Short version – Some of the staff from the Butcher & Bullock are trying to better themselves and raise money for a great community charity. They do a lot for us and help make our club the success that it is. Let’s help them hit their fundraising targets. I for one can’t wait to see Bret and crew in a boxing ring! Each contender needs to raise $2000 in total and all money raised goes to the charity.
We need a volunteer to organize this event – You will need to sort out players, get some practices organized, and organize payment of the ref, and sort out the after party at the Butcher & Bullock. Please email us if you want to help organize this event. We have an email list of players who have played in previous seasons that can help you, and you’ll need to recruit a few extras.
On Saturday 27th July 2019 – LFC Vancouver will take on Chelsea FC Vancouver in what some are dubbing “the Vancouver Super Cup” following their small trophy in Baku and our monstrous 6th European Cup in Madrid this season. It’s about time we won this trophy back, having let the Chelsea boys keep hold of it the last few games.
Please note – the game is competitive and played to a high standard. You need to have a good level of fitness and football ability to play. The game is 90 mins on a full pitch, in the summer. It’s not just a kick around. If you are interested in playing and play to a good standard, then email us.
The game will take place at Trillium Fields in downtown Vancouver and kick off will be 10:00 am. It’s LFC Vancouver’s turn to host the after-party this year too, so the post-game drinks will take place at the Butcher & Bullock as long as it is available.
Saturday, June 1st 2019, just after 7am. We
get the Skytrain from Surrey to downtown Vancouver, arriving at the Butcher and
Bullock shortly before 8am. We knew there would be a fair sized queue well
before doors opened at 9am, in spite of it being priority entry for members.
Even so, we were surprised by how many were there ahead of us, some of whom
said they’d been there for a couple of hours already. Amazingly, as we were
still waiting outside, on the corner of Pender and Hornby, we could see the
queue for The Blackbird Public House already around the corner and down Hornby.
We managed to entertain ourselves by booing both a Vancouver Police Wagon, who
gave us a blast as he went by, and staring at drivers stopped at the traffic
lights who were staring at us wondering what’s going on? A couple of lone Spurs
fans walked by on the other side of the street, to a loud chorus of boos from
us, the first one passed by as if we weren’t there, and the second one gave us
the single finger salute. 9am came and as the doors opened, we were let in a
few at a time to keep it more restrained than a mad rush, and as we went in we
found a good spot at a table and took our seats.
The staff were well prepared and came around to take
our orders for the complimentary breakfast as we tried to contain the
excitement building inside, while also hoping the next few hours would pass quickly
so we could get on with the big game itself. Thankfully, the club had arranged
some video entertainment for us, and then around 11 am Jamie Wright began
leading us in a sing-along that we all joined in enthusiastically and put us
all in a great mood ready for kick-off.
of Madness and Mayhem
Not even 30 seconds in, we get a penalty. Cue the
cheers and the tension as Mo Salah steps up and … blasts it home. Bedlam ensues
as we all start yelling, jumping, and hugging anyone within reach. A big guy at
the next table to me started to give me a bear hug, then lifted me off my feet
to the point that I thought he was going to toss me in the air! Fortunately
not, with me landing safely on my feet, and then sitting down again to continue
watching as calmly as I could after the great start. The game was fairly dull
after that, other than an intruder on the pitch who was dealt with swiftly by
stadium security. Not too many great attacking moves and even fewer clear
chances, but we went in at half time with the 1-0 lead intact. The second half
wasn’t much of an improvement, but there was a nervy 15 minutes or so as Spurs
starting to pile on the pressure as the clock was ticking down, but never
really looked too dangerous. Alisson was needed to stop a few shots, making
them look pretty much routine by his standards, and then with only 3 minutes to
go a poor clearance by Spurs in their own penalty area allowed Matip (what’s a
centre back doing way up there?) to knock it over to Origi (on as sub. for
Firmino) to his left in the box, who calmly took the ball and placed it low and
just inside the far post, beyond the reach of Lloris, 2-0 and surely it’s ours
now. The place goes mental, with even more screaming, yelling, jumping and
hugging, then it was just a matter of trying to patiently wait out the last few
minutes of added time, and then at the final whistle there was even more
madness and mayhem before we watched the boys get their medals and of course
lift the big one to roars from all of us. I admit that I was in tears at the
end, and not surprisingly I wasn’t not the only one.
The game itself has been described as one of the least
entertaining UCL finals ever, but not one of us will care about that. What
mattered was that we won on the day and picked up Ol’ Big Ears for the sixth
time in the club’s history. We knew that there were several “official” LFC pubs
in town showing the final, and many more unofficial ones, with estimates of
somewhere around 2,000 Reds going mental all over the city, which I thought might
be an exaggeration.
After we left the B&B a while later, we were
walking to the Skytrain station at Waterfront when we saw a group of lads in
Liverpool shirts coming towards us. We immediately yelled over and stopped to
talk to them. They were a group of Irish lads who had been at one of the
unofficial pubs, and one of them asks me “how do you feel?” so I answered that
I didn’t think it had really sunk in yet, but surely it would soon. As we
travelled home we saw quite a few more people in Liverpool shirts, worn by
people with happy faces, so maybe that estimate of 2,000 is pretty accurate.
