Tag Archives: Hillsborough

Hillsborough 15th April 1989 “The Guilt That Lingers”.

In the 25 years that have passed since 15th April 1989 – At such a pace that it would seem like the interim years have somehow eluded me – I have ruminated about that fateful day on many occasions, reflected upon my ignorant, and at times unconscious thought toward the effect that it would have upon me as a young man, how ultimately it would change my perspective not only on football and Liverpool, but my life itself – How I would go on to deal with my experiences, and relate those back to that day.

I have only ever written about Hillsborough on two occasions in all those years, mainly defensive articles, predominantly in reply to those individuals who have taken it upon themselves to contemptuously deride the day itself – in magnification of printed words, or ramblings intent on riding on the back of rage fixated articles. A cacophony of lies have been twisted manipulated & repeated as if freedom of speech allowed such brutal banging of a delusional drum, extenuated by those protagonists responsible.

Liverpool people have constantly become targets from some hell-bent on portraying both supporters of the club, and residents of the city, with a media tar brush focused on painting them as constant victims – attention seeking that includes feigning and exaggerating both illness and its effect – in a pursuit of a sick-note from society.

I was 22 years old in April 1989, no longer a boy; unquestionably I was neither a man. I had no idea what I would become, like many young people of that age I had however convinced myself that I was indeed invincible, and could not care less where my life would lead me, or how I could facilitate the journey.

Bravado and self-confident I would stride through the mid-eighties –Fight with the police on picket lines, battle against Thatcher’s Britain -Obsessed with Alan Bleasdale. I purposely strode through my days carefree, fear having been abandon long since. I would assume a similar arrogance as my peers, believe nothing, and question everything. If my fingers could not touch it, feel it – Then surely it did not exist.

When I see images from Hillsborough, stills of people fighting for their last breath, negotiating broken bodies in mis-held belief that they were aiding Emergency Services, when fundamentally they had in fact taken over those jobs, whilst minutes away those employed to do that very job would be held back by those in power, unaware how their dereliction of duty would take over 20 years to come to light – To return and haunt them.

As I watched from my vantage point which hours earlier I had specifically located, credence that this very spot would be exactly where I would view my heroes progress toward Wembley as they would proficiently deliver silverware once again.

The scouse hijacked terrain amongst opposing fans where I would find myself, would indeed if for the wrong reasons be an incredible vantage point – Clearly we would see lifeless bodies who only moments earlier would struggle for their last gasping breath, laid out in some sort of macabre pageant for the deceased. In my mind I need not go so deep to envisage those sights once more.

I’m still not completely sure how my mind attempted to process images from that day – Dead bodies being carried & taken from where they had fallen, to be placed on dismantled advertising hoarding – used as stretchers. This would be the first time in my short life I would see someone dead or dying before my eyes, as cripplingly close as I could touch them. I’m not really sure that these words could do such an image justice.

I had only ever seen one dead person prior to Hillsborough – An old nun at my primary school she would be 70 or 80 years of age. This day I would see possibly 30 more, supposed lifeless bodies in the space of an hour – Middle aged men and women, interspersed would be the motionless bodies of children. I am at pain to call them Dead as we all now know this may not have been the case, and the thought that we were indeed witnessing children dying, is a horrific thought, quite haunting.

I would not lose my life at Hillsborough that day, nor would I lose blood relatives – For years I would feel guilty that I actually felt that I gained from that very experience, maybe a sick disturbing understanding of the true effects of that day. Down the years I have met people who in a sense “ dined out” on the fact they survived Hillsborough – I can say that, but not without remorse, having at times being guilty of that myself – That is what we do as humans at times, am I sorry? Yes, most definitely. The immediate years after Hillsborough the trauma would have different compounding effect of people – Different types of people.

That is maybe the point, you can’t change how you were many years ago, but you can regretfully take a look back in an attempt to put that right, as such I feel answerable to myself . I am far from perfect, but when I talk about Justice For 96 strangers I went to a football match with some years ago – I mean that.

My brother said he had not seen me cry since I was 8 years old, I suppose I was just that kind of kid ,stronger than most – I would make up for it that day and subsequently over the next year with Images of Hillsborough seemingly on a constant rewind in my head and on my Television screen. I would never go back to Hillsborough after that day, and I believe I never will.

