Creative Soccer Culture

Scenes Outside Anfield On The Night Liverpool Lifted The PL Trophy

30 years is a long time to wait for anything. But waiting that long for a league title when, as a club, you’re so used to success, well, that’s excoriating. And so, when Liverpool lifted their first-ever Premier League title and their 19th league title in their history, the outpouring of emotion was always going to be a sight to behold.

The scenes outside of Anfield on Wednesday 22 July shouldn’t have happened. In one of the cruellest twists of fate, after a 30 year wait, Liverpool football club finally got to lift the league trophy again. It’s a period of time which has meant that many fans have never seen the team winning the league, but Sod's Law has seen it coincide with a global pandemic that meant that fans could not watch the team actually lift the trophy. Despite advice and requests from the police, the club, and even the manager himself, the outpouring of pure emotion could not be contained as fans flooded the streets outside Anfield on the night when inside the stadium, the players held the trophy aloft.

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But putting aside the blatant disregard for government advice, this was an outpouring of emotion 30-years in the making; a community coming together to celebrate a shining moment in what has already been a bleak year. And documenting it all from behind his lens was Ross Cooke – a local photographer who shared the passion of the fans as he captured a moment in this club’s rich history. It wasn’t as fans – and even the club – would have wanted it to happen, but this was history in the making as the town was once again painted red.

What does it mean to you as a Liverpool fan and a photographer, do you feel like you've captured a moment in time?

It means everything to be able to combine the two, being a Liverpool fan it's just like putting myself in the pictures, I know how they are feeling and that makes the images that bit more special. Definitely feel like I've captured a moment in time, I think that's what often fuels and motivates me when it comes to being a photographer, I love looking at old photos of historic sporting moments and have always wished I could capture something similar. Albeit the circumstances are different at the minute but it still felt pretty special to be there.

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How photogenic a moment did you feel it was? Can you describe the array of people you saw outside Anfield?

I think whenever you get into an environment where fans are having a good time it makes your life as a photographer so much easier. You can blend in more and capture what's in front of you without people playing up to the camera as much. The red flares and fireworks that were being set off every other minute added to the atmosphere and as the crowds gathered more outside the Kop I had to take a step back and photograph from down a backstreet, watching on as the fans climbed the Paisley gates.

Having shot that moment from outside of the stadium, you must want to tick off shooting Liverpool win a title inside the stadium now?

Definitely, before the pandemic happened and it looked like we were title bound, I had planned it in my head that being at the game where they lifted the trophy in front of all the fans would have been very special but obviously it didn't quite work out like that. So the only option is for them to go and do it again!

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Check out more of Ross Cooke's work here.

Daniel Jones

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