Saturday 24 February 2018

Kop anthem is the soundtrack to our lives

Reds fanatics Simon Mooney and wife Sinead
Reds fanatics Simon Mooney and wife Sinead
Batty Foley, above, outside the Shankly Gates of his Killorglin home

Graham Clifford

Killorglin, Co Kerry

Killorglin, Co Kerry

So passionate is Kerry-based mechanic Batty Foley about the song 'You'll Never Walk Alone' he's incorporated it into his very own version of the Shankly Gates.

At the entrance to his home near Killorglin, Co Kerry, the gates catch the eye of passing motorists.

"When I was a young lad I promised myself that when I'd eventually own my own house I'd have the Shankly Gates outside.

"I went to a local tradesman with a picture of me at the gates in Anfield and said "I want these please." At first he thought I was joking but he saw how deadly serious I was. In 2004 they were erected."

A version of Batty singing 'You'll Never Walk Alone' on Sky Sports in 1992 made him an overnight celebrity in the mid-Kerry town and further afield.

The father of two explains: "I was outside Anfield with a few friends and the Sky TV camera crew were there before a match. I went up to them and said I wanted to sing the song, so they turned on the camera and off I went.

"They ended up using it on adverts and on their end-of-season 'soccer blunders' show! It's a great claim to fame to have."

Simon Mooney

Clondalkin, dublin

For 37-year-old Simon Mooney 'You'll Never Walk Alone' is much more than just a song.

It's also the name of the Liverpool supporters' club of which he is chairman.

Indeed when Simon married his sweetheart and fellow-Liverpool FC fanatic Sinead in September of this year the song featured heavily in the wedding celebrations.

"At the end of the night we had it played and everyone was up singing and swaying with arms around each other. There was no way we could have got married and not had it played."

Simon was just four when his brother-in-law introduced him to the Reds and he quickly learnt the lyrics to the tune.

"If you sit down and listen to the words it's just the most amazing and powerful song. As Liverpool fans it obviously means so much but the words can give strength to people who are having any sort of problem in their lives.

"To be standing on the Kop, which I do a good few times a season, and to sing it at the top of your voice with thousands of others is an unparalleled, spine-tingling experience."

Irish Independent

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