I don’t require a sick-note from society – I am not a victim of Hillsborough, I just happen to be someone amongst thousands of others that has a story to regale about that day – And I have also become tired at keeping that story to myself, and I refuse to feel guilty that my emotions or thoughts do not matter.

There are defining moments in all our lives, where uncontrollable instants will rocket you in a direction you were otherwise never to live through, some would call it fate possibly a destiny. I changed after that day, at times not for the better, I would find perspective through its very experience. Others will constantly promote a “Move On” mentality, usually those who believe they have the an understanding of Hillsborough having seen it on their TV screens over a constant of years, as repeated our shouts for Justice have gathered apace. They remain unaware that many of us did & have moved on, and that new journey took us fleet-footed toward justice and the truth, unbeknown this would not be as swift as anticipated.

I still question whether indeed we have had Justice, after all these years I have a distrust of a system which still seems intent on perpetuating its own agenda – Clearly the example in the canonising of Thatcher this last year, and how her many friends within the system have attempted to whitewash her role in the initial cover-up, and the subsequent years of lies coupled with deception on a grand scale.

We certainly are still to have TRUTH – the whole truth that is, and not this distortion of the guilty that still goes on, the protectionism of the few top brass lacking in integrity whilst intent on criminality, the full stop that has been placed on their crimes just before the point where they should be in a courtroom charged with manslaughter & fraud.

The 15th April should not however be about my rage – More so about remembering and honouring The 96 and those affected by their deaths.

 

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What exactly are you sorry for: Hillsborough Apologists

For many of us the truth about Hillsborough has never needed to be spelt out, written about, eulogized by those with flowered phrases disguised with presentation and delivered with acute sadness, for me I have never needed confirmation of what my head already knew, I did not need clarity.

I am not sure exactly how I have felt in these last few days when what I felt I had always known would be so brutally confirmed in the Hillsborough document – Untruths, despicable lies a corruption would begin that afternoon which would be perpetuated for years to come, others including politicians, media moguls, and the man & woman in the street, football supporters would add to such lies, joining in with Chinese whispers – All would authenticate the truth with their lies.

I have indeed felt slightly isolated with all the apologies that have been forced from the differing areas associated with those lies, when your lies are found out there are only two ways you can react – apologise or come out fighting in an attempt to exasperate such lies. There are many that have no right to apologise because the lies and indeed contempt in which they have held the people of Liverpool and the city itself have been such an appalling example of human nature, they don’t deserve such forgiveness, many have been given an easy way out, where words are seen as an excuse for their previous misdemeanours, disgusting behaviour through words and deeds – I refuse to exonerate them from their shame.

It has to be remembered that Lord Justice Taylor in 1989 had already stated what is seen as the truth 23 years later, but even he was discredited and his report ridiculed from the Police and the media – Yes there has been criminality, fraud of the highest order, it must be stated that an apology alone is not enough, nor can it be accepted in the present climate that it is being delivered, in a veiled attempt to hide from guilt, the very guilt that has been put upon Liverpool supporters and the club for over 23 years, many of us have had to listen to chants of “Murderers” over those many years.

Hillsborough has once again become the biggest bandwagon in town, whilst every man and his dog decide to jump up and down on this carnival parade, while, as has become the norm the innocent lives that were lost that day become pawns for politicians who years earlier when presented with a similar truth decided against such opinion, I remind you what David Cameron said in response to the families looking for justice a few months ago:

“A blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat that isn’t there”.

Well Mr Cameron the blind have found the cat, regardless of how difficult and dark yours alongside other governments tried to make it, we will not forget your opinion when you amongst others have been party to exactly what happened that day, your apology is empty and hollow and comes from a place that is without shame.

Interestingly the FA have seemed to worm their way from any real blame as usual, I remember how they sided with the Thatcher government in its disgusting blame game against the supporters of football whilst shovelling those very supporters through broken gates and turnstiles in the pursuit of pretty greens, animal like we would be hoarded into pens with a contempt while you would fill your pockets with silver, so what exactly have the Football Association apologised for.

