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The board of a group Liverpool FC supporters said they have enough funds in place to underwrite a full share issue and to buy a stake in the club.
The move has been welcomed by two Anfield greats, John Aldridge and John Barnes, both long term supporters of ShareLiverpoolFC.
The aim is for Liverpool to emulate the model of European clubs like this year’s Champions League finalists, Bayern Munich, where fans own 80% of the club. The announcement follows the appointment by ShareLiverpoolFC of a financial advisory committee. The organisation is also in the process of restructuring its current board to bring in individuals with experience in corporate finance and sports business.
Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge, who is a ShareLiverpoolFC board member, said: “I’m delighted ShareLiverpoolFC is now able to push on and issue the share offer. We’ll need a tremendous response from the fans but I think millions of them are desperately worried about the current situation both on and off the field. At last, they’ve got a chance to actually to do something about it. Our fans have brought us ‘back from the dead’ in matches many times before: think only of the ‘miracle’ of Istanbul. They can do it again – this time at the heart of the club itself.”
Ex-Liverpool midfielder John Barnes, a long-time ShareLiverpoolFC supporter, added: “It’s excellent news to hear fans will get the opportunity to pool their money and buy a stake in the club, whether it’s a majority stake or just a significant piece of the action, all under stringent financial regulation. No one who has ever played for Liverpool can be in any doubt that these fans are the football club: the unique, core ‘brand’, as they call it these days, of LFC. If they are it, why shouldn’t they own it too?”
Liverpool FC’s American co-owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, announced in April this year that they will be selling the Premier League club after they appointed Martin Broughton – chairman of British Airways – as chairman to help them find a buyer. Liverpool FC currently has debt of around £350m and Broughton said that any new buyer must commit to building a new stadium for the club.
ShareLiverpoolFC said it has over 35,000 registered supporters and its current pledges alone could raise up to £40m in order to acquire a stake in the club.
Dr Rogan Taylor, a founder member of ShareLiverpoolFC, said: “ShareLiverpoolFC board will now look to specify a date for a share issue later this summer. This is a serious and rigorously professional undertaking and we believe our core aspiration is both desirable and deliverable. This is our time. It presents the best – and perhaps the only chance – of fans gaining control or at the very least a significant equity stake in the club they love and support.”
The ShareLiverpoolFC plan involves a minimum investment of £500 to buy a share in the company seeking to own equity in the club. The share is not-for-profit; one fan: one share, and confers the right to stand for election to the board and the right to vote in any elections.
Meanwhile, according to the Daily Mirror, co-owner Hicks has allegedly prevented at least two offers for Liverpool from happening, due to his £800m valuation of the club. The report is also claiming Barclays Capital, which has been charged with selling the club, is growing frustrated with the American’s stance in negotiations.
As well as issues off the field, Liverpool FC offered Rafael Benitez a severance pay-off package, reportedly a sum of £3m, for him to leave as club manager with immediate effect. The Spaniard left five days ago amid a mix response from the supporters.
Liverpool FC legend Kenny Dalglish, who is an Academy ambassador at the club, and Christian Purslow, Liverpool’s managing director, are leading a search for a new manager to replace Benitez, who famously won the Champions League in his first season with the club in 2005.
Liverpool FC legend Bruce Grobbelaar was the guest of honour at a sportsmans evening at Port Sunlight’s Royal British Legion last night.
The former goalkeeper gave an entertaining talk in front of around 200 guests about his glittering career and spoke mostly about his days playing for LFC.
52-year-old Grobbelaar made 627 appearances in 13 years at Liverpool, which brought him 13 major honours comprising six League titles, a European Cup, three FA Cup winning medals and three League Cups, which is ironically a total matched by another former Liverpool goalkeeper Ray Clemence over his two-club career.
Controversy has surrounded the eccentric Grobbelaar ever since he was accused in 1994 of match fixing, only to be cleared of all charges three years later.
Grobbelaar said: “I always remember my first big football contract when I was young boy growing up Durban, South Africa. I signed for Vancouver Whitecaps in Canada and whilst there I was told a big club wanted to sign me. I was thinking ‘could it be Liverpool or Manchester City or Arsenal?’ ‘No’, they said. ‘West Bromwich Albion’. ‘Oh right’, I said. I was unable to get a work permit to play for them, but then did I really want to play for West Brom? No.”
