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Adam Lallana after signing for Liverpool (Pic; LFC)

April 17, 2015
by Jim Boardman

Lallana: FA Cup semi win would be icing on the cake

LIVERPOOL midfielder Adam Lallana hopes the club can make it back to Wembley for the FA Cup final to end a season he admits has “not gone great” for him.

Lallana was one of three players Brendan Rodgers signed from Southampton in the summer for a total outlay approaching £50m and as the season draws to a close it’s fair to say that none of the trio have had the impact expected of them so far.
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The Hillsborough memorial in Liverpool city centre

April 15, 2015
by Jim Boardman
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In memory of 96 football fans

The Hillsborough memorial in Liverpool city centre

26 years ago today thousands of Liverpool supporters left home and made the journey to South Yorkshire to see their club play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium.

96 of them never returned home.

As the fresh inquests into their deaths continue we are limited as to what we can say about what happened that day, or about what happened in the days, months and years that followed, but we can say this:
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April 10, 2015
by Jim Boardman

Liverpool FC launch New Balance 80s-inspired home kit


ANOTHER year, another new shirt – in fact there’ll be three – as Liverpool launched the latest all red home kits.

New kits come out annually now, in home, away and what used to sometimes to be called ‘European Away’ flavours. With no guarantee of European football for Liverpool next season, chances are it’ll just be a ‘third kit’ that get unveiled last.

For now though it was just the home kit, the first to be produced under the New Balance brand name. New Balance are the owners of the Warrior brand Liverpool have been wearing for the past few seasons, a name that looks like going back to use as a Hockey or Lacrosse brand only. The change suggests top brass at the US company needed to be convinced that soccer was as big a deal as they’d been told and having seen it is, perhaps realise just how much leverage they can get for their wider range of New Balance clothing.

You can imagine the kit designers looking disappointed on hearing the answer to their “does it have to be all red” question, a situation that if we’re being honest doesn’t leave them with a great deal of room to innovate and give us something fresh and exciting.

The marketing people want us to think it’s exciting. They tell us:

“The core feature of the new shirt is a chequerboard jacquard, which draws inspiration from the LFC fans in one of the most iconic stands in world football – The Kop. The flags and scarves fans hold aloft on match day create a visually captivating red and white mosaic, which is hinted at through the shirt. The design is linked to New Balance’s new LFC campaign, #HoldNothingBack, a reflection on the team and fans’ attitude towards the club.”

It’s a shirt.

Yes, it’s a Liverpool shirt, but it’s essentially just bits of fabric until the players start to wear it, start to win in it, start to bring us great memories that those shirts get intertwined with. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see it worn at Wembley in the FA Cup final, with a bit of extra embroidery in the middle – but the Reds need to beat Villa in the semis first of course.

The marketing people continue:

“The kit has a sleek and sophisticated style, and celebrates some of the classic moments of LFC’s history. It is reminiscent of shirts that club legends like Kenny Dalglish wore as part of the dominant side in the 1980s. The simplicity of the design honours the clubs illustrious heritage.”

This is a little bit annoying really. Only a little bit, but what do New Balance know about LFC’s “dominant side in the 1980s” other than what they’ve read about it? And if the club are directing them to try and play on the nostalgia instinct we all have as fans I’d rather them direct the transfer committee, the manager and players into helping us relive all those past glories by giving us some new ones. And by directing I also mean funding.

The current Liverpool side is a far cry from the one that dominated England and Europe in the eighties – blame whoever you like for that, or disagree completely if you prefer – and it feels as though the club has been a little too focussed upstairs on trying to get corporate deals done instead of sorting out player deals.

But enough complaining, at least the rules in English football prevent clubs from plastering too many logos on shirts, so just as it was when Kenny was playing we just have the maker’s logo and the shirt sponsor’s logo to contend with, and no sign of moisturiser, doughnuts or floorboards.

According to New Balance, “the shirt is engineered to offer the players the latest in performance innovation, kit technology and garment optimisation,” and according to the press release, Jordan Henderson is made up with that.

“The kit feels great,” Jordan is quoted as saying, “and I’m pleased the New Balance team considered what the players need from a kit when it was designed. The material is very comfortable and the players are delighted with the result.”

You can imagine the scene now, in NB HQ. “Hey guys, tell me to shut up if I’m speaking out of turn, but is it worth us considering what the players need from these new kits too?”

General Manager of New Balance Football Richard Wright talks of new eras and sacred bonds with, presumably, a straight face: “As we enter into a new era between New Balance and Liverpool Football Club, we want to celebrate the sacred bond between the club, the fans and the players.”

You can’t help think (well, I can’t) that it’s getting less and less sacred every time a corporate statement of some kind tries to celebrate it.

Billy Hogan, LFC’s Chief Commercial Officer, adds a bit more: “Like LFC, New Balance has over 100 years of heritage and it’s fitting that the first kit launched as part of this record-breaking partnership celebrates the Club’s illustrious history and worldwide fan base.”

That stuff Henderson is pleased with includes “NB Dry”, a “technology that helps keep the body cool and dry whilst being active. The moisture wicking fabric releases moisture away from the body, making it fast drying, and it is anatomically fitted to form around the player’s body shape for ease of movement.”

It’s also “finished with mesh panelling under the arms,” and “the design aims to help airflow around the body.

“Twin needle stitching runs around the circumference of the shirts hem and twin heat transfer tipping to the cuff gives a seam-free finish and to prevent abrasion. The unmistakable Liverpool red with the front panel jacquard is finished with an integrated collar.”

