The Asian Liverbird, to be published on August 14 by Trinity Mirror Sport Media, is the end product of over a year of painstaking, but pleasurable research by acclaimed journalist Mohammed Bhana.
A self-confessed Reds’ fanatic, Mohammed attended a meeting in the Anfield boardroom 18 months ago along with a wide cross-section of representatives from the Asian Media.
Mohammed emerged as a vital link to the Asian fan base and the Asian media and was able to speak with considerable authority on the subject in an incredibly no-nonsense manner.
Mohammed decided to take the matter in his own hands and came back with articles for the club’s website, and placed specialist articles in almost every Asian publication. This has seen Liverpool Football Club engaging with the ethnic media in an ongoing and concise manner – much to the delight of the international fan base.
He presented an idea for the book to executive editor of the official club magazine, in July 2007.
“I pitched the idea and the rest, as they say, is history,” says Mohammed, who started supporting the club after watching them clinch the double in 1986.
“I said I have an idea for a book that would help the club connect with this great fan base. I have a pure football mind and the club has given me a great deal of freedom and creative control. I have interviewed the likes of Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, John Barnes, Alan Hansen, Mark Lawrenson, Sir Tom Finney, Amir Khan and many other big names.”
Chief Executive Rick Parry is firmly behind the project and is determined the club will salute its Asian fans in a most positive manner.
Mr.Parry said: “We are delighted with the ‘Asian Liverbird’ book. We see it as a positive way of thanking and saluting our Asian fan base which is huge. It’s a real football book with a big input from current and former stars as well as focusing on our passionate Asian supporters and I’m sure it will be a huge success.”
The club is fully behind a three-pronged “Asian Liverbird” launch.
A book signing session at the Anfield club shop on Thursday, August 14, will see former European Cup captain Phil Thompson in attendance along goal scoring legend – Ian Rush. Rick Parry will also be there to highlight the support from behind the scenes and fans will be able to view the European Cup that was famously won outright by Steven Gerrard & Co. in Istanbul.
On Saturday, 11 October a Celebrity Charity football match will unfold at the club’s prestigious Academy in Kirkby where a Liverpool Legends X1 will meet an Asian/mainstream Celebrity X1. Because of the limited capacity at the Academy, an exclusive audience of Asian fans will be invited via special competitions in the specialist Asian media throughout the country. This will also include the potential for up to 100 youngsters from various backgrounds to be coached by Academy staff.
On Friday, October 17, the southern launch of of the “Asian Liverbird” will unfold at The Hub in Regents Park. Again, the European Cup will be on show and youngsters, again selected via competitions in the Asian media, will be coached by Liverpool FC staff as a celebration of the book launch.