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The first of many… for one of the next generation

The 0-0 draw with Bury on July 14th 2018 probably won’t remain in many supporters minds for much longer than it took for them to walk around the back of a stand to exit Gigg Lane but for me, it is a day that will remain with me and my son. Just a couple days shy of turning 16 months old, he attended his 1st Liverpool match, which will hopefully be the 1st of many.

With a father like me, he was always going to be surrounded by football based on my enthusiasm and my regular activity of attending the match, be it at Anfield or somewhere else in the country (where ticketing allows). I still remember the 1st night he came home from the hospital and I sat down with him at the age of just 2 days old and put videos of classic Liverpool matches on the tablet and it helped him settle and it became a bit of a tradition. As he has grown up, the matches have been on the telly and he has watched some with me, some without me because I’ve been at the game in question.

I repeatedly asked myself what age would be appropriate to take Riley to his 1st Liverpool match and the numerous membership issues (No ticket membership for Under 4’s unless you buy him an Adult one) meant that for now, watching a match at Anfield would need to wait so I was very excited to see where the club would play domestic friendlies. I also hoped to personally tick another ground off the 92 so Bury of League 2 was the fixture I chose. The game itself didn’t have much to write home about but for Riley it was his introduction into an activity I hope will in the years to come be a regular father and son experience like many before me and him.

At the stadium, he was able to get a photograph with 2 former Liverpool players in Dean Saunders and Dominic Matteo, memories of which will last a lifetime. In a perfect twist of irony, there is a symmetry in the outcome. My 1st match was a 0-0 draw at Manchester City.. Riley’s 1st match is also a 0-0 draw… also away in the locality of Greater Manchester. These things are crazy how they work out but if his next game is anything like my 2nd game (a 3-0 win over Newcastle), the future is bright.

This wasn’t his first time at a football stadium, he has been to Anfield many times including a tour in June 2017 and I took him to the Rugby League Magic Weekend event at St James’ Park earlier this year. 1 game down…. many more to follow.

Matthew Purchase



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