The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

No Victory More Sweet

'Some people believe football is a matter of life and death … it is much, much more important than that.' - Bill Shankly

Anthony McIntyre • Other View, Summer 2005

From I first watched Liverpool FC beat Linfield 3-1 at Windsor Park while still a child, I have had a sentimental attachment to both the team and the city that hosts them. When Liverpool became champions of Europe for the fifth time after a gargantuan struggle to overcome all the odds against AC Milan, I experienced a surge of joy I am no longer used to drawing from sporting events.

The club's victory put to rest the terrible ghost of failure and defeat that haunted the Kop from 1989 when it snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the very last minute of the season by allowing Arsenal to walk off with the league championship. If there was ever a team that should have been willing to give all for its fans and a time to do so, it was the Liverpool team of 1988-1989.

In April of that year 96 fans were crushed to death in Sheffield during the semi-final of the FA Cup. It was a terrible moment which ruptured the emotions and ripped the joy from being a spectator. When the players failed to wear the shirt with the solemn determination expected of them, the loss of those lives seemed all the more meaningless. The passion of the fans was not returned in kind by performance on the field. The trophy did not belong to the players but the fans. The players let it go.

Each time I am in Liverpool, whether to watch a match or not, I visit the shrine to the dead fans at the back of Anfield. It is always poignant, bringing out the same emotions experienced when attending the resting places of dead republican comrades. As a result of the defeat at the hands of Arsenal, there is always a feeling of unfinished business. Next time I visit the shrine, and silently whisper 'rest in peace', I will come away thinking I have made a statement of fact rather than giving vent to a mere wish.

The business of bringing back Spartan resolve to Anfield was completed on a Turkish football field by the Liverpool team of 2005.
























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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
- Frank Zappa

Index: Current Articles

29 August 2005

Other Articles From This Issue:

Historic Censorship Battle Set for High Court

Evident Steps Needs Support
Tara LaFreniere

Reading the Tea Leaves
Dr John Coulter

London death shows North policing problems not unique
Eamonn McCann

Mo Mowlam
David Adams

A Snapshot of Gerry Fitt
Fr Sean Mac Manus

The Big Picture in Colombia
Mick Hall

Fred A Wilcox

Times Are A-Changing
Michael Youlton

Blame Vulture Capitalism, not God, for Pat Robertson!
William Hughes

Fundamentalist Holyman: The Singing Bigot
Anthony McIntyre

Of Lesser Imps and Demons
Eoghan O’Suilleabhain

No Victory So Sweet
Anthony McIntyre

17 August 2005

Changes Needed All Over
Eamonn McCann

Get Tough Now
Dr John Coulter

What for the Future?
Mick Hall

Why has Gerry Adams never finished Ulysses?
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Bombing London is No Longer Good News for the IRA
Anthony McIntyre

The Conflict Encapsulated
David Adams

No More Second Class Citizens
Paul Little

Nothing Has Changed
Anthony McIntyre

Venezuela: Lessons of Struggle
Tomas Gorman



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