As Liverpool prepare to be led out of the tunnel by King Kenny on Sunday against Manchester United, it’s almost surreal thinking back to the last time that happened. September 1990 was the time, just a couple of months after England’s cruel penalty shoot-out defeat in the World Cup semi-finals. Liverpool fanatic and Women’s World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki had just been born, as had Martin Kelly, whilst Danny Wilson was merely a twinkle in his daddy’s eye.
And though the sense of feeling towards the Three Lions is generally modest to say the least, there are distinct comparisons with Liverpool; two proud footballing institutions (pardon the cliched phrase) that have, when it really boils down to it, failed to hit the heights of 1990 in the 21 years that have passed.
But in those 21 years, has the club ever felt more ‘right’ than it does now? King Kenny celebrates his 60th birthday today; it felt like my father’s birthday when I woke up this morning.
Of course, hindsight is a great thing. That last meeting between Kenny and Ferguson at Anfield ended in a resounding 4-0 win that left Mancs turning against their manager who had bought himself more time months earlier with the FA Cup triumph over Palace. Thinking back, that September 1990 thumping didn’t seem that unusual at the time. Although form goes out the window for this fixture we had of course been filling up the trophy cabinets for many years. We had arguably the best attacking side we’d ever seen at Anfield and Kenny was responsible for putting it together. Supporters thought this would carry on forever. This win over United at Anfield became even more incredible when you realised that Kenny had been putting the club and supporters before his health. He was like a rock for Liverpool supporters post Hillsborough but finally broke after the incredible 4-4 against Everton in the FA Cup.
Over 20 years later Liverpool has become an incredibly strong city, the passion still runs strong and we’ve now got The King back to carry on where he left off…