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'Never stop believing!' - Henderson, Klopp & Liverpool bask in Premier League glory

5:44 pm AEST 23/7/20
Jordan Henderson Jurgen Klopp Liverpool 2019-20 GFX
On Wednesday evening, the Reds were crowned champions of England for the first time in 30 years, ending one of the most famous droughts in football

So there you have it, the moment Liverpool had been waiting for.

Jordan Henderson. The Kop End. Lights, camera, action. 

The Premier League trophy, dressed in red. 

Theirs. Finally. 

What a night, and what an occasion. The memories, the images, the videos and the feelings, they will last a lifetime.

For a generation of Reds, this was it; the moment they’d dreamed of, the one that had kept them going throughout the dark days. At the end of the storm came the golden sky, all of the lights and the sky full of stars. 

One kiss was all it took.

There was Henderson, the Wearsider who has become a Scouser. The captain, the leader, the symbol of this remarkable team; driven, determined, dedicated. Unable to take no for an answer, unable to quit while he still has a breath in his body.

A huge moment for a humble man. A smile and a puff of the cheeks, a medal round his neck, placed there by Sir Kenny Dalglish, the man who brought him to the club from Sunderland as a callow, skinny 20-year-old. 

They doubted him back then, but they don’t doubt him now, surely? Even his biggest critics have gone into hiding. If they haven’t, they should. 

In the last 13 months, Henderson has lifted the Champions League trophy, the UEFA Super Cup, the Club World Cup and the Premier League. On Friday, he will surely be crowned PFA Player of the Year too. With respect to the brilliant Kevin De Bruyne, nobody is more deserving. A titan on the pitch, a diamond off it. 

“Anything is possible,” he tweeted as the fireworks continued across Merseyside. “Never stop believing.”

Amen to that. If ever there was a mantra to live your life by, then there it is. It’s not been easy, but it’s not supposed to be.

Henderson had his bumps but he got there, even when logic said he wouldn’t. At 30, he has done it all. He deserves everything that has come his way.

So too Jurgen Klopp, the man who promised to turn “doubters to believers”, the one who made all this possible, through leadership, through charisma and through ability. What is there left to say about the man?

“I couldn’t be happier,” he beamed, baseball cap on backwards, scarf draped round his neck. Never mind the fireworks, Klopp’s smile could have lit up Stanley Park.

If ever there was a team built in its manager’s image, then it’s this one. They have personality and they fight, for each other, for themselves and for their supporters, with every last breath.

“If you can’t see that we do it for you, then what can I say,” Klopp said when asked if he had a message for Liverpool fans. “You made us happen!”

They’ll build a statue of the man here one day, that’s for sure. Like Bill Shankly, like Bob Paisley, like Dalglish before him, what Klopp has achieved will stand the test of time.

“A God-like figure,” Jamie Carragher called him. He’d wince at that, for sure, but few of his supporters would disagree this morning.

There will be heavy heads today, undoubtedly. The parties went on long into the night, whether in Liverpool or Lagos, Anfield or Alaska. This is a global club, and a global celebration.

They deserve to enjoy it, too. A week can be a long time in football, right? Try three decades. 

Margaret Thatcher was in power the last time the Reds were Kings of England. George Bush Snr was in the White House, Madonna was at the top of the charts with ‘Vogue’, Paul Gascoigne still had the world at his feet and the general feeling was that Alex Ferguson was probably not the right man to bring the glory days back to Manchester United

Liverpool were THE team back then; the feared, hated machine which had dominated the 1970s and 80s. Between 1973 and 1990, they won 11 league titles, four European Cups, two UEFA Cups, two FA Cups and four League Cups. How could they ever fall off?

They did, somehow. Their decline was as sharp as it was surprising – whatever the benefit of hindsight may say. They fell hard. 

And so this triumph is for everyone. For the managers who tried but came up short, the players who thrilled but couldn’t quite get the job done, for the coaches and the executives and the scouts who put so much in each and every day.

For the fans who stayed to the end at Stoke in 2015, or the ones who marched and campaigned against the poisonous ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett. Liverpool were in the High Court less than a decade ago, remember. The club’s very existence was under threat. 

And still they followed, they spent their money and sang their songs. They found their way to Kazan and to Qatar, to Skopje and to Urziceni. You know who you are. You’ve earned this. Remember that.

And to the rest. The ones who wake up early or stay up late, week in and week out, just to watch their beloved team. The ones who have created their own red corner, be it in Sydney or Seattle, Rio de Janeiro or Cape Town. You’ve earned this too. Remember that.

And certainly remember July 22, 2020. The night nobody was at Anfield and yet everyone was. The night of a thousand fireworks and a million smiles. Of tears and joy and hugs and kisses. Jordan H, Jurgen K and Robin S. 

And there, at the end of it all, you have it. Liverpool Football Club, back on top. 

This time around, baby, actions speak louder than words.