Written by By Maddy Costa, CNN Liverpool, UK
On the other side of the world, fans of the SFA-sanctioned offical video show in 2026 will be able to follow the history of Scottish soccer via a representation of the iconic Kop. The late 14th century church in St. Martin’s Lane is itself now the national football club’s corporate headquarters. And certainly the atmospheric appearance of a quaint older day–filled with elderly gentleman peering out at me from below– seems in keeping with both the club’s unique character and the authenticity of the footage.
This is also how Rodger is presented in the video.
It’s true the 42-year-old English soccer legend wears a sleek armband with the number of seasons he played for the Reds. But they have also given him a poignant smiley face. Gerrard retired last year, and Liverpool fans have announced they want the sporting immortal back at Anfield.
What’s the SFA wants? A statue of Gerrard at the Liverpool stadium? A bookish career on Wall Street like his father. No, a touring football museum telling the story of Liverpool’s, and world, soccer history? Yes, a hat-trick to blow the roof off Anfield.
But rather than just feel entitled to pick these items from an experienced diary, I’m a bit put off. Rather than put a commemorative lapel band or a pencil on my locker, I need, with the last few years of huge excitement and exhilaration, to go there as a fan.
In this brief, introductory appearance in the SFA clip, a nonchalant Gerrard shrugs that this is a “fun” journey, making it look exactly that. But as any avid Liverpool supporter knows, that’s where the trouble lies.
Unlike SFA -authorized films that concentrate on important historical moments such as the 1967 World Cup win, or the club’s win for the European Cup back in 1975, or the phenomenal experience of watching the Milan derby last May, the docu-reality segment of this piece is all about nostalgia. It is also part of a growing trend in small screen representations of soccer fans, for fear the game, like other popular so-called “hard sports” may be losing its appeal.
It’s a serious problem given that football represents around three million jobs and two-thirds of all licensed games in Europe, according to figures for 2016.
With England’s Premier League going head-to-head with global rival Spain’s La Liga as the richest domestic competition, there is indeed a potential for football to fall out of the love of its fans.
There are no nostalgic episodes for the US regarding Teddy Sheringham, who retired from the MLS back in 2002. With less time to spend with each other than maybe I had imagined on this trip (I’d imagined an elegant supper of ceviche and martinis by my residence’s pool), my favourite football figure was not a black-and-white photograph but rather the man rowing vigorously with the USA Eagles in the 1988 Summer Olympics, a person who was ever present in my life, but rarely saw me.
The absurd list of celebrity “footballing friends” who followed me on Facebook included Olly Murs and Paddy McGuinness but also former Liverpool captain Robbie Fowler, Liverpool hero Sami Hyypia, and the 60s and 70s Liverpool midfielder Steve McMahon, everyone someone for whom I have a deep, complicated and almost symbiotic affection.
While the third season of “Miracle Worker” is surely a flattering shout-out to football as a spectator sport, what’s more, the St. Martin’s Lane church itself seems a tiny slice of euphoria – one that we may have to share with the rest of the world, but one certainly deserves to be shared with.