What is true passion for football (soccer)? and Where does it come from?
True passion comes from your youth days or experiences you had as a child. By “true passion” I mean you feel chills down your spine and get goosebumps all over when you hear your clubs chants and songs like ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ being sung by the Kop at the top of their lungs. For me this happens every home fixture at Anfield, I also get the occasional teary eye just at the site of my team being serenaded by their adoring supporters. This passion I hold so true for Liverpool Football Club, or what I call “my club”, did not just come out of nowhere. I was not born with it nor did my parents hand it down to me, though they played a big part in me being able to have a life experience that forever shaped me into the passionate football (soccer) and Liverpool FC supporter I am today.
I played my youth ball for the Richmond Strikers Premier from U-9 to U-15. The U means Under, so I started to travel and play serious soccer when I was just 8 years old. Still till this day we are known as the most accomplished team the Richmond Strikers club has ever had and most likely will ever have. If I listed all of our accomplishments you would have to flip the page and continue to read on. So, to try and make a long story short, we won multiple State Cups back to back, and won almost every east coast tournament we entered. Clubs would see us on some tournament lists and choose to play in another tournament so that they would have a better chance of winning. At one point we were known as the best youth club in the nation and actually won a Super Club National Title. We had to enter tournaments away from the east coast and out of the country to find solid competition. We went to Canada twice just so we could compete with their Canadian national champion and other top clubs. We also were fortunate enough to travel across the pond to play in an international club tournament in Ayer, Scotland.
Our head coach had Scottish ties in his family and actually had us playing Scottish style possession football from age 9, we were passing the ball on the floor at will around teams. Our Assistant coach was a Evertonian and had us travel from Scotland to Liverpool to see where he was from. He took us to Goodison Park and we saw Everton, Newcastle, Ajax, and the Spurs play summer friendlies. I remember watching Alan Shearer but no Everton players stuck with me. Our assistant was so football savvy that he knew that you can’t go to Liverpool and leave without seeing the Red side (thank god, and he was a blue mind you). They weren’t playing any matches at this point in time but somehow we got to tour Anfield all to ourselves. I remember sitting in the red plastic seats where the manager and players sit and asking which seat was for the manager and sitting in it. I also remember more than half of our squad fitting in one of the bath/ hot tubs in the dressing room. The tour guide told us how the players touch the ‘This is Anfield’ sign on their way out to the pitch and I got a picture of me doing this just how the players did it. This picture was taken before they updated the sign and the walls so it is very special to me. During our tour the pitch was being cut and before leaving I reached my little hand in and grabbed a handful of clippings from a bin that was about to be thrown out. I kept the clippings in a plastic ziplock bag for several years until they turned brown and died. That Anfield grass might have died but my passion for Liverpool Football Club and football in general never will, it keeps growing like green grass on a pitch each day.