Grobbelaar returned to Canada but managed to get a loan deal with Crewe Alexandra. He jokingly said: “I was told to meet Crewe’s representatives in an industrial estate which wasn’t the nicest of places and it was there where I first got introduced to the brown paper envelope!”
Whilst playing for Crewe, Liverpool FC’s chief scout Tom Saunders and manager at the time, Bob Paisley, came to watch him. He said: “I thought it would be good to entertain a little bit and walk on my hands, bring out an umbrella but I was told, ‘you mustn’t have impressed them because they’ve now gone to watch Stoke!’
“Six months later, when I was back playing for Vancouver Whitecaps, I was told again, ‘two very important people want to talk to you’. I said ‘let me guess. Is it Tom Saunders and Bob Paisley?’ And it was.
“Bob Paisley was a man of very, very few words and when he did speak it was sometimes very difficult to understand him. He said to me, ‘Bruce Grobbelcheck’, which is what he’d call me, ‘do you want to play for Liverpool?’ I said ‘yes’ and that was it.”
Grobbelaar was signed by Liverpool for £250,000 in March 1981 and made his debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 29 August 1981, following the departure of Ray Clemence.
During his talk, Grobbelaar recalled his nights out when travelling with his team-mates such as David ‘Doc’ Johnson, Alan Kennedy, Ronnie Whelan and a young Ian Rush.
The Zimbabwe international also talked about his famous ‘spaghetti legs’ moment, during the penalty shootout in the 1984 European Cup final, when he put opposing Roma players off like Bruno Conti and Francesco Graziani by pretending to have wobbly legs, which would help clinch the trophy, known now as the Champions League, for the forth time under Joe Fagan.
Grobbelaar would play his last game for Liverpool in February 1994 against Leeds United when Roy Evans was the club manager.
“Nice man Roy Evans,” Grobbelaar said. “He was that nice I would find out I was being sold to Southampton on the radio!”
Grobbelaar played at Southampton for two seasons. “After Southampton I went on a tour of England playing for Plymouth, Oxford United, Sheffield Wednesday, Oldham Athletic, Chesham United, Bury, Lincoln City and Northwich Victoria.”
Grobbelaar, who now lives in Canada, joined other celebrities and chef Marco Pierre White on the ITV show Hell’s Kitchen in April this year, but cut his time short by walking out of the programme after saying he’d missed his wife Karen.
He currently is not involved with football.
A former world boxing champion who was close to fighting “The Greatest” – Muhammad Ali – in his heyday has donated some of his prized memorabilia to a new art gallery in Liverpool.
Liverpool-born John Conteh became the WBC world light-heavyweight boxing champion in October 1974 and the green and gold belt he held for four years is being placed in the new Museum of Liverpool when it opens in 2011.
Conteh is regarded as one of the all time best boxing champions to have come out of the UK with 39 professional fights, 34 wins, one draw and a mere four losses.
The former boxer claimed Ali persuaded him to fight at the smaller light-heavyweight division, rather than the American’s heavyweight limit of above 14 st 4Ib on the scales, because Ali thought he was too small for the bigger weight class.
By taking Ali’s advice, Conteh successfully defended his WBC title three times, the final time in front of his home crowd at the legendary Liverpool Stadium on 5 March 1977.
Born 27 May 1951, Conteh started boxing aged 11 at Kirkby Amateur Boxing Club, going on to win middleweight gold at the British Commonwealth Games in 1970 before gaining his world title.
As well as his professional world championship belt, Conteh is also loaning the Museum of Liverpool boxing gloves he wore in title fights and the striking red gown worn for his successful defence in Liverpool and the Lonsdale Trophy which was awarded to him following this win.
The memorabilia will go into the Creative City gallery of Museum of Liverpool, which will be one of the first to open in the new museum, celebrating the creative personality of Liverpool and uncovering why the city has produced such an amazing roll call of writers, poets, performers, musicians, visual artists, comedians and sports people.
Paul Gallagher, curator of contemporary collecting at National Museums Liverpool said: “Boxing has played an important part in Liverpool’s fabulous sporting heritage, and the Creative City gallery will feature a sporting section with a special exhibition focused on telling the story of the sport. Boxing Clever will display – amongst other objects – John Conteh’s WBC title belt, and the boxing gloves and boots he wore during the successful challenge of the title in October 1974.
