Just when you think Covid19 has shut down all banner activity – even allowing for the brilliant but, sadly, static display on the Kop – along come two reminders of what we’ve been missing .
The first is an article from Brooklyn-based sports and culture commentator Cady Siregar entitled Football love letters: The incredible science behind iconic stadium songs, which not only looks at LFC banners but also the club anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone and at songs and chants more widely, including a discussion of racist chants and the particular case of Tottenham’s ‘Yid’ tag. Not always a comforting read, but a very good one.
Much more celebratory in tone is a brilliant documentary Flags and Banners: the art of Liverpool FC, put together by that very talented and all-round nice guy Phil Reade from LFCTV.
This film is itself a hymn to the makers – and sometimes shakers – of the flags and banners that are so much a part of the LFC identity. It includes contributions from people who are as knowledgable as they are passionate about the topic, including: legendary flag and banner-makers Peter Carney (@soccrinthecity) and Frank Graceffa (@GraceffaFrank); members of @SpionKop1906, the group of supporters who not only bring together volunteers to make sure the red flags are flying on match days but are also responsible for some of the best examples of the art (and you can see Emma below in the act of painting one of them!); This is Anfield‘s Chris McLoughlin (@chrismackop); playwright Dave Kirby (Brick Up The Mersey Tunnels, @DaveKirby01); sports historian and author Gary Shaw (@GaryMerseybox); ultra fans @HuytonFattie and John Mackin (@Mackin_John1); and former players and eternal Scouse legends John Aldridge (@Realaldo474) and Phil Thompson (@Phil_Thompson4) who give a unique perspective on it all from a players on the pitch perspective.
If you haven’t seen it already, get on it – well worth the cost of a month’s subscription to LFC TV – or just signing up for the free month trial!
(Confession time: I had the privilege of contributing to both, but they’re still worth a close look!)