Planned kilometres: 0 (cummulative 634)
Kilometres walked: 0 (cummulative 680)
% Completed (based on 1800km trip): 37.8%
Pubs visited: Bootroom – Anfield
Pints: 3 (cummulative 79)
Kms per pint: 8.6
Blisters: 0 (cummulative 3)
Chester to Liverpool
It’s Mother’s Day and also my birthday today so after the team had all called their mums to wish them a happy Mother’s Day, it was onto the 9:30 train from Chester to Liverpool.
I had a brought myself a birthday present of a hospitality ticket to see the last premier league game of the season at Anfield – Liverpool vs Brighton Hove Albion today. I was also staying the Shankly hotel to ensure the full Liverpool experience. The Shankly hotel is named after Bill Shankly (Liverpool manager from 1959 to 1974) and has photos, letters and memorabilia of his all around the hotel.
We dropped our bags at the concierge at the hotel who was a typical scouse comedian and had us entertained. He wanted to know what backpack was for and loved that I was walking the length of the UK and had done a side trip to see Liverpool.
It was then into town to find brunch and a change of clothes to attend the game. As I was on a hospitality ticket, the dress code for the Boot Room was smart casual and invite said “smart jeans and trainers permitted as well as home kits and colours. Tracksuits are not allowed.” My pack was severely lacking in smart casual clothes and the only thing I had were the trainers, so it was into town to buy a Liverpool football club shirt and a pair of jeans to attend the game.
It was then back to get my trainers out of my pack and change into new jeans and Liverpool jersey. The came concierge was working and got a manager to come out and take a photo of me (in Liverpool kit with backpack on) and him and said it was to post of Shankly hotel Facebook page.
I then caught a cab to Anfield as Hospitality was open 3 hours before game started and I wanted to ensure I had time to experience full atmosphere at the ground. I got my tickets and then had a 3-course lunch in Boot Room restaurant and then did a tour of museum which was included. I sat with a poor Liverpool fan who lives in Manchester (just like my mate Steve who I am staying with next weekend) as there can’t be a worst place to live as a Liverpool fan.
I then visited the Liverpool shop, Hillsborough memorial, Bill Shankly statue, Shankly gates and walked around the stadium soaking up the pre-game atmosphere.
It was then into the Anfield road stand via old school turnstiles which aren’t very roomy.
I had a quick beer in the stand and then took my seat for the game. Large banners being passed across the stands and then fans sung ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ before the game and then it was game on.
Liverpool need to win or draw the game to ensure Champions league football for next season as Chelsea were only 2 points behind us on the table. Liverpool won the game 4-0, so it was a great game to watch. The result didn’t matter in the end as Chelsea lost to Newcastle and as Newcastle are managed by ex-Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez the crowd sung his name a few times due to his team beating Chelsea.
After the game no one left the ground as Liverpool player Mo Salah (the Egyptian King) was presented the Golden Boot trophy (for highest goal scorer in premier league) by Sir Kenny Dalglish (King Kenny). Mo had his young daughter with him and she was kicking a football and every time she kicked it, the crowd would cheer. At one stage Mo tackled the ball off her and the whole crowd booed him until he gave it back to her. As this was the last game of the season the players and their families did a walk around the pitch to thank the fans.
After the game it took me an hour to get back to the hotel (past famous The Arkles pub) and we all went out for dinner/drinks and then had a few drinks at the hotel.
The Shankly hotel had very unusual urinals in the men’s room and so I had to take a photo. From the left to right the urinals were labelled ‘start of night, ‘middle of the night’, end of the night’. It reasonably quiet night as we did to much partying the day before.