Many have this week found a supposed courage that they have lack for over twenty years, where they have remained indignant whilst provocatively pointing fingers suddenly the tune has changed and an alleged new dawn has brought about a social conscience in these deluded folk.

I think the most disgusting thing I read was Piers Morgan commenting on the document, I think at that point I realised that the bandwagon was on its last legs, or wheel.

For many you can take your disingenuous apologies and pop them where the sun has failed to shine, what you fail to understand is an apology has to be accepted before it has any true meaning – I for one will not exonerate you from your crimes.

Now the fight goes on for justice, justice for the 96 people whose deaths have for too long been used like a ping-pong ball scoring points, once those who are truly responsible for the deaths of children and the innocent have been brought to justice, only then can we consider resting in peace the 96.

 

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A Letter To Kenny Dalglish About Bromance

April 1st 2012

 

DEAR KENNY

It is said that you never forget your first love and that nothing is quite so painful when ultimately that love ends, well my first was with a guy called Kevin Keegan in 1974, and for the next three years I would follow his every move, like a love struck puppy, he could do no wrong in my eyes and the eyes of many others intent on displaying such affection in the hope that such appreciation would be equally reciprocated.

I would however be unaware that this was in fact an infatuation rather than real love. Kevin would leave for Germany in the pursuit of another love and in the process break my heart. I would take that pain with me through the subsequent years; I would never forgive that man, ever.

On the 10th of August 1977 I would set out on another love affair that today would be a bromance, I would be just 9 years old, but I would also know this was indeed the real thing, since that life changing day I have never fallen out of love with you Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish. I cannot say that for other loves I have had along the way, some less deserving of such idolisation.

Even when younger prettier models would come along, yes they would catch my eye, but I would not stray, they would never fulfil my requirements as you had. I would remain faithful in my own way. I would share the pain and anguish of both Heysel and Hillsborough, the fact it was an unrequited love would not diminish its value to me.

February 1991 and particularly 11 O’clock on the 22nd day of that month would be when I realised that I along with others had taken you for granted, I had not seen the signs, the hurt in your eyes, the stress that you had suffered since 1989 and Hillsborough. Like Keegan all those years earlier you would leave me, but unlike then, you would not break my heart, instead I would be filled with guilt when I would see a man I would hardly recognise a beaten man, broken, shattered and dispirited. We would love you so much we would set you free in a hope that one day you would return to our adulation.

For the next 20 years you would however flirt with those who would seduce you and lead you on with their affection, but they would not deserve you with their unfaithful ways, their fondness would not last through fickle times. I would look on from afar hurting when those affairs would end in acrimony, my love would not fade.

Many would forget that smile that would light up a football field after gloriously turning an opponent inside out then casually stroking the ball into the top corner of the goal, magician like with both hands held high. I still see that smile today it’s embedded in my thoughts when I think of my happiest days and the truly great memories that loving you gave to me.

The reason for this letter; was in some way to show you how I feel today, how I have been forced to question whether after all these years, indeed whether the love was in fact infatuation. The truth is I don’t like some of the people you choose to hang around with, you always had a great eye for things like that, and I think some may be taking advantage of your protective nature and possibly they are undeserving, it makes me mad.

The media have tried to demonize you which has made me truly miserable and unhappy, when you are interviewed after we have lost games, which is many times this season, I find myself getting despondent even before the interview, in a sense I know what is coming, these people have found your buttons and just keep pushing them. Your response at times has made me sad, but I suppose that’s what comes with loving someone like you.

I keep getting in to virtual fights with my imaginary friends when they call you names, some I have even stopped being  friends with, they don’t understand what you mean to me, they don’t know you like I do. Maybe you are not the only person hanging around with the wrong sorts.

When you left me the first time, I was sad, but understood, and I knew it would be best for you and your family. I fear that people may make you again think about leaving, walking away, please don’t. I have tried to look at this situation with an open mind, but find this incredibly difficult, I try to negate the hate and disillusioned vitriol from those that don’t quite have the understanding of real love, and more importantly what loving Kenny Dalglish really means.