Early Sunday morning I opened up my e-mail and read a
message from a relative in London, who was not a Red but really happy that we’d
won. As he said, after the season we had it would have been a massive
disappointment not to finish with a major trophy, and while I would have wished
for the Premier League then this was a pretty good consolation prize. Personally
I was so pleased for Klopp who had the dark cloud hanging over him as a manager
who lost six finals in a row. That can now be forgotten, with Klopp joining an
elite group as one of only four Liverpool managers to have achieved Europe’s
Later in the day, my same relative e-mailed about the
victory parade in Liverpool, which reminded me that it was available via
YouTube so I sat in front of the computer monitor and watched it unfold. The
route was along some of the streets that I’ve walked up and down many times,
from Queen’s Drive, West Derby Road, Low Hill, and Erskine Street, then to the
city centre. It was a bit strange to see how much the city has changed since
those days, but then so much else has changed, with one notable exception being
success for Liverpool FC. As the open-topped buses slowly made their way around
town through a sea of red, we could see the back of the bus showing the six
cups we’d won over the years -1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005, and now 2019.
That’s when it all really sank in. This was not just a measure of our success
for one season, but shows that we continue to be a force in Europe having won
twice as many as the next highest for any English club. Only four other English
clubs have won the trophy, claiming seven between all of them to our six. We’re
now the third highest in Champions League history, ahead of some of the big
names like Barcelona (5), Bayern Munich (5), Ajax (4) Inter Milan (3), Juventus
(2), and Manchester City (0). We can truly call ourselves European Royalty with
our impressive record.
Shape of Things to Come
So what next? Liverpool have a tradition of success
that relies on a few simple practices, including the idea that next season
starts the day after the last season ends. I’m sure this is happening behind
the scenes now, even though the players are surely off for a well-deserved
break over the summer before being called back for training. That’s only a few
weeks away, with dates already confirmed for a pre-season tour in the States in
mid-July, along with other warm up matches ahead of the 2019-2020 season.
Between now and then, the club need to look at the squad and see where we need
strengthening. For me, I’d like to see a few players brought in, but I’ll leave
it to the management to decide who they need, who’s available, and at what
cost. Surely FSG will back up the manager with the needed funds as he
identifies his targets. For this transfer window, we’re not desperate, but if
the right players are available then we should go after them. We spent huge
amounts on players like Van Dijk and Alisson, which we know was well worth it,
after achieving success.
One thing that puts us in an enviable position is that
we’re now defending European Champions for next season’s campaign, and we have
a charismatic manager who is building a club that so many players will want to
be a part of. More than that, if any prospective player was to see that victory
parade, and see how the city came out with estimates of 750,000 lining the
route, who would not want to be a part of a club with supporters like that? Let’s
enjoy the summer, keep calm, and look forward to next season – it’s not that
far off, and we’re in great shape for more success to come.
Our first competitive match for next season will be
the Community Shield, with us as runners up in the Premier League facing League
and FA Cup winners Manchester City at Wembley on August 3rd or 4th.
We’ve won this trophy ten times, and shared it five times, so one more would be
Istanbul, we’ll win it four times – okay so it doesn’t
quite have the same ring to it, but as Champions League winners we’ll be facing
Europa League winners Chelsea, in Istanbul on August 14th for the
UEFA Super Cup which we’ve won three times so far (1977, 2001, 2005).
After some confusing reports, Liverpool will be
playing in the Club World Cup later this year, which will take place in
December in Qatar. No firm dates yet, but an announcement will come soon
enough. We have yet to win this one, so here’s hoping this time around.
The above three events mean that all together we’ll be
playing in seven competitions for the 2019-2020 season. A lot to look forward
to, with the Premier League fixtures to be released on June 13th – less
than two weeks from now!
Final comment: a huge thanks to the staff at the
Butcher and Bullock. They’ve been fantastic all season, working hard to look
after us, even when it’s for a 4:30am kick off – we really appreciate it. I
just hope they enjoy having us there as much as we enjoy being there for every
game. Cheers all, YNWA.
Even a few days after the events of Saturday, it’s difficult to write about. After a phenomenal season, Liverpool are the Champions of Europe for the 6th time after overcoming Spurs in the Champions League Final.
Thanks to everyone that came to our venues to support the club and the Donnelly Group. There were long line ups for all of our venues! Thanks for your patience. There was a lot of work done behind the scenes to make the day work out, and thankfully it did! The Butcher & Bullock, Blackbird, Mooses, and Cinema were all rocking as first Mo and then Big Divock scored the goals to bring Old Big Ears home again.
People are already asking about memberships for next season – we are going to change things up – stay tuned to the website and social media for an announcement on when they will go on sale for next season. For now, let’s all take a breath and reflect on a great season for Liverpool!