First Impressions of Liverpool's Anfield Ground
In the continuing series of articles about my recent trip to England’s football stadia, today I reminisce about my trip to Liverpool’s Anfield ground.Unable to get a ticket to the recent Champions League match between Liverpool and PSV Eindhoven (it was harder to get one than the Man United v Chelsea match), I descended on Anfield on an early Sunday morning late in November.Walking up Walton Breck Road, I passed by the house where by great grandparents used to live approximately a hundred years ago. From the vantage point of the house, I could see the back-end of The Kop in the distance, edging out over the road.When I finally made it to the top of the hill, there stood Anfield ground which looked far more modern from the outside than I expected. The car park at the back of the Centenary Stand was open, so I walked there to get a different view of the ground marvelling at the port holes that were built in the brick to remind visitors of Liverpool’s history as an important port.Returning to Walton Breck Road from the Centenary Stand, I stood outside the back of The Kop and marvelled at the sheer size of the stand. Outside stood the Bill Shankly statue next to the Paisley Gates. To the right was Liverpool’s megastore, which looked a little out of place next to so much history.Walking behind the Main Stand at Anfield, I had to walk past terraced housing that were literally in the giant shadow of the ground. Here, I was surprised to see houses that were condemned. During a bright sunny morning, the sight of the houses was disturbing. I can only imagine how scary it could be on a cold, dark night in Liverpool.After walking around the back of the Main Stand, I came out by the Anfield Road Stand, the away end, and walked past the famous Shankly Gates, which are next to the memorial for the Hillsborough Disaster with an eternal flame and names of all of the 96 people who died permanently displayed in the wall.While the rest of the ground was quiet except for a few people walking in and out of the megastore, there were several cars outside the Hillsborough Disaster memorial as numerous fans paid their respects and placed flowers on the pavement.While the houses behind the Main Stand looked rundown and depressing, the homes behind the Anfield Road Stand, overlooking Stanley Park, were more majestic.And so ended my brief visit to Anfield. Moments later I caught a cab to Lime Street railway station and departed for Blackburn.Overall, the Anfield ground was immaculate. The ground, from the outside, looked very modern and clean. Just like White Hart Lane, you’re unable to see any of the pitch or seats from the outside, but the unique thing about Anfield – of course – is the Shankly Gates, the Hillsborough Disaster memorial and the Paisley Gates. Say what you want about Liverpool, but the club has a lot of class.To see photographs of my visit to Anfield, go visit the EPL Talk Photos site at Flickr.