If you want one – and most people who buy Liverpool shirts would buy them no matter how bad they looked, it’s available to buy from 14th May.

Fingers crossed there’ll be a good few on show down Wembley Way later that month.


April 2, 2015
by Jim Boardman

Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling speaks out on his contract talks – is he greedy?

LIVERPOOL youngster Raheem Sterling has given an exclusive interview to the BBC that will no doubt add to the controversy surrounding the current standoff between the player and the club over a possible new contract.

Sterling’s current contract has plenty of time left on it but it’s a £30k-£35k per week contract that reflects his standing at the time he signed it, as a teenager with much still to prove.

Having turned 20 in December he now expects a better deal, but his expectations of what he’s worth seem to exceed the club’s and the talks have been put on hold until the end of the season.

At least that’s how his expectations seem to have been portrayed on social media and in the gossip columns. This was his chance to put his side across. Why had he put his contract talks on hold, why had he rejected so many offers?
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March 30, 2015
by Jim Boardman

VIDEO: Torres and Gerrard talk after Anfield reunion

THE All-Star charity game at Anfield on Sunday saw Fernando Torres reconciled with Liverpool supporters four years after his shock departure from the club. After the game the players were at the Hilton in Liverpool for further celebrations and Torres spoke on the red carpet with Steven Gerrard.

Reds captain Gerrard, who leaves the club himself at the end of the season, was one of the two captains for the day as his side took on Jamie Carragher’s in a game raising funds for the LFC Foundation.
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March 19, 2015
by Jim Boardman
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Liverpool Legends to take on the fans

A team of Liverpool FC legends will be lining up at Liverpool’s Academy to take on a team of Reds fans on Friday 22 May. Places in that supporters’ team are now up for grabs through the Liverpool Former Players Association.

The match is to be played at the club’s Academy in Kirkby – Anfield itself unavailable due to the work being done on the Main Stand – and is set to feature a long list of successful Reds players which could include the likes of Jamie Carragher, John Barnes, Didi Hamman, Robbie Fowler, Luis Garcia, Jason McAteer and Jan Molby.

The game takes place a couple of days before the end of the Premier League season and a few days before the Istanbul Reunion night on the Bank Holiday Monday, meaning this could be a long weekend to remember for those involved.

Those who take part not only get the chance to show Rob Jones how to score a goal or Alan Kennedy how to celebrate one but they will also be in for some great prizes on the day itself. On top of that, the kit they are provided with for the game has their own name and number on the back, is theirs to keep and – because they get to spend time with the legends afterwards – they can get that souvenir signed making it a unique reminder of their day playing against their heroes.

Places are available in one of two ways.

Most of the places are being auctioned off and fans are able to put their bids in for the position they want to play in from the first eleven,with a ‘buy it now’ price available for each spot too. It’s a 4-4-2 formation (although the Fans manager could yet change that on the day once he’s worked out the weaknesses of the opposition) so if you fancy yourself as a Liverpool left back or a Reds right-midfielder you can bid for that position. There are also four subs places up for auction, with all participants guaranteed fair playing time.

The other way to get a place is by entering the raffle for a place as one of the subs. As with the auctioned places the winner of the raffle is guaranteed fair playing time and is also eligible for the prizes on the day and their own named and numbered kit.

Everyone with a place in the Fans squad can take two guests with them into the Academy to see their exploits up close.

Full details are available on the Liverpool Former Player Association website at, via the following links, and although bidding is open for three weeks some places have already been sold, so get your bids in quick!


Image: Matt Eagles, Flickr

March 18, 2015
by Jim Boardman
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Liverpool FC heading back to Malaysia

Jordan Henderson Malaysian Flag

LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB have confirmed that they will return to Malaysia this summer as part of their 2015 pre-season tour. Brendan Rodgers’ side are set to play a game in Kuala Lumpur for the first time since their 2011 pre-season visit.

The Reds will play the Kuala Lumpur fixture on Friday 24th July against a Malaysian XI at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium. The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) are organising the event.

The game itself is just one aspect of what Liverpool are doing to boost their relationship with Malaysian fans, part of “a programme of activity that the Club is delivering in 2015 to bring Malaysian fans closer to the team they support,” the club says.
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March 12, 2015
by Jim Boardman
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Liverpool: Carra and Gerrard take their pick from Reina, Suarez, Torres and Alonso


LIVERPOOL legends Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard have picked their teams ahead of this month’s all-star charity match at Anfield.

Current skipper Gerrard and former vice-captain Carra are both player-managers for the charity game which will be held at the Reds’ famous home stadium on March 29th. A host of much-loved names from Liverpool’s recent history have agreed to take part – along with one or two for whom the phrase ‘much loved’ has never applied before where Kopites are concerned – in aid of some very good causes.
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Liverpool FC 2014 Players' Awards Dinner

March 9, 2015
by Jim Boardman
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Liverpool FC player awards night to be opened up to fans

LIVERPOOL FC have revealed today that they will be opening up this year’s Players’ Awards night for attendance by supporters. Last year’s event, the first one ever, was limited to invitees and a certain number of VIP tables sold for charity – this year will see general admission tickets made available.

Liverpool FC 2014 Players' Awards Dinner

The ceremony sees the club award representatives from its first team, Academy and Ladies sides, along with some awards dished out to fans and former players, and takes place at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Tuesday May 19th.
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