An Epic Swindle: 44 Months With A Pair Of Cowboys

Written by Brian Reade
Quercus Publishing Plc, £12.99

Book Launch Reviewed by John Owen

An eager crowd had gathered on the furthest and farthest flung shore of olde Liverpool. The Casa or “cazza” – an ex-Dockers drinking and social club run by sacked Dockers from the 94-96 struggles – played host to a reading of “the most nicked book in Liverpool”. Here people assembled to hear a misty eyed tale of many a man’s true love! Football! Wives, girlfriends, kids, all go on the back boiler when it comes to footy; “It’s more important than life and death” said the great man Shankly. And how true this is!

Brian detailed the humorous side to it all and during this, much to the amusement of the crowd, a fake yank made an appearance, a great comic imitator who got Gerrard, Carragher and Benitez down a T. It was sorted if you know warra mean pal.

Also on the bill was the Chair of the Spirit of Shankly group (changed from Sons to appease the female fans) Fran, who described the struggle of the fans and the attitude of management, said “It was more than a footy campaign, it was about the wholesale privatisation of the city, the people, its culture, its past present and future”. But this ‘stand your ground’ attitude had paid off and the doubters had been kicked into touch. More or less. This may be a gross approximation but the wine had kicked by this point – oops!

He referred to the group as not being a single issue outfit, and said the organisations now had subdivisions around the world. Why Liverpool? Why it’s fans? Why hadn’t the players chipped in and supported the fans in the struggle? These and other good questions were dealt with honestly by both Brian and Fran.

The Chair thanked everyone in a perfunctory manner, a bit like Simon Templar getting himself out of a jam in a strange foreign land. The ease and calm of the meeting, the cool breeze blowing in the streets, the city was alive with culture. In a city once full of cults, we have opened up our hearts to the world as though coming through painful surgery and kept our fighting spirits high, mighty and strong voiced. Watch out world, Liverpool fans are on the march again and they’ll raise the bar for all others to follow.

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