Just read what Jamie Carragher said about being born in Liverpool and how in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s those generations viewed club and international football. I have explained this to people many times and it is interesting to read Carragher explain it so perfectly.
Here is how Carragher describes it and he gets it spot on…
He told the Daily Telegraph:
“When I was growing up, my dad never stopped talking about Wembley in 1966.
“Mike Trebilcock came into the team and scored two,” he would explain, visualising his 12-year-old self celebrating. “The woman over the road who supported Liverpool was running into the street laughing when we were 2-0 down, but we won 3-2.”
For those unaware, Everton lifted the FA Cup that year.
The World Cup final between England and West Germany was two months later. I never heard a word about Geoff Hurst or a Russian linesman in our house.
Loving my club more than the national team was not a choice. It happened that way because I was raised in a community where everything was seen through a club lens.
In Bootle, we had two great and successful football teams within walking distance so the only thought of going to Wembley was for cup finals. England felt like a team for people from a different part of the country, and we were too obsessed with what we already had on our doorstep to care as passionately about anyone else.
I vividly remember wanting England to win at the World Cup in Mexico in 1986 because Everton’s Peter Reid, Gary Lineker, Gary Stevens and Trevor Steven were in the team. When Diego Maradona knocked England out in the quarter-final, I was not upset. The reaction was to pick up a football and head to the park to try to recreate his second goal.
Whenever the international breaks came along, I would wear a Scotland shirt with Graeme Sharp’s number, and support Wales when Neville Southall and Kevin Ratcliffe were involved. I wanted the Republic of Ireland to win because they had Kevin Sheedy.
This is how it was for everyone I knew in Liverpool. We saw our favourite players, not international rivalries. And we never thought deeply about why it was like that. I have read many theories since, attributing it to a ‘Scouse not English’ attitude which evolved because of divisive regional and national politics. It was not that way at all when I was a youngster in the 1980s.
We were never anti-English, and I can assure you party politics were not on my mind as a six-year-old. It was more straightforward. My emotional attachment was to Everton and worrying about upcoming England games never made me lose sleep the same way.”