A handful of nights back now, I had the pleasure of being a big kid once more. A couple of hundred Liverpool fans descended on The Triffid Bar in downtown Brisbane for a meet and greet with Vladimir Smicer, Louis Garcia and Didi Hamann, all European Cup winners in 2005 as the red men came from 3-0 down to AC Milan to win old big ears for the fifth time following a dramatic penalty shootout.
Prior to a two hour conversation with the three heroes, I had the chance to meet and greet the Istanbul champions and get some autographs and a photo with them. As we lined up, I found I was rather excited about getting their signatures and grabbing a quick chat. The same way I guess you could say a young kid does under the same circumstances. I’m a big kid you could say?
With my memorabilia signed, I stood in awe for over two hours as Hamann, Smicer and Garcia regailed in their memories of Istanbul, the season the led to the final along with some insightful stories on what life is like playing for such an asteemed club. All three carried a cracking sense of humour with Smicer in particular showing a fantastic comedic side that I didn’t think he possessed. Vlady was constantly taking the proverbial out of Didi whilst Louis chipped in with some cracking banter. His Spanish-esque impersonation of Jamie Carragher is something to behold.
Didi Hamann is your typical German on many levels. He’s blunt, honest and open with his thoughts. I’d enjoyed the pleasure of listening to Didi last year in Birmingham when he held the bill with Robbie Fowler and John Aldridge. Both times he recounted his story of trouble in Japan which had the entire room in stitches long after the jokes subsided.
The whole night, I was in awe as my footballing idols held us all in the palms of their hands. It was like being an eight year old again. It’s why I still travel as much as I can and do all the things that I love and enjoy. With it comes little to no responsibility and a youthful outlook on life. Credit cards, car loans, mortgages, kids and twenty years in the same job have never appealed to me. They never will. I’m determined to remain childlike for many years to come. Actually, as long as nights like the recent one with three Liverpool legends keep coming, I’ll happily remain that big kid for the rest of my life!