Behind The Badge: Eion Smith

Behind the Badge

Name

Eion Smith

Supported Club

Liverpool (shocker, right?)

How Long?

Don’t like to out my age too much but since the day of my birth 23 years ago.

What Began The Support?

Quite simple really. My dad has been a Liverpool fan since he was about 8 or 9 and grew up with the side of the 80s. I always joke that I never had a chance as I slipped out of the womb and into a Liverpool shirt.

Why Have You Stuck With Them?

They’re my first love. As hokey as it sounds, it rings true. I can’t imagine myself supporting anyone else partly because I’ve invested so much time into watching, backing and loving Liverpool that supporting anyone else just seems empty and pointless.

Also, my dad is again partly responsible. Quick anecdote: my favourite player as a child was Robbie Fowler. He was the man. Screw Owen and Gerrard and Murphy, Robbie was my guy. Then one day I learned he’d been sold to Leeds. Well, that was it, I was off with him. See you later Anfield, hello Elland Road. I told my father this and he, as serious as he’s ever been in his life, told me in no uncertain terms did I ever just turn my back on Liverpool. So I didn’t. Probably a good choice all things considered.

Best Thing About Supporting Them?

The highs. There’s been so many countless games where we have played teams off the park, almost bottled it but pulled out a famous win in the end. They’re always so sweet and always worth re-watching.

Plus, I get to go on about Istanbul for the rest of my life because I saw it happen live on TV.

Greatest Memory

Istanbul. I remember sneakily watching the second leg against Chelsea after football because I was banned from watching it because my dad worked nights but for the final I was allowed to stay up and watch.

It sticks with me still. We were not great first half and Kaka tore us apart. Their third goal is still the best goal scored in a Champions League final. My dad was due at work at 9 but he’d already phoned and told them he’d be late. Now, though, he was furious and packed his bag. My mum was telling me to go to bed and, in my protestations, my dad said he was giving the second half ten minutes to see if it got better. I was allowed to stay until he left. Thank Christ he never did leave until Dudek’s penalty save.

Worst Memory

Palace away. Dwight Gayle can f**k off still. So can Martin Skrtel.

Best Player

If you’re looking for my favourite then it’s Xabi Alonso. Everything was just so smooth and easy with him, he was wonderful to watch. The actual best? Stevie Gerrard. Man was an absolute machine and probably the most complete player in the world for a good five or six years.

First Shirt

A bit murky this one. I had Liverpool shirts when I was younger but I can’t pinpoint what ones and when. The first one I actually got was the black kit from 2003/04. Bit random, I know.

What Makes Your Club Special?

The aura. Liverpool Football Club isn’t just a team you watch on the TV and forget about. It very quickly can consume your whole life. The fans are so passionate and care so much that it genuinely makes some of them complete idiots. It feels like a family and, while the club gets more commercial, it still retains that sense of tradition and pride that only we really have. We often get battered for holding onto the past but why wouldn’t you when it was so good?