Michael Edwards breaks low-key habit to leave Liverpool in style
Ian Broudie is on stage, working his way through the classics in front of an estimated 40,000 football fans, but there’s no England shirt in sight and the Lightning Seeds frontman isn’t telling us It’s Coming Home.
Broudie is responsible for writing perhaps the most famous football-themed song ever released in the UK in 1996 with Three Lions – a song which enjoyed a revival all summer last year as Gareth Southgate’s England went all the way to the European Championship. finale – but here in the Parisian sun, as the afternoon temperature hits the 20s, the Liverpool-born singer performs only on a sea of red.
But it’s not just fans enjoying the live acts on the fan park stage just hours from the Champions League final. This jubilation also extends to club officials.
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As Broudie offered the thousands of people there a rendition of Lightning Seeds’ 1992 release, The Life of Riley, famed Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards can be seen front and centre, swaying fun alongside his future replacement, Julian Ward.
The famously low-key Edwards may be one of the most famous in his role in world football, but here he’s just like everyone else, playing air guitar and pointing his phone at the stage as he hangs out. steeps in celebrations of a season to remember.
Such has been Edwards’ desire to avoid the media spotlight during a decorated time that spans more than a decade at Anfield, it’s possible few will even recognize who the guy with the VIP lanyard is in the whole thing. new Liverpool shirt.
“Fuck you, it’s Michael Edwards!?” said a shocked supporter upon learning his identity. “To be honest, I’ve only ever seen one photo that they use of him in all the press articles.”
The only Liverpool sporting director to have hosted parties alongside other members of the club, including Liverpool Women’s Promotion heroine Missy Bo Kearns, academy goalkeeper Harvey Davies and several others.
UFC star Paddy ‘the Baddy’ Pimblett is also in possession of a bracelet backstage and is in a relaxed mood as he poses for photos with several French security guards overseeing the fun.
The biggest star of the day, however, is undoubtedly Sir Kenny Dalglish, who is all smiles backstage at the Place de la Nation event as Heineken bottles are handed out for an icy afternoon refreshment.
For all the success Jurgen Klopp has enjoyed as Liverpool manager since October 2015, the fact that this type of afternoon is possible is perhaps only his greatest achievement.
The march to the first of three Champions League finals four years ago was enough to wake up a sleeping giant as far as the fan base is concerned. Organically, as Klopp’s side headed towards Kyiv in an exciting, swashbuckling style that was defined by the number of goals scored, a reinvigoration of a group of followers who were largely jaded was unfolding. under our eyes.
From Shevchenko Park in Kyiv to Plaza Mayor in Madrid and now here in the Cours de Vincennes in Paris, Reds fans have been invigorated by their return to Europe’s top level in recent years. And that, those happy scenes of red, is how their support shows on the biggest stages.
Of course, much credit must go to those who have organized ‘BOSS Night’ events in recent years, as Liverpool’s weary fan base has found its footing again.
“We talked about the journey under Klopp, the preparation for this moment and it was just a big celebration from Liverpool FC,” said Anfield Wrap’s John Gibbons, who kicked off the day on Saturday. “Oh, and Divock Origi! »
On stage, the songs that have come together to form part of Liverpool’s official playlist over the past few years are played by thousands of people waving their flags, scarves and just about everything they own.
From Robin S’s Show Me Love, Peter Gabriel’s Solsbury Hill hit and, of course, Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa’s One Kiss collab, adopted anthems ring out all afternoon.
Smoke billows in the air of Paris as flares – which are red, of course – are set off and these can be heard singing songs about Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota and, well sure, Klopp, who is serenaded to the Beatles adaptation hit ‘I Feel Fine’. This relatively new ditty has been the heaviest spinning song in recent weeks.
“They have to go out there and win now, right?” said another fan present. “And if they don’t, you know what?” I’m not even that asshole!
It would be an overstatement to say that the fans aren’t overly interested in the outcome of the European Cup final later that night, but it’s clear that’s what it was really all about those who had made the relatively accessible journey across the English Channel. It was the ‘celebration of life’ that Klopp had wanted.
“On days like today, you know, whatever happens in the game, that will never be taken away from the people here today,” Jamie Webster told ECHO, ahead of his headline.
Of course, the events that unfolded later in the day would have made matters enormously worse as thousands of fans were holed up outside the Stade de France. The disgusting and disturbing treatment of supporters will rightly continue to question both UEFA and the French authorities, whose shocking organization was downright dangerous in Saint-Denis.
But over time, it is hoped that another lasting image of the weekend in the collective mind may be the daytime events of the Cours de Vincennes. It was the people of Liverpool FC in rare form, living the life of Riley.