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Lifelong loyalties are in the head and heart

Dermot Crowe


League is everything to long-suffering faithful

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‘All those arguments over Rafa Benitez – it’s over now’

‘All those arguments over Rafa Benitez – it’s over now’

PA

‘All those arguments over Rafa Benitez – it’s over now’

In the 1970s, when Liverpool's football flourished in England and across Europe, I gathered that we were all human but not on the same team. Liverpool became mine. I don't recall Leyton Orient submitting a tender. It was a simple law of probability. The small ration of football on television available in one-channel land had a lot of Liverpool content. I can remember a Match of the Day presenter half-apologising for showing Liverpool again one particular night, explaining that they had earned the right to be seen both through results and the quality of their play.

My allegiance could have been drawn to Man Utd or Arsenal or Leeds, though the Elland Road club was fading, because there were a good few of those followers knocking about, some Chelsea too. A more interesting mix than you find today.

Aston Villa produced an outstanding side. Ipswich became a serious challenger. Nottingham Forest would win the league and European Cup. Everton sparkled. Spurs had a strong cup pedigree. But Liverpool it was. Nobody in the family supported them. The brother ended up with Arsenal.