Legends Ian Rush and Phil Thompson turned out at the launch of the Asian Liver Bird book, supporting author Mohammed Bhana and acknowledging the passion and importance of the Reds’ Asian followers.
Fans from an array of backgrounds snapped up hundreds of copies signed books by Bhana, Rush and Thompson in less than 2 hours.
Goal scoring legend Ian Rush said: “The book is unique, well written and dispels many myths about Asians in football. Liverpool is very serious about engaging with the Asian community.
“Some of the young Asian fans who came along told me they were already buying copies for festivals in October. This is all about giving something back to the fans and the Asian fans were very enthusiastic and very kind.
“A great number of local fans also purchased the book; it just shows how supporting the people of Liverpool are.”
Phil Thompson said: “We were only too happy to support Mohammed who has emerged as a vital link to the Asian fan base and media. The book will certainly do very well and I am sure the club will continue to engage with ethnic media.”
The Asian Liverbird, published (August 14), is the end product of over a year of painstaking, but pleasurable research by the acclaimed journalist.
The book is destined to do well with fans as far as China and India snapping up copies online via: www.merseyshop.com along with Tesco and Amazon.
Mohammed said: “Supporting the club is just something else – it’s about being part of a family. The number of Liverpool fans amongst diverse communities range across northern towns such as Batley to the more affluent areas in London. It’s simply breathtaking.
“And on top of that, you cannot discount the effect second and third generation Asians have had on relatives in Asia and the Middle East, who are joining the trend of supporting Liverpool FC.
“Nowadays you hear about relatives in those countries wearing Liverpool tops and watching Liverpool games. Little did Liverpool football club realize; the brand is revered all over Asia with a tremendous increase in fans as far as Gujarat and Bombay. No other club can boast such a fan base or has given so much back to the fans. The club has constantly engaged with ethnic media.”
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.”
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. 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 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.
Copies of The Asian Liverbird can be ordered online at www.merseyshop.com or by ringing 0845 143 0001. You can also order in all good bookstores. The book will be available in Tesco, WH Smith and Borders in due course.
European nights at Anfield bring something special out in Liverpool and the bout at Anfield saw Liverpool claim a stunning 4-2 victory to wreck Arsenal’s season and dump them out of the Champions League.
Gerrard hit the penalty that put Liverpool 3-2 up with five minutes left; just a minute after Adebayor’s strike seemed have sent Arsenal through on away goals. Gerrard’s penalty kick flew high into the furthest reaches of the Kop goal to give the reds the edge on a great night.
Leading by example, the Liverpool Captain was quick to thank the fans.
“When the fans perform like that it’s always a big help to us,” said Gerrard. “Other teams find it impossible to play. It was a fantastic team performance. Arsenal had a lot of good possession over the two legs but we are a match for anyone and with the fans on our side we can turn any team over. The fans have been very patient.”
“All the fans I’ve met have been positive. We’ve got a big job on our hands in the Premiership because no-one’s happy with the gap between us and the top two. We want to keep chipping away at their lead and then see where that takes us.
“It’s not as if one side looks unbeatable and are running away with the thing as has happened in the last couple of seasons. I think next season the top sides will take points off each other like never before. If we want to get into the mix it’s got to be now.”
Mohsin Pandor (LFC fan)
“Against Inter and Arsenal, Torres was just sensational. I still remember the goal he scored against Inter at the San Siro stadium. However, that sensational wonderful strike against Arsenal at Anfield was quite simply a goal worthy to win any match. He will be scoring goals for us for many years to come and I wouldn’t be surprised if he one day, went on to captain Liverpool.”
Amar Singh (London Evening Standard Journalist)
“I see more and more Asian Liverpool fans each time I go. I recently traveled up to Anfield in a coach with about 50, mainly, Asian fans. It was a great feeling. And when ‘You’ll never walk alone’ played across Anfield after the wins over Chelsea and Arsenal in the champions league- It was like a quasi-religious experience and the atmosphere at Anfield, particularly on European nights, is rightly hailed as special.
Lawrenson is clearly impressed with the way manager Rafa Benitez has grasped the importance of making teams dread coming to Anfield – particularly in the Champions League. Lawrenson witnessed first-hand; infamous Liverpool victories against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Olympiacos and Inter Milan at Anfield.
“He gets his players pressing the opposition. Pressing constantly, as if to say, if, you want to get something out of us here, you’re really going to have to work hard to get it. It sets a high tempo and gets you on top in games which automatically gets the crowd excited because they appreciate the work the players are putting in. You get a reaction. It creates the perfect relationship between the crowd and the players and it’s something Liverpool are starting to thrive on.”