62 we were still on time but it was a slow process getting into the heart of Liverpool. More and more Liverpool fans were pointed at out of the window, with many using their fingers to predict the scoreline (although some of these could have been misinterpreted as you may imagine). Still the spirits were high and time wore closer to kick-off. It had begun to get dark outside and it had already been a long day for some. Despite this I don't think there would have been one person who would have fallen asleep on the way.
1900 The coach had a bit of trouble finding Anfield and had to turn round once. The streets were full of fans, both sets, as the coach made its way nearer to the ground. People were stood up on the coach, eagerly looking out of the windows. Finally the coach stopped and let the fans off. We all followed a group at the front, which led us to the ground. Policemen and horses were present, along with many hundreds of stewards but there was no trouble. The fans mixed with each other very well although the Liverpool fans still insisted that they were going to win 4 or 5-0.
1920 By this time I had managed to get into the stadium. I had not been to Anfield before and was mightily impressed when I first got the view after climbing the steps. Some helpful stewards pointed me to my seat but I remained at the front of the stand until about 10 minutes before kick off. The Town players ran about a bit and used their cones for their regular warming-up session. Beharall was warming up and was spotted by many Town fans, all asking each other: "Isn't he cup-tied?" We came to the only feasible conclusion that he must have got clearance to play from Newcastle during the day.
The report continues in Part 2
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