Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Final Countdown

Liverpool is in final fever. The final is the European Champions’ League Final, the game is football (real football), the opponents Liverpool FC and AC Milan, the venue Istanbul and kick off is tomorrow 20.45 CET.

Although Liverpool is on the western extreme of Europe and Istanbul on the eastern, the 2 cities separated by over 3 thousand kilometres, the excitement is palpable; Istanbul has been renamed “Istanpool”.

I was in the city centre yesterday; people are walking around wearing red fezzes, cars are driving round with red flags stuck on their doors, houses are decked out in the red of LFC, all conversations seem to be connected in some way to tomorrow night. A bazaar of opinion on who will play, what the tactics will be, what the score will be…

Unhappy circumstances have led to me being here this week but there was some Glück im Unglück. I was wondering where to watch…at home there would be no atmosphere, in the local pubs too crowded…and I had the fortune of being on the right website at the right moment. An LFC website RAWK announced that they had managed to get the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall to show the game on their Walturdaw screen and they had tickets to give away.


By chance I was on the site about 5 minutes after this had been posted, I sent a mail, got my name down for a ticket and went yesterday with an 80% conviction that it was all a hoax and

So tomorrow from 6.15 I will be sitting nervously in the Royal Philharmonic Hall where the resident organist will be playing Liverpool FC related music (!?) till 7.15 when the screen rises and from then on I will be surviving on a diet of chewed fingernails till the final whistle – whenever it may be.

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