Category Archives: Sport

Anfield , Alone ?

A visit to the Home of the Liverpool Football club was high on my bucket list . I was so keen, that each time we planned for this visit and it was postponed, I began to think that it just would not happen .

However my son Ralph and son-in-law Tommy , ensured that we would drive down from Glasgow on 30th September, 31/2 hours each way .. so grateful for their kindness.

Lloyd an avid football fan joined us at the last moment , after some gentle persuasion , knowing his affiliation was elsewhere .

We left before sunrise . My grandson Samuel jumped out of bed when he heard the word ‘Liverpool ‘ . He is all of 5 yrs and proudly donned the red colours of the team. We had a quick cup of coffee and packed some home made ‘Paozinhas ‘ and Cookies

The drive began with an ‘all guys‘ group, having been given due consideration by the ladies at home . The clouds and mist seemed to hang over as we drove on. But soon the sun peeked through the clouds to show us the beautiful sceneries of Scotland.

We stopped for coffee ,hot chocolate and light breakfast.

The drive became interesting with Samuel’s favorite game in the car ‘I spy with my little eye’ .

It was a cool drive for 31/2 hours . The sign boards flashed by and soon we saw ‘Liverpool’ appearing . I was palpably excited when Tommy got the song ‘ You will Never Walk Alone’ on the car sound system .

We finally reached the gates of the stadium . Yes it was thrilling to see the words ‘You will Never Walk Alone’ at the top of the gate, where. Samuel and I posed for a picture .

We then entered for a tour of stadium …. with a group comprising mainly fans of the Liverpool football team .

The club has a lot of history . It started from humble beginnings and is a club quite devoted to its fans .

The guide asks “Don’t you think that this is the best time to become a Liverpool supporter ? They are the European champions and currently number one on the English Premier League Table”

They respect sentiments of different faiths specially having Sadio Mane and Salah in the team …

Besides the spectator stand is very near the football pitch . One can view the players in action, and either encourage or pass comments depending on which team you support.

We had pics taken near the cutouts of the players and the team colours . Then we stepped out for a pic near the statue of Bill Shankly one of the earliest managers of the Liverpool club ……

Hold on it’s not over yet ; the biggest surprise awaited us as a black ‘Range Rover’with tinted glasses, drove into the gates. “I’m sure that is a Liverpool player. Could that be Firmino ? “ conjectured Lloyd. “ No it’s Andy Robertson “ said Tommy , as Andy came out of his car to let the security check it.

This was the opportunity for us to pose with him for pictures .

Samuel was speechless as he posed with Andy for a photograph. . A few young ladies too were quick to seize their opportunity. Andy was very obliging , but was gone before the rest of us could decide .

We visited Merseyside …where the the Beatles first performed . But I was a bit disappointed after the high of Anfield.

Our visit to Liverpool ended with with burgers and beer

I’m sure Liverpool has captured some more fans . So ‘yes’ we were together and not alone to enjoy the song ‘You Will Never Walk Alone ‘ the theme song for the Liverpool team….and one to inspire all with its words .

Does the Winner take it all

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Mikael was on par with the best golfers in the circuit…However he never seemed to win any trophies. He was quiet and dedicated and sought to improve at every stage. He kept fit and did his best to play well and improve.

During his time he had a few top golfers who kept winning in turns the various big tournaments.

Alfred was steady and focused and most often came away with the top spot.

Dean was more flamboyant and knew that he possessed the skills which could beat anyone on his good day.

But Mikael was the one to watch. He practiced 24×7 and wished to make a mark in life.

He had tremendous faith in God. He kept fit in simple ways and was disciplined in his time.

He gave the best part of his day to the Lord in the morning .

Alfred once asked him” Hey Mike, why do you come in late morning for your practice?”

And Mikael quietly replied” Well,  I give myself to the Lord first, as all I am and have is from Him”

The other guys listening were amazed , and Dean chipped in “ but how come you don’t win anything Mike.”  To which Mike’s simple answer was   “ in His time he makes all things beautiful”

The Indian Open was fast approaching. Preparations were on. The best golfers were expected.

They all were focused on their training and diets.

Mikael kept to his morning quiet time , and then turned to his practice and other preparations.

On the big day, he was calm and confident. Whereas Alfred and Dean were in their zones of anticipation. Alfred totally serious . Dean appearing nonchalant .

They started on their rounds. Halfway through one sees Alfred beginning to get fatigued. The tension increases. He swings and it comes on too firmly.. He whispers to Mikael “ I don’t understand , what is happening . My strokes are getting messed up.” Mikael calms him down “ Relax, you have the strokes to play better” and prays quietly for Alfred, ” Lord, help him to recover his poise. “ Next moment Alfred delivers the best stroke and goes on to get a very good average.

Next we see Dean taking his stance . Overconfident as usual he starts off well and within a few moments loses his composure when his caddy trips behind him.” Hey what’s wrong with you; you have just ruined my concentration” Thereafter Dean makes a mess of his rounds and is way behind in the final tally.

Mikael however goes about his rounds with great dedication. He is silent, confident, and at peace. He seems to enjoy his game.  His days of preparation and discipline show on the course. He gave his best. But still Alfred wins the Cup.  Mikael is runnersup

Did Mikael lose? Ask Alfred. He says” I owe my victory to Mikael . His quiet words of encouragement gave me so much confidence at the time I was playing poorly.”

Mikael smiled and said “ We are all winners when we play our best… Even though only one wins the cup. How we approach the game is important. After all its not life and death. May we all rise above winning and losing, and really enjoy the game.”

Does the winner take it all??

The Feint of a Footballer

The feint of a footballer

Who is the new boy? A puny little chap. He personifies littleness. The group of other boys his age, all admire him and like to play in his team. He is unselfish. His skill with the ball is so good. The ball  sticks to his boots like a magnet. He swerves and feints towards the goal. He cannot be stopped , even with rough tackles. His strength is to keep on playing with the ball, and develop his skills even more.

The group gets left behind, with all his sprightliness. They may be taller, but cannot match his skills. He can grab a ball from another’s feet. He has developed a lot of immunity to rough tackles and very often gets hurt so badly, that one would think he would retire.

The finals are about to commence. The latest strategy is to ensure that he is not allowed to touch the ball. So the entire opposing team, keeps a close watch on Luigi. The moment the ball seems to go to Luigi , we find about 3-4 players surrounding him to snatch the ball away.

What is Luigi’s response. At first he is surprised at this new manoevre. But soon he catches on.

He then ducks, and swerves and wriggles out of the scramble , to dash away with the ball. They all set up a chase , but cannot match his speed with the ball. He approaches the goal post and then unleashes a tremendous shot , which ensures that his team , get a goal.

The game restarts after this, but again the strategy is put into play. Again the ploy fails.

Final score reads 5-0

The end of the game shows that skill  beats stategy, and strategy works when it combines with skill. Lets hope that more good players will show up with an improved display of skill and strategy.

Note: this little story is dedicated to one of the best footballers of our time; I leave it to you, the reader to guess???