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Glamorous Friendly Or Recipe For Disaster?


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Now, I am generally not a fan of ‘pre-season friendlies’ and as a rule don’t go to many. This changed last season when we were visited by Chelsea and I have to say, I really enjoyed the match and the atmosphere generated pre and post match by the fantastic travelling Chelsea support. I am also not one to indulge in love-ins or ambulance chasing that the Tims have off to a tee. However, the Chelsea game was a fantastic spectacle and our welcome certainly transmitted through to our visitors as Jose Mourhino, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and Didier Drogba all later commented on the atmosphere that day and some Chelsea players were convinced to show their allegiance to The Rangers after that game.

 

When I read that this season, we are to play Liverpool, my initial thoughts were of genuine anticipation of welcoming Liverpool to Ibrox for the first time in many a year but as the game has gotten closer, I have started to have major reservations regarding this ‘glamour friendly’. At the Chelsea game last season, the atmosphere was superb with Rangers and Chelsea songs being sung together. The same should happen this season, like Chelsea there are many Rangers supporters who have Liverpool as their English team. I for one have never supported Liverpool but was always aware that many Bears did and whilst I was growing up, they always had a ‘Scottish Connection’ with players like Souness, Hansen, Wark, Nichol et al. More recently, I have been very impressed with the Liverpool support. They have introduced many brilliant songs celebrating their long and proud history.

 

Now that we have touched on the subject of songs, you may now have an idea as to why I have started to have reservations regarding this friendly. There is no doubt that Liverpool fans will sing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ at Ibrox, why shouldn’t they, it is their anthem. However, with this being a pre-season game, and with ‘joe-public’ able to buy tickets, there will be some Rangers supporters who will and for no reason, believe this to be some sort of ‘Celtc Loving Wind Up’ from the Scousers, nothing could be further from the truth. At this junction, it is worth noting that Liverpool fans routinely sing a version of ‘Every Other Saturday’ and have a wee ditty that is sung to the tune of the sash. It is also worth noting that Liverpool have a huge following within the Loyalist / Protestant community in Ulster (as they do in the Republican / Catholic community). In fact, if you visit the Official Linfield Store on The Shankill Road, you can purchase Linfield, NI, Rangers, Chelsea and LIVERPOOL merchandise from the store (Linfiled online store - http://www.linfieldfc.com/ worth a wee look!). In fact, on my recent visit to Belfast, I saw more Liverpool tops than I saw Rangers. I have also been witness to several Flute Bands finishing off a cultural evening by playing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, both in Ulster and Liverpool.

 

So what I am getting at here? Well, basically, You’ll Never Walk Alone isn’t a Celtc song – it’s a song that their fans (stole) sing, if that makes sense. In fact, almost all ‘big clubs’ supporters sang You’ll Never Walk Alone in the 60’s and it wasn’t unheard of for the ‘Rangers end’ to give this laldy at Scotland matches during this period. For whatever reason, it only really stuck with Liverpool, then like most things in their history (their catholic identity, their beloved hoops, et al), the Tims stole it and tried to convince the world it was theirs. It is the reaction from certain Rangers fans to this Liverpool anthem that I fear could turn this glamour friendly into something less enjoyable. What I hope for is that when the Kopites start You’ll Never Walk Alone, we drown it out with a rousing rendition of Follow Follow (or The Blue Sea Of Ibrox, or the likes). I hope this is the only reaction we give to Liverpool fans singing their song.

 

I will be attending this friendly and will be hoping that I enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed the Chelsea game last season – it’s always nice to get one over the English, even if they are fellow Blues, or in this case, Red Brothers.

 

Cammy F

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Nice piece Cammy.

 

I only hope that our support recognise that "You'll Never Walk Alone" is a Liverpool song and fuck all to do with the green thieving ******** !!!

 

Maybe hoping for too much as there are always a small minority in every support who are blind/stupid or just plain ignorant!

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I dont like to mean any wrong in this, but Liverpool seem to have just attracted big troubled occassions in the past. Hopefully this one goes smoothly and I actually think it will with both sets of supporters making it a good atmosphere. There version of YWNWA will obviously get booed by a large portion of our support

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It was, is and always will be Liverpool's song. The tramps from the east end are parasites, and will take anything that isn't tied down.

 

They sing it because it is a well known song. Liverpool sing it because it is their anthem, their hymn. No matter how much the Dhims sing it, they only sing it because the song is known, for no other reason.

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