Monday, September 15, 2014

One night with John Barnes, Didi Hamann and John Aldridge

5 Times, the Liverpool Former Players Association held an evening in London to celebrate all things Liverpool as well as to raise money for various charitable causes they support.

The event was held at a packed out 02 Islington Academy and the guests on the night were Liverpool legends John Barnes, John Aldridge and Champions League winner Dietmar Hamann.

The crowd sang You’ll Never Walk Alone to make London into a mini Anfield. Liverpool and non-Liverpool fans were led on a trip down memory lane as 3 men who lived the dream and played for one of the greatest clubs in the world spoke about their career highlights.

John Barnes recalled some of his memories: “I was an established England player before I joined Liverpool FC. Playing alongside Aldridge, Beardsley and Houghton during my first season added greater finesse to my game. On a personal level it was a dream come true to play for England’s greatest club and I was no different from any other schoolboy other than that I fulfilled my dream to play top class football.” Those in attendance went “bananas” as Digger “Bar-nez” sang along to the Anfield rap and World in Motion.

John Aldridge spoke about how Kenny Dalglish changed the way Liverpool played from through the middle to out wide in order to accommodate him as Ian Rush’s replacement. It worked a treat and was a testament to Dalglish’s managerial prowess. His only regret is that he did not stay at Anfield longer: “I have been a Kopite all my life, I was a regular on the terraces for a s long as I can remember and to join Liverpool Football Club was a dream come true.” There was plenty of industrial language as Aldo described the moment when he “lost it” in the 1994 World Cup group game against Mexico. Aldo did score a consolation during the 2-1 loss and at the end of the game he was reminded by Tony Cascarino that his goal meant the Irish could draw with Norway in the next game and go through to the last 16, which is exactly what happened.

Dietmar Hamann’s main point of discussion was that amazing night in Istanbul when Liverpool came back from 3 goals down to lift the Champions League against AC Milan. “Thank God I’m not playing,” he announced as Liverpool went 3 goals down There were a few funny references to Djimi Traore and the German general’s dry wit had the crowd in stitches.

The night ended with a meet and greet session whereby players and fans were able to meet, autograph items and take pictures with the legends.

Mohsin Ahmed attended the event: “I thought it was a superb evening and a venue twice as big could easily have been filled. The legends were fantastic and it was a dream come true to meet them all. I will certainly be attending more legends events like this in the future.”

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