The SportingJournal

Red fever takes over Melbourne

Last night, close to 15,000 fans made the trip down to the Melbourne Cricket Ground to see their sporting heroes up close.

Liverpool legend Ian Rush, hugged by fans. Picture: Zee Ko

Liverpool legend Ian Rush, hugged by fans. Picture: Zee Ko

Thousands of ardent Liverpool supporters, eagerly waiting for the moment the big names would step out onto this most hallowed of grounds.

You had to be there.

It was only a training session ahead of the big game against local A-League side Melbourne Victory, and rain had started falling as the expectant crowd sat patiently in the stands with cameras at the ready.

No matter.

By the time the first Liverpool player stepped out from under the marquee leading on to the ground, the anticipation had built up to a fever pitch.

A roar of sound, slowly picking up along the ground and travelling its length as Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard led his teammates out on to the floodlit turf.

Fervent hands reaching out from the sides, stretching for a high five, a quick grasp, a touch of their football idols, anything.

Shutters going off all at once, a blinking crescendo from all four corners of the ground welcoming the visitors from England.

As the players started warming up near the benches, Liverpool legend Ian Rush started doing the rounds on the opposite side, signing autographs and granting interviews to a never-ending stream of TV crews.

If the past two days had seemed surreal, with fans lining up at the airport and waiting outside the team hotel, this was final conclusive proof that the mighty Liverpool FC are well and truly in town.

So as the players got down to business on the pitch, and the chants for Stevie G and Luis Suarez started doing the rounds, thoughts turned to the sold-out game that would be shortly held in this very stadium.

Melbourne Victory will be understrength and missing a host of senior players, but there’s also a chance for some young prospects to step up against vaunted opposition.

But it’s Liverpool FC that fans have come to see on the night, and no doubt it’ll be a spectacle from these glamorous showmen from afar.

Tonight, these stands will be rocking.

Will you be there?

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