Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Something Personal

When I was a young kid, I used to watch and listen to the big arguments between two of my elder brothers. The arguments were mostly about Liverpool and Manure. Jeff, as we used to call him and four years older than me, used to be very fanatical about LFC. The other brother, who is also four years older than Jeff, was on the dark side supporting Manure. Listening to them at that time used to confuse me because I did not know much about the English League then. I decided to take Jeff’s side and got into much of the arguments after learning about LFC.

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.


kajang-today said...

be tough!

Khan said...

Thanks Bro :-)

Anonymous said...

Dei Macha, your story moved me to tears la.. seriously I feel really sad to lose such a passionate fan. may his soul rest in peace. By the way you have managed to trigger my own memories of our Liverpool heydays. Actually I too was influenced to support Liverpool by my brother an ex Perak Malaysia Cupper. I was eleven when Liverpool won the first European Cup beating FC Bruges (hope I'm correct) in 1977. Yes those days there are no live telecasts. However, newspaper and the Shoot magazine were the only media to depend on. Then, in the 80's players like Ray Kennedy, Phil Thompson, Phil Neal, Alan Kennedy, Terry Mc Dermott, Souness,Craig Johnston, Sammy Lee, Rush, Alridge,Daglish wow the list goes on made my younger days bright. Well manure were simply outclassed. As for me the worst nightmare I ever had watching a Liverpool match is when we were beaten by Arsenal at Anfield in the deciding match of division one title in 1989. Yes, I admit I cried that day. Well you know I seldom cry just because of a football match. Even after our slump in 90's up to 2004, I always kept faith in Liverpool. It doesn't matter if they lose a thousand times because the only club that I would support is LIVERPOOL! By the way I didn't know that you are a fan of Germany. I am a Germany supporter too. The reason is simple - I admire they fighting spirit and never say die attitude. So how about our chances against Fulham? Another tricky and risky tie. Brace for more heart attacks! Cheers mate! YOU WILL NEVER WALK ALONE... SELVA

Khan said...

hehe good old days eh ;-)

rizal hashim said...

Sorry I missed this posting, Al-Fatihah and May Allah bless his soul.

To anonymous, Liverpool beat Bruges in 1978. in 1977 they beat borussia monchengladbach.