“It’s a real coup to be able to include these objects in the display. The city has produced a wealth of champion fighters through the years but John Conteh’s achievements make him a true Liverpool great and arguably the city’s finest. It’s a privilege to be able to recognise his achievements in the Museum of Liverpool using objects that were integral to his personal story.”
Conteh retired from the sport of boxing in 1980 following three failed attempts to win back his world crown, which he was stripped of after not going through with a mandatory defence.
The boxer was also equally known for his partying and enjoyment of alcohol during his glittering career which some observers have said restricted him from becoming even greater than he was. These days Conteh is a popular after dinner speaker.
Football has surfaced its ugly head again this week. Just days into the transfer window and three, well nearly three, transfers have already taken place and reaction to them has been about one thing. Money. The drug of the sport.
The transfers of Gareth Barry, Kaka, and now Cristiano Ronaldo can be argued as being just another addition to professional football’s obsession with the Pound, Euro and Dollar.
The game is continuing to be a law unto itself with Manchester United agreeing a world-record fee of £80million, for one of its biggest assets both on and off the pitch, during a bleak global recession.
The reality of this figure surfaces when considering an entire first team squad from the bottom end of the Premier League can scarily be bought with millions left over. With an extra £20million, Newcastle United FC could be bought entirely – putting a whole new meaning on the phrase “no player is worth more than a club”.
It begs the question: when will these monopoly priced transfer fees end? Michel Platini, president of UEFA, has reportedly blasted Real Madrid over its likely excessive transfer deal, but will it really be the final straw? Can the paying supporter hope for a level economic playing field which will allow their club a fair crack of the transfer window? Unlikely.
It doesn’t even seem to concern Real president Florentino Perez, who is sticking to his word of doing “everything possible” to bring the 24-year-old Portuguese winger to the Bernabeu.
And what about the sportsmen themselves? They surely get a say on matters. Are we that naïve enough to think these transfers are out of their control? No, didn’t think so.
Following Manchester City’s failed attempt at signing the 27-year-old Kaka, despite being the richest club in world football, which would have netted the player reported wages of £13.6million a year, Real secured his signature for a then world-record £56million fee.
Brazil’s football playmaker Kaka not only told us he belonged to Jesus during the January window – he may still feel that way and I’m not doubting his beliefs – but he completely fooled us all in believing he belonged to AC Milan forever.
The collapse of the Man City deal was applauded by some as it ridiculed a salary package of unimaginable figures and showed it would take more than money to guarantee Kaka’s services. So none of us can now argue against the La Liga giants making Kaka only the second best-paid player in the world with £200,000 a week over the six years of his contract – a total of more than £62million. Can we?
Tenth-placed Premier League side Man City did, however, sign last season’s Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry, who publicly desired Champions League football a year ago, for a ‘bargain’ £12million. Barry said his move to the Eastlands club, worth a reported £100,000 a week, was to do with Man City’s “ambition” as the main reason why he left the club he had served for twelve years.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s loyalty to Manchester United looks to have finally come to an end also. As early as May this year he was telling a Sky Sports reporter to stop asking “stupid” questions about whether he would be playing for Man U in 2009/2010 because “I want to stay here”. And what part does Sir Alex Ferguson play in this possible new world-record fee after he made a comment last December he would not “sell that mob a virus”, when referring to dealings with Real Madrid?
Will Ronaldo be missed if the deal goes through by the target date of 30 June? Of course, Man U supporters will miss him. His 123 goals in 323 appearances helped the club sustain continued success and not many other members of their squad could achieve 42-goals in one season, possibly not even 18-goals he amassed last season. He will be missed by the Old Trafford faithful and through their tears they will cling on little hope the Real deal does collapse. And if that does happen, Ronaldo would be due a £20million compensation fee it’s been suggested. But I doubt it will happen. He’s just a medical and few details away from realising his, to quote him, “dream move”.
The current World and European Player of the Year is leaving Man U for one reason only. Money. It’s £80million! The club are going to pocket an incredible profit on the £12million fee they paid when they signed him from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 and who could blame the club with debts totalling nearly £700million? And when have you ever known a footballer in his prime leave a club for less cash in their pocket? No, me neither. Ronaldo is reportedly going to pocket £107million over the six years of his Real contract, which will make him the highest paid player in world football.
