Supporting Liverpool in those days was easy. During the 80s it was much easier. Both Jeff and I were always winning all the arguments and we used to enjoy it very much. The other brother, being fanatical about Manure of course, would occasionally win when Liverpool lost one or two important games. Live games on those days were very much rare and the newspapers used to be our guide and the sports section would always be the first to be scrutinised. Jeff and I used to talk about the great players and sometimes had our own arguments too. The only times we had our own heated arguments between us, Jeff and I, were when we discussed about our Malaysian teams. He supported Selangor while I supported KL. The funny thing was the other brother supported KL as well and then Jeff would be the one who would be alone whenever we talked about Malaysian football.
We were all very fanatical about our teams, to the extent that the arguments would be so heated up and everyone raised his voice, much to the amusement of those around us. I still cannot forget one live game in which Liverpool played an FA Cup final. We were all watching it with a friend and when Liverpool lost after taking the lead, my dark side brother had a field day. I almost cried openly (maybe I did) watching the game and was chided like crazy afterwards. I still feel that one particular game left a psychological scar in me. And I also remember the look on Jeff’s face at that time.
Jeff used to be very fanatical about Liverpool, but not to the extent of buying any LFC’s merchandise. Most probably he could not afford them then. Whenever I did buy some and showed them off, he would just smile. His only comments were when I bought some videos tapes, such as the ones that showed the goals scored by Liverpool in a season. He said they were not really enjoyable because they did not really show the moves that resulted in goals.
Supporting Liverpool during the 90s was difficult. Except during the occasional triumphs, both Jeff and I were usually glum. More so when Manure did very well during that time, much to the amusement of my dark side brother of course. We used to be chided whenever we argued about which teams was the greatest and the only solace for us was Liverpool’s fantastic history. But of course it was never easy to argue along that line when you have an equally fanatical supporter of Manure as an opponent. One of the biggest issues for Jeff that he still maintained even until 2008 was how stupid Leeds was when they sold that ‘Kung Fu’ French to Manure. Yes, who can argue against the stupidity of selling Eric Cantona to Manure right after winning a league title? Or him being the catalyst to Manure winning ways? After I got married and moved out of the house, I subscribed to Astro and Jeff would always call me about the latest score if he was not sitting next to me watching the game. We used to always surf the internet to settle some arguments with those who were our ‘enemies’ in supporting Liverpool to get some facts right. And of course we always talked about Liverpool before and after a game and most of the times shared the same aspiration although not on which team was going to win or lose. Even when we were a few hundred miles away from each other.
On the 30th of April this year, a few hours before Liverpool played Chelsea in the CL 2nd Semi-final, Jeff was involved in an accident. He suffered severe internal injury to his liver. When Liverpool was playing that game in the wee hours that night, early morning the 1st of May, I was at the Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah in Klang and Jeff was in the operation theatre. I got my updates of the score from friends and yes, we lost the game. One day after, I lost my beloved brother. He was 44 and left a wife and two children. I will not have Jeff around anymore to talk passionately about Liverpool but I do hope that he is watching how well Liverpool is doing at the moment.
May his soul rest in peace. AlFatihah.