The Covid-19 situation has taken its toll on everybody all over the world and that of course involves football clubs. In that regard, the FA is slowly adding fans to the stadiums and one of the clubs that benefited from this were Liverpool, managing to sing their famous You’ll Never Walk Alone anthem once again, which gave us the opportunity to look back on the origins on such an iconic song.
Football without fans is nothing and that is why since last December 2, as anticipated by us, the English Premier League has begun to allow fans back in some stadiums based on the areas where they are located since the Covid-19 cases are higher in some areas than others. The British Government has only allowed a maximum of 4000 people per game, which is not much, but it is a start.
Among the teams benefiting from this measure there is Liverpool FC who this Sunday were able to play their match against Wolverhampton Wanderers in their stadium with the presence of the spectators, who were able to sing the classic anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone, almost 9 months later, more precisely since football was suspended on March 13. And this leads me to remember the origin of that famous anthem and why it means so much to the Liverpool supporters.
The song has its origins in the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Carousel, whose first appearance is in a scene where the protagonist dies and serves as motivation to the other main characters. The play is set in an environment of the working class of the late nineteenth century, which helped many people to identify themselves in the lyrics of the song. In 1963, the band Gerry and The Pacemakers covered the song and one day, incidentally, they coincided with Liverpool FC on a bus trip (we’re talking of a very different era of football, of course), and there they had the possibility to meet some players personally and in particular, the legendary manager, Bill Shankly, who was vital for Liverpool to reach the global dimension it currently has.
On that trip, the band gave a copy of their cover to Shankly who was moved by the message of the song and considered it would be something with which Liverpool fans, so he asked the club staff to start playing You’ll Never Walk Alone in the institution. With the passage of time, the identification of these lyrics with Liverpool has been absolute.
The power of this song and its lyrics is so strong that You’ll Never Walk Alone has also become a popular song in several parts of Europe and UK to give moral support to medical staff and patients affected by Covid-19 during the ongoing pandemic.