Sorry I have written this letter as I know you don’t like this type of lovey dovey stuff or  to get emotional, but I had to let you know how I feel, I kind of know what you will say “everything will be alright” and of course I believe you, and will continue to support you through good and bad times, I just want you to consider my feelings once in a while, and maybe let some of your new friends aware about how I feel, that would be good also.

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Kenny Dalglish Stole Our Childhoods.

It was 1978 the 13th day of October, a cold evening and with this soon to be 12-year-old boy seated high up in the main stand at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground only adding to how incredibly cold I was. This was The European Cup first round, a knock-out competition in those days, excitement had filled my body for weeks after the draw was made Liverpool v Nottingham Forest, luckily my Uncle John had some close contacts within both clubs through his work, he had told me how we were to go to the game with tickets provided from an insider at Liverpool, it was as if he actually played for the Reds in my mind, in those days if you knew a player or even talked to one, its importance would have a copious meaning for a 11-year-old boy.

It has to be remembered that these games were not shown live on T.V. highlights would be the only avenue to viewing such occasions, Sky Sports would only be a twinkle in our eyes undelivered manna from a not yet produced footballing heaven. The previous season Forest had made me cry when firstly at Wembley in The League Cup Final they held us to a stalemate 0-0, winning the replay at Old Trafford 1-0.

In the first game I ended up with an elbow to the eye, Kenny Dalglish having a goal ruled off-side whilst all around me believing we had scored jumping up ending with one 11-year-old boy crying and with a black eye Henry Cooper would be proud of. It would not be my last black-eye at the hands of our latest combatants we were beginning to have quite a history with Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest, mainly resulting in pain for me.

This Bunch Would Ruin My Life For Three Years.

All my school friends were very envious of my trip to the City Ground to watch my heroes, we were European Champions so in my mind, unbeatable, peerless we had unparalleled success in our corner, the whole World knew we would not lose to Nottingham Forest, more importantly I knew, Uncle John had said we will meet the players after the game in The Jubilee Club next to the changing room exits, a renowned and famous place in Forest fans folklore, which was where all the players would meet and drink after all Forest’s games, I am not sure I can explain exactly what the feeling inside me was, knowing I would meet my heroes, and in particular Dalglish.

From the game itself I remember very little, I do however remember how a hot chocolate would warm my frozen fingers and a steak & kidney pie would have a similar effect on my stomach, it was a foggy and freezing evening. How a certain Gary Birtles would open the scoring with his first ever senior goal for Forest, this would be followed by a second goal toward the end of the match at a point when I no longer cared as frost bite had set in, my feet immobile and hands motionless, my sleeves covered by the constant wiping of a dribbling nose. Yes I was disappointed but this paled in to an insignificance compared to my ensuing death due to hypothermia.

The difficulty I had walking around the ground with feet and digits I could no longer feel, momentarily forgetting about my heroes who would be waiting with open arms, and hopefully signing my now screwed up match programme, it would seem like the longest walk, fans rushing everywhere similarly wanting to get out of the cold. On eventually making our way to the players’ lounge I would have to wait what seemed like an eternity until Dalglish turned up, as we approached him to get his autograph, he swept past us almost knocking Uncle John over, which was a job in itself as he was twice the size of Dalglish, and with that the yet to be crowned Dalglish was gone.

That was my first introduction to the greatest Liverpool player I ever had the gratification to see play, and my first moment I was brought down to earth with a bang by my assumed Gods, an ordinary man, ignoring me in a way my Father did when I wanted to play rush goalies in the park, and all he wanted was to sit down after a heavy days labour. Was I hurt? No I was devastated. Luckily at home I had a poster from Shoot magazine with his signature on it, and with a piece of tracing paper I would have my signature, and proof I had met Kenny Dalglish and shook his hand, and how he had spoken to me, jealousy is a terrible thing, and so are lies.

When Dalglish in 1991 was to resign his managerial position after suffering from stress and physical illness post Hillsborough, in under six years as Manager we won 3 League Titles and 2 F.A. Cups, including the illusive Double in 1986, but the day when Dalglish quit can go down as one of the saddest days in my life. What Dalglish did for this club, for this City should never be forgotten.

The Stresses Of Hillsborough Have Taken Their Toll.

