Seite 2: „We're gonna have a party when Maggie Thatcher dies“

The man is called Bernie and he was thirsty this morning. This quarter can be rough, he says, but his eyes gleam warmly as he immedia­tely elects himself as the guide of these streets, he doesn’t seem to be too busy that day anyway. Last time he attended a game must have been some­time in the eigh­ties with his bro­ther who sits in a wheel­chair. Bernie now takes care of him.

But he can’t afford match tickets though he lives only five minutes away from the ground. He can hear the roar of Goodison and Anfield from his flat. So near, yet so far away. Last week he called the club, Next time a ball crashes into my garden, I ll put a knife in it‘. As revenge for the high ticket prizes? No, no, just because the idiots would have failed to score again‘. Bernie laughs and coughs. That’s Liver­pool, he says.

Bernie shows us a church right next to the sta­dium. St. Luke’s. In the past, he says, people climbed onto the roof to watch the game from there. A young builder stands in the ent­rance hol­ding a bowl of cereal in his hand. The bowl is red. Liver­pool FC? God no, I am an Ever­to­nian. But my wife is a red, she always puts red things in my bag, crazy, I tell you‘. His name is Deano, that’s enough of an intro­duc­tion in his eyes.

Inside a man in a blue and white garment approa­ches. Colin Greene, lay reader, white hair and smooth face. As with all the others, his first ques­tions is, What is your team?“ The pho­to­gra­pher sup­ports Man­chester City. The lay reader reacts as if his lips have been burned. You’ve recently been crushed by Man United, haven’t you?‘ Bernie, still wan­de­ring with us, says, You shall not kick a man who lays on the floor. You should know that as a priest‘. Laughes loudly. Colin Greene takes us to the Garden of Remem­brance, the final res­ting place for sup­por­ters. The church sits close to the ter­race. Fan­zines and match pro­grammes are piled up in the first floor of the parish house. The holy scripts of foot­ball.

At the fare­well, Deano waves his hand. He’s had swapped the bowl for an electric drill. You visi­ting Anfield? Better watch your camera!‘ Deano and Bernie shake with laughter.

1985: Everton vs QPR.

It is a popular cliché in Eng­land: Liver­pool is bad-mou­thed for it’s rob­be­ries and burg­la­ries. The­re’s a story of an adver­ti­sing shoot out­side the sta­dium that is dis­rupted by street gangs that chase away the staff and steal the video equip­ment. In 2012, a rese­arch reve­aled that five out of ten of Eng­land’s poo­rest and most deprived districts are in Liver­pool, with Anfield third poo­rest.

The struc­tural change from the indus­trial to ser­vice eco­nomy can be seen in the city centre but districts such as Anfield or Everton partly look as if they’re stuck in the eigh­ties. The city tumbled into mass unem­ploy­ment back then, Prime Minister Mar­garet That­cher beco­ming the main target for working class anger. She fought the trade unions and miners. Her Chan­cellor advised her to abandon Liver­pool to a managed decline‘. People in Liver­pool still accuse her of backing the lies of the police after the Hills­bo­rough dis­aster. After her death in 2013 a song from the movie The Wizard of Oz‘ stormed the charts, the ter­races and the cele­bra­tions in the streets: Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.

The burden of indi­gnity from Eng­land’s south is ano­ther bond for the people in Liver­pool who, whe­ther red or blue, main­tain an anti­pathy towards Lon­don’s estab­lish­ment rather than one against their local rival.

Back in the days, sup­por­ters of the two clubs walked to the matches altog­e­ther, to Goodison one wee­kend, to Anfield at the other. Nowa­days, money’s too short for a visit to even one club, let alone two.