An away fan, in the home end. It's not an easy place to be. I travelled to White Hart Lane as a Liverpool fan earlier this month, but could only get my hands on an overpriced ticket to the home end. It was worth every penny.
I, like the stunned Tottenham Hotspurs' fans surrounding me, couldn't really believe the level of supremacy Liverpool showed at White Hart Lane that day. It was an unbelievable game, but moreover it was a turning point, for Liverpool showing their true title credentials, and for Tottenham as a club. The next day Andre Villas Boas' role as Spurs manager ended and now Tim Sherwood will take the club in a new direction. Those 90 minutes affected a lot.
I had only ever seen Liverpool live five times before this game, somehow Liverpool had lost all five of those games, whilst scoring zero goals. The latest of which was a frustrating 1-0 home defeat to West Brom, two seasons ago - I was having no luck following my team. Added was the fact that Liverpool had lost on their previous five league visits to Spurs, and star players Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge were injured, so by my personal standards a massive 5-0 victory was a pretty miraculous result.
The only annoyance was the fact that I was physically threatened by two particularly upset Spurs fans. Yes I was in the wrong end but I clearly wanted to stay for the full 90 minutes more than half of the home fans. I wore no red and I never joined the Liverpool fans in song. Such was my disbelief however, I had to greet Liverpool's final three goals with hidden fist-pumps and muted cries of joy and delight.
After the final whistle had went, like many of the remaining home fans I applauded the players off the pitch. I'll not go into detail but I was then threatened in an unnecessary manner by two Tottenham fans, so much so that the other Spurs fans around me had to tell these men to ease off. One fan in particular even came up to me, spoke to me about the game and then congratulated me on the result as if I was Brendan Rodgers, he was clearly there as a passionate football fan with a sense of perspective, and that stuck in my mind, I thanked him.
Other sports don't need segregated fans zones, other sports don't have as much trouble with fans in terms of violence, or in terms of offensive chanting. These two people epitomized, for me, why we still have people who look at football fans in a negative fashion. That stadium, like every other, is full of good people, but sometimes a few can tarnish the reputation of all.
Some fans of both teams protested the price of football tickets during the game too, in unity, that is another matter that the football authorities need to look at, in order to improve the fan experience for all.
The best sport in the world has fans with one of the worst reputations, this needs to change.
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