Somebody said the other day we were “stuck in a time-warp of greatness” how somehow we have not progressed under Dalglish part deux, yet after being trophyless for six years, we can now shake the dust from our cabinet with the incoming League Cup, leaving it slightly ajar in case its cousin The F.A.Cup turns up in May.

My biggest fear is that Dalglish will walk away from the project in the summer, maybe going back upstairs, some suggesting arrogance, and a stance where he is bigger than the club he has always stated is more important than individuals. Well this is being said of a man who I will always remember with his head in his hands, tears in his eyes, after attending his FOURTH funeral of the day for other innocent victims of Hillsborough, only for two days later him and Marina attending another THREE in a day. How many funerals have those people asking for his head been to? I like Rafa Benitez but younger fans and some who should know better go on about £96,000 being donated to HJC as a game of comparison, who is more worthy, it is disgusting and repulsive, those fans know nothing about Hillsborough or our Manager for if they did surely the treatment he receives would be very different.

They say why should Dalglish be treated any differently to Roy Hodgson, or Rafa Benitez, lets deal with Roy a man who had won precisely nothing of note as a manager, and unfortunately was the wrong man at an even worst time. Rafa Benitez however was an excellent proven manager who had won Trophies in Spain and then at Liverpool, and he was rightly given SIX years at Liverpool, but again with owners that did not support Rafa he was on a hiding to nothing, and those same fans shouting “Bring Rafa Back” were the same asking for his head on a waiter’s tray!!

The Two Great Men Together At The Hillsborough Memorial

Kenny Dalglish should certainly be treated differently, we are a club at the start of something, a blueprint for a trophy haul, and it has begun. Liverpool Football Club do not want to go down a Chelsea road, hiring and firing every season, you have a manager with proven pedigree, a man who has won four titles with two different teams, has he made mistakes, of course he has, but the players have let us down also, the Suarez incidents have cost us in concentration and made it difficult to prepare properly, focus has been lost by not only our team, but its supporters.

I did not want Dalglish to return as Liverpool Football Club manager, because as is being proved, our fickle fantasist fans are turning on him, and somewhat changing his status within this club, I did not care for these people re-writing Dalglish’s history, twisting and turning what is written in stone, for some of us, we will never be deceived by such clueless individuals, but others less educated jump on board.

I never ever got a Kenny Dalglish autograph, although I have been lucky enough to meet him on a few occasions, but he has more than made up for the lack of his scribble on my bedroom wall, I can’t remember the man who barged past me in 1978 but I do remember Eight League Titles, Two F.A. Cups, Five League Cups not forgetting Three European Cups, if you are looking for man and a manager who wins trophies; look no further than Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish.

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The Sun Newspaper Rag Read Or Follow???

There are many reasons why people may follow the many forms of The Sun newspaper on Twitter, some are without shame and lacking in a conscience, they lack empathy for their fellow-man, or more commonly they have not been educated about the ways this institute has acted in the past, and continues to act today.

My own personal gripe with the newspaper goes back to the days after Hillsborough, and its continued support of the Thatcher government against the working man and the miners, which then spread to the unemployed and those disenfranchised from society. I know I alone cannot change the way someone has perhaps acted all their lives, with a blinkered view toward social wrong-doings, never feeling a responsibility to act against those perpetrators.

Dont Follow The Sun

Some will never have their opinion changed and rightly others just don’t feel as I do, and quite rightly exercise the right of freedom in what is perceived a free World. All well and good and for those, please do-not continue to read, apologies for taking up, and wasting three minutes of your life, with a tip of my hat and a thumbs up I wish you well and wave you on your way, maybe with a kick to your bony back-side as you turn and head for the delete button.

So the lesson today will be on hoodwinking, how people are easily deceived, cheated and fooled and finally groomed online, how the decisions they make are actually being made for them, and unwittingly they just go along like the proverbial sheep bah bah bahhing as they go along their grazing business. How they are easily taken in with promises of cheap holidays at Butlins, when collecting vouchers, or computers for schools, or just its cheap.

