What makes you a better Red?

Posted: March 18, 2011 in Sport
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


There is a question that has been toying with me for the past few months; a niggling little itch of a query that I just haven’t quite been able to scratch into submission.

It has been ever more present over the past few weeks, rustling around the recesses of my mind, popping up in one irritating new form or another:

What makes a Red a Red? Are some Reds more Red than others? Are all Reds considered equal, or are some Reds just more equal than the rest?

Since the tumultuous reign of Hicks & Gillett ended the managerial career of Rafa Benitez; oversaw the rise to prominence of Christian Purslow and introduced a period in Liverpool history where every tabloid appeared to have free access to source inside scoop after inside scoop; there has been an ever increasing regularity to the “you are not a real Red” denouncement, “I’m more Red than thou!”

And so, again, I feel this urge to ask the question, “what makes a Red a Red?”

You see, for me being a Red is a case of identity – not a simple concept at the best of times, but when speaking of the club I love, the club I know you love, it is best described, for me, as a sense of empathy.

If you want to cry when we lose and cheer when we score; you, to me, are a Red. When the outcome of your day can be defined by LFC’s results on the pitch; you, in my mind, are a Red. When you seek out the company of other Reds for a sense of camaraderie, of belonging; surely, you are a bona-fide Red.

So how are you more Red than I, or I more Red than you; when we support the same team and our emotions crest and fall to the same highs and lows?

And, perhaps, more importantly – why would I even want to make you feel as though you were any less of a Red?

Is there a hierarchy that we have not been made aware of; one based on memories, experiences or the number of games we attend? Is geography a consideration; does Red fade with distance, the way quality on a long distance call can sometimes degrade?

Perhaps there is a test to be passed at induction; where rank will be assigned based on the players you can name and the era in which they played.

If so, I didn’t get that memo – and if I had, I think I would have sent it back unread.

You see, you could make the argument that distance makes the heart grow fonder; that it takes more dedication to be an overseas Red. One could put forward the view that tales of past endeavours, handed down through the generations create the mystique that results in a more awe-inspired younger Red.

When we speak of those who would make disheartening and taunting comments about Munich, we all can agree those are disillusioned and disappointing Reds.

If you are asked why we do not buy the Sun and despise Kelvin MacKenzie by a Liverpool supporter, we know we have found an uninformed Red.

However, whilst we may react to the disappointing sect with contempt, confusion or derision; should we really attempt to disown and cast them out?

When you find yourself explaining the Sun’s role in desecrating the memories of Hillsborough, do we honestly think it is right to displace our anger onto those Reds that did not know?

Instead, are these not opportunities for education, enlightenment – to teach and help them find out, learn what is wrong and how Reds should conduct themselves?

Does Liverpool FC not deserve our dedicated efforts to support and guide each other – surely that is what being a better Red should really be about?

We all probably have members of our own families that disappoint that leave the path of the straight and narrow or do so many different things that just serve to confound us. We have those members of the family who always ask questions; because they just didn’t realise something or perhaps just want to know. But they remain members of the family, whether they are ignored, loved or never spoken about. They are linked to us genetically – part of our DNA regardless.

Because, as Shankly first taught us, and as his walking heir Dalglish is trying to remind us – we are all custodians of the fine traditions of this club, it does not belong to any one of us and we are strongest when we are united. So I ask again – why would we want to leave anyone feeling left out?

So when we interact with each other, perhaps it is time we remember – being a Red is about being that custodian, about linking the present and future to the past. We are all supposed to guide and support the newer and older supporters alike; lend a helping hand, be on hand to provide an answer or an informative fact.

This is Liverpool FC, we have at times been proclaimed as the worlds greatest football fans. So should we not, perhaps, have a better idea than others of how we are meant to act?

Remember – This is The Liverpool Way and no Red should ever be made to feel they walk alone.


  1. linvinnaar says:



  2. Cheryl says:

    As everyone has already said – a great read. People are quick to judge then slow to admit (if ever!) that they’re wrong. I agree entirely that as Liverpool fans we should try to be all-inclusive and remember why we support such a great team in the first place – because Liverpool FC is special to all of us regardless of how well-informed or ill-informed we each may be.

  3. Jon Bowser says:

    Great piece. You nailed it. YNWA

  4. LFC_Monkey says:

    Great read mate! Well said

    • Listening to your review of the Braga draw ;). Don’t worry about the result too much. Our football in Europe this season has been poor, not enough invention. The fact we resorted to long-balls showed the lack of ideas we had on the night. However – 4-5 months ago we would have taken survival in the EPL for this season. Next season we will have a rebuilt squad and an entire pre-season with Clarke and Kenny working magic with the squad.

      It always seems darkest before the dawn ;).


  5. mrqanimation says:

    Great read and I fully agree.

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