Liverpool couldn’t have come much closer to winning this season’s Premier League title.
Despite recording the third-best points tally in Premier League history - a magnificent 97 - Jurgen Klopp’s side still finished second in the table behind Manchester City.
Liverpool lost one game all season but City’s 32 wins, compared to the Reds’ 30, saw them finish the campaign in pole position, retaining the title in the process.
For 21 minutes on the final day of the season, it was Liverpool who occupied top spot on the ‘As It Stands’ table.
Liverpool took a 1-0 lead against Wolves at Anfield through Sadio Mane, while Glenn Murray’s opener handed Brighton a shock lead against City.
- UCL and UEL finals to be free to watch
- TAA: The youngest to play in consecutive CL finals
- Liverpool 'Out of Context' Twitter account is gold
However, City went on to win the match 4-1, ending Liverpool’s dream of winning their first league title since 1990.
Tony Laird was at Anfield that afternoon and was the Liverpool fan who appeared to be wiping away tears during the second half.
However, the 45-year-old has spoken to the Liverpool Echo and insists he had an ‘eye infection’.
Tony, a season-ticket holder originally from Fazakerley, also said that he was grimacing and looking uncomfortable due to an injury he suffered while playing football earlier this year.
“I was playing in a six-a-side game in March when I fell into the inside of my leg and snapped my tendon and two of the ligaments,” he says.
“I needed some major surgery and was then told I had to have six weeks not putting any weight on it then six weeks on crutches.
“I rang Liverpool, explained the situation and, having missed the Tottenham and Chelsea games, said I didn't want to miss the Huddersfield and Wolves games as we were going for the title and I wanted to be there.
“The club sorted it so I was moved from my normal seat to the second row of the Kop against Wolves, complete with crutches and an aircast boot.”
On the eye infection, Tony continues: “I know some people won't believe it, but I'd also had a bit of eye infection and was taking eye drops for three days.
“When you see the videos, I'm not crying. I'm rubbing my eyes! I was crying my eyes out after the Barcelona game, though, because I was so proud!”
Not going to lie, Tony, but it does sound like a rather convenient excuse!
While he initially found all the attention quite amusing, Tony says he’s also received some abusive messages.
And he’s decided to try and use this to his advantage: by asking Sky Sports to sort him out a ticket to next month’s Champions League final against Tottenham.
Can’t blame the guy for trying!
“After the Wolves game, I turned my phone back on walking out of the ground towards the Arkles and I had 58 messages and 15 missed calls,” he adds. “I was worried at first – I thought something had happened.
“But then as I'm opening the messages I have all these screenshots and videos of me captured on Sky Sports. Later that night I was on Sky Sports review of the season and then on BBC News the following morning.
“Loads of people I knew were taking selfies with me in the background.
“I had a bit of a chuckle. My wife's family are all Manchester United fans so they thought it was hilarious, while my potential brother-in-law is a City fan and he thought it was funny.
“But suddenly my face started appearing on social media again and there was a picture of me was on a United website. It had gone viral.
“Then I started getting some distasteful messages, so I chose to drop Sky Sports an email saying the least you can do after all this is sort me for a ticket for the Champions League final!”
Tony is desperate to join his mates in Madrid. Despite holding a season ticket for over 30 years, he’s one of only two among his group to miss out on a Champions League final ticket in the ballot.
But even if Sky can’t sort him out with a spare, he insists he won’t be reaching for the tissues again.
“I just want to tell everyone how proud I am of Liverpool and the season we have had,” he says. “There was nothing to cry about at the end!”News Now - Sport News