In a time when people will join all sorts of media funded propaganda driven campaigns, against injustice millions of miles away, but won’t lift that simple finger of theirs to register protest on doorsteps walked-over and soiled every day entering and exiting their own homes. An example being the KONY2012 campaign which although sure a good campaign to throw my Gregg’s inspired weight behind, slightly too polished and marketing that Sachi & Sachi would be proud of, yet it has become the flavour of the month being jumped and trampled upon by all and sundry, compare with The Hillsborough Justice Campaign or Don’t Buy The Sun, parity ends swiftly, and not a comparison I really wish to make regard anything other than the marketing of said campaigns. The very lack of interest and nuances in both just lately is shameful, how Liverpool supporters can frequently jump on bandwagons while assimilated rubbish fills their grey matter, they are happy to follow parody accounts about AnfieldCats, Father Christmas, and Suarez is innocent campaigns, yet don’t follow https://twitter.com/#!/HJC_Official that is to the shame of those “True Liverpool Fans” how can we expect the respect and help of others, if we can’t convert our own.

http://www.contrast.org/hillsborough/

http://dontbuythesun.co.uk/site/

@hjc_official

There is an old Adam Ant song which goes “That music’s lost its taste, so try another flavour” not just a case of taste but relevance 23 years later where we have the children of the children of the lost voices of Hillsborough, only interested in symbolism easy to put #JFT96 on their Facebook & Twitter profiles but not half as easy as it is to follow The Sun, rehash its headlines around the social media attached to its choo-choo train without thought or consequence, well there are consequences when facilitating what that newspaper stands for, what it stood for, what it means to the people of Liverpool, the people whose minds and hearts are full of what being a SUPPORTER of Liverpool Football Club means, what the rules are, yes we have our very own dress code, attire linked to mind-set, a morality linked to tribalism, if you can’t accept these then you are not coming in, regardless of your protestations, we have heard all the excuses “ I did not know” “I am only 12” “That was a long time ago” and it goes on and on, you are either part of the solution or you are the problem.

So this is where another campaign starts, it is called “ I Am A Massive Liverpool Fan” it is on the curriculum a kind of education policy piece, I have learned from my own experiences, just to call someone a not too polite name and question parentage, does not help, but shame does!!! Fred West is an optimum example, poor Fred hung himself when the shame of the local constabulary finding chopped up bodies in his many back gardens became too much, not sure which team Fred followed, but I am sure he was not welcomed back into the fold after all those shenanigan’s.

I think us as supporters are also indicted in the case, the lack of emphasis on who we are allowing to follow us, whom we are following on forums and social media, why would you follow somebody who follows The Sun? Why would you allow somebody to follow you who follows The Sun, shameful lethargy on all our behalves, it must stop, would you allow Fred to babysit the kids NO, would you want to be indirectly associated with him NO. Would you follow someone who followed Kelvin MacKenzie or want him following you on Twitter?

So how do we educate, how can we all impact on The Sun and all its spin-offs, the truth is we probably can’t, but what we can do is win some minor battles, for News International  having the audacity to open a twitter account @SunLiverpool well that is at least cheeky and at worst the lowest form of disrespect to the City and to those who lost their lives at Hillsborough, that moments later would have their tragic deaths sullied with lies, and the subsequent years have not diluted such contempt shown those innocent victims of The Hillsborough Stadium Disaster by The Sun newspaper.

https://twitter.com/#!/SunLiverpool/followers

We can all do our bit though by going through the time-line of those following @SunLiverpool and post this blog or the following video and ask them to consider Un-following The Sun, they currently have 5400 followers, let’s intend to get rid of them all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7fKye1Z9fc   Why Liverpool Fans Don’t Buy The Sun or Follow It.

If we make it our business to inform them all, every day if all of us just post to 20 of their followers, as a minimum, we will surely hit this Twitter page, we can then move on to its other pages. The Sun is not welcome on Liverpool, if we also tag @lfc on all tags then all other LFC fans will be made aware of these alleged fans following The Sun whilst having #JFT96 on their profiles, the lowest denominator.

Make sure the users have not already had the video posted on the time-line as we need to hit all, not just the 1st 20 followers, share this with as many Liverpool fans as possible. Not forgetting to tell them they are following The Sun, some foreign fans may not be aware, thinking that if it says Liverpool in it, then it must be related to the City, and or Club.

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All help appreciated. YNWA

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