14 December 2011

WINTER SONATA IN LIVERPOOL

This is not a photoshop. LOL. Photo taken on 10 Dec 2011 in Anfield. LFC 1 - QPR 0 and Luis Suarez was the hero!

I am indeed a very lucky Liverpool fan this year. I was selected by Standard Chartered Bank (Malaysia) with two other media representatives to watch the match thought to be Tony Fernandes (owner of QPR) against Liverpool. But in the end it was a show of Luis Suarez!

Frankly, myself representing Utusan Malaysia and the other two (Jagdev of The Star and Zainal Abidin Rawop, the celebrity sports commentator and his cameraman, Shaiful @Bob) were notified about this trip about a month prior to the match. The Country Head of Standard Chartered Bank's Corporate Comm, Norliza Kamaruddin and his manager, Reed Shamsudin were instrumental in making the whole journey materialised.

Personally, I feel it is self-satisfying to be acknowledged by such an organisation, in terms of my fanatical loyalties towards our football club, Liverpool FC. Though I must say, I don't need to prove to anyone of my allegiance to the Reds. Where ever I went or on what ever assignment I have to execute as a journalist, I always sport a certain LFC emblem be it on my hat or shirt or simply my beg. My brother teased me to our adult nephews : if you don't have a spare shirt, do get a spare from me, but it would be Liverpool. Yes, most of my nephews are supporting other clubs which I won't jot it down here.


When reached London on the evening of Dec 6, little did we understood the kind of weather awaiting to embrace us. We did googled and saw the winter in UK is building its momentum. Yes, we prepared all the necessary winter clothing. The gloves, the long-johns (well... I was the only one who wore it). But coming from a tropical climate and rainy season of our own here in Malaysia, the winter was simply `superb' to say the least. The daylight was short. By 4pm, it was already dark. And the temperature melted to a single digit. I have been to a few Western countries before during the winter (got my first snow-blizzard in Boston) but this time around, the level of the coldness was extraordinary. I quote this from the BBC themselves. Scotland was hit by a combination of a cold weather and strong wind.

But as we reached Liverpool, you start to realise, what we had in London was rather a `mild cold'. Liverpool was awesomely cold! I even experienced the hail stone (ice rain) not once but three times in 2 days! There were some funny moments when our Indonesian counterpart ran into the hail stone to take photos of themselves, much to the amusement of the Scouse who were taking refuge at the Hilton Liverpool.

My biggest complaint was that it ain't taste good to smoke in the extreme cold. The whole body failed to capture the essence of the nicotine and of course, the smoke. And you have to smoke outside the building, making it such a hassle to put on your socks, shoe, then the winter jacket and may be a glove (we smoke very early...5am due to jet lag from KL).

One of the highlights prior to the match was the visit to Melwood. While we were shown the players vicinity, suddenly a bunch of the players appeared from the pitch. First it was Agger, followed by..... oh yes.... our captain Steven Gerrard. I was star-struck, obviously and managed only to take 2 snaps of photos. I shall upload the photos later. Because some of it I have to publish it first in Utusan Malaysia and Mingguan Malaysia this coming weeks.

Then as some of you might have read, I had an interview with Pepe Reina. It was done in such a way that every one gets to ask only a SINGLE question to him. Yes I asked him of his absence from the squad during the Asia Tour. He was so nice and friendly and his English is good! His media awareness was pristine that I got a good quotation from him to enable me to file a news report that were published in Mingguan Malaysia on Dec 11.

In the evening, we were brought to a typical English manor (similar to the one you saw in the movies...) It is owned by the family of Lord Darby. There were fireplace, huge humongous chandelier in almost every room. Oh yea, we had to dress formal. I was forced to buy a suit. There goes my LFC's merchandise budget!

There, we were greeted by the legendary Phil Thompson who acted as the host, interviewing our manager, Kenny Dalglish on every aspect of his life. He spoke of his transfer from Celtic to LFC, his wife's charity work on cancer and even the big sponsor of Standard Chartered Bank and the impact it brought to the club. The awe of the house was quite on the same par of my awe towards King Kenny who were standing about 3 feet away from where I sat.



To be continued....

1 comment:

cintarosa said...

Pengalaman tu akan jadi kenangan manis pada Jo,kita turut gembira... :))

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