'Saint' Markus Liebherr: Southampton fans salute you

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To pay tribute to someone who you have never met is very difficult without resorting to cliches.

My main memory of Markus Liebherr will always be from the JPT Final at Wembley last April. Being lucky enough to be sat just one block away from the tunnel I was able to witness at quite close hand the pride that shone through his face from the moment the team lined up to when they were presented with the trophy at the ‘home of football’.

Unfortunately I was not able to be present when Mr Liebherr was introduced to the St Marys faithful at the pre season friendly just weeks after he bought the club out of administration.

I know exactly, though, why he was given the reception he was, having saved the club that has been in my blood for most of my forty years and two other generations of my maternal and paternal family before that.

The vision that he and Nicola Cortese promoted for Southampton Football Club was a breath of fresh air and close to what many supporters had almost been embarrassed to dream about prior to their arrival.

To ensure that the substantial amount of money that was invested in that dream is not wasted the plans that were put in place now need to be seen through. It will be a long road but once the objectives are achieved it must not be forgotten who made it all possible.

The term Saint Markus has been used a few times during the last few days and, whilst we didn’t know him for as long as the other Southampton legends such as Le God, Lawrie Mac, Ted Bates etc, if what he started leads to the Saints being back where they were for such a long time, the name Markus Liebherr will be another one that is synonymous with Southampton Football Club.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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