Why we love football so much

As every Liverpool fan all over the world is now beginning to recover from the mad celebrations of Sunday’s dramatic late win, in which goalkeeper Alisson Becker scored a 94th minute winner to give The Reds all three points away at West Brom to keep their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League alive, I wanted to just give my own personal thoughts on the goal and that moment in general.

I’m sure every Liverpool fan worldwide will remember exactly where they were at around 6:20pm on Sunday 16th of May 2021, and will remember exactly how they celebrated that goal. I for one went absolutely berserk in my wheelchair, spinning around like I was Taz out of Looney Toons, I almost broke the mirror in my living room as my foot plate on my chair smashed against it such was the excitement. I swear the whole street would have probably heard me screaming like a banshee as literally my whole body started shaking, I’m sure if you’re a Liverpool fan reading this you would have had a similar experience and in that one moment of pure ecstasy I felt something that I haven’t felt in awhile and that was the childhood innocent feeling of hope.

This year has been difficult for everyone, whether your Alison Becker, who lost his father earlier this year or the owner of the corner shop, everyone has had a troublesome time in these last few months and I for one am no exception. People have had to deal with a long winter of being in lockdown and not been able to see friends or family, or even loved ones, as well as all this people have had their own personal issues to contend with, that’s life, this is part and parcel of being an adult. Let’s face it we’ve all have had to put our hopes and dreams on hold while the coronavirus pandemic has taken a hold of the country and the world. For some of us reaching those hopes and dreams may be a far reality even after lockdown is over, some of us may never get there, but when you see your goalkeeper score a brilliant header in the 94th minute of any football game all of a sudden you just get that little bit of belief in a pit of your stomach that anything is possible. This is what football’s about, it makes you feel emotions that you can’t explain and takes you to places that you didn’t think was possible, even if it is just for a brief second, football gives you belief and hope like no other sport can.

I know people reading this will be thinking “what is this guy on about?” “Liverpool won the League last season and the Champions League the season before.” Whilst all that is true and I have got some unbelievable memories and moments from both those seasons the moment of Alisson’s goal was different, and I’ll tell you why. Last season Liverpool were joint favourites to win the league at the start and by December it was a foregone conclusion, we were 12 points clear and looking unbeatable, in fact let’s face it by the time we beat Manchester United in late January we were 18 points clear and nothing stopping us. Yes, okay we had to deal with a small matter of the pandemic and the first lockdown but I think deep in everybody’s hearts we knew we were going to win the league and when that moment finally arrived although it was met with elation and celebrations like you wouldn’t believe, it was expected. It was a similar story the year before, Liverpool went into the Champions League Final as firm favourites and like I said before even though winning it was an amazing moment and one I will never forget, I always thought we would. Even the Barcelona game in the semi-finals I generally believed that we would be able to go and overturn that 3-0 deficit, so when it happened yes I celebrated and yes it was in an euphoric moment but I expected it. Where as what I witnessed on Sunday I didn’t see coming. That was proper Roy of the Rovers stuff, back against the wall, fighting against all the odds and you goalkeeper goes and does that in the 94th minute of a game that you’re needing to win to keep your hopes alive of getting into the top four, that’s just amazing and something that you just can’t explain. 

Obviously Liverpool need to make sure that that goal actually mean something now and they actually have to get into the top four, for Alisson if no one else, that has now become an obligation on the entire squad. But as for that moment, that will live with me forever now, whether or not Liverpool qualify for the Champions League. Belief is a powerful emotion and whether you believe in God, like Alisson and myself, or you don’t, it didn’t really matter in that moment because we all need to believe in something in life and for me personally that one moment gave me newfound belief that maybe the rest of this year might just turn out alright for me, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t, that’s life but the fact is that one moment, that one goal just gave me the innocent hope that you have when you’re a child and you believe that anything can happen. So whatever your hopes and dreams are and whether they come true or not I hope if you read this article you can take some comfort in knowing that it isn’t all doom and gloom out there, there’s always a little bit of hope and even in the darkest situations anything is possible.

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