How Sir Alex and Man U spend the £80million will in time prove why this world-record transfer bid has been accepted.
As for the future of Cristiano Ronaldo? Good riddance. And I’m not saying that because of my passion for Liverpool FC. And I am not saying it because more financial muscle can be gained on Anfield’s debt-ridden owners. It’s because Ronaldo has, for a long time, been a disease to the Premier League and represents everything negative about it. I just can not feel any admiration for him. Ever since he was caught on television cameras winking to the Portugal bench, immediately after his club team-mate Wayne Rooney was sent off, during his country’s 2006 World Cup clash against England, Ronaldo has persistently been booked for diving, has thrown tantrums, and shown no respect to others. He’s a bad loser, a poser, a faker and obsessed with only one thing: Cristiano Ronaldo. Adiós!
Flying the north-west flag at the first ever British Amateur Boxing Championships are Manchester’s Tommy Stubbs and Liverpool’s Tom Stalker.
Already an ABA gold medallist, Stalker, who is a member of Huyton’s St Aloysius boxing club, is relishing the prospect of gaining his first British title in the 60kg Lightweight class at the end of this month, but is also looking forward to the opportunity of competing in his home town.
The 21-year-old enthused: “I can’t wait to get in the ring. It’s always a huge honour to represent your country and to do so in your home city is a dream come true. I’ll be going all out to do everyone proud and fly the flag for the city and England at the world championships.”
A total of forty boxers will compete across eleven Olympic weights at the Liverpool Olympia.
Commonwealth Youth Games bronze medallist Stubbs, a member of Northside amateur boxing club in Manchester, will be amongst the national champions of England, Scotland and Wales aiming for success as the championships act as a qualifier for the next World Championships.
The British Amateur Boxing Championships is being organised by Liverpool City Council and the Amateur Boxing Association.
It follows Liverpool’s successful staging of European Senior Boxing Championships for the first time in the UK at the Arena and Convention Centre just six months ago.
Paul King, chief executive of the ABA, said: “This is a new title and it’s one every boxer in our home nations wants to win and even more so this year with the incentive of going to the World Championships. I’m delighted Liverpool is hosting the inaugural championships as its boxing pedigree is of the highest order and it knows how to deliver a great sporting occasion.”
The British Amateur Boxing Championships takes place on 28-29 May this year, with the finals being screened live on Setanta.
Film maker and Oscar winning director Danny Boyle along with rock band Elbow, and gold medal winning paralympian Zoe Robinson are being awarded the Freedom of Bury.
A ceremony is taking place on Monday 11 May at Bury Town Hall at 3pm, where they will receive the honour from the Mayor of Bury, Cllr Peter Ashworth.
Mark Sanders, chief executive of Bury Council, said: “Danny Boyle’s, Elbow’s and Zoe Robinson’s successes over the past 12 months have really put Bury on the map, both nationally and internationally.
“We are really proud of all of these individuals’ outstanding achievements in their respective professions and by granting them freedom of the borough we want to acknowledge their hard work, determination and commitment and this is the council’s way of congratulating them all on their successes.”
Boyle, from Radcliffe, has directed films including Trainspotting, Millions, and Shallow Grave, before he made Slumdog Millionaire, which won eight Oscars and seven BAFTA awards.
19-year-old Zoe Robinson, from Ramsbottom, won a team gold medal in the sport of boccia at the Beijing Paralympic Games last year.
Elbow’s Craig Potter, Mark Potter, Pete Turner, Richard Jupp and lead singer Guy Garvey collectively won a Brit Award, a Mercury Prize and an NME Award following the release of their fourth studio album The Seldom Seen Kid. They formed the band in Bury in 1990.
A record number of representatives from the North West will compete in this year’s BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester.
Liverpool’s Abdi Jama and Dan Highcock will represent the men’s Great Britain wheelchair basketball team at the Manchester Regional Arena and will be joined by a further 19 athletes competing in the annual event from the North West.
Leading the region’s hopes for medals are five Paralympic cycling champions from Beijing, who will compete at the Manchester Velodrome.
Manchester’s Jody Cundy, Sarah Storey, Barney Storey, and Ric Waddon, Stockport’s Anthony Kappas and Rochdale’s Simon Jackson are part of a ten-strong Great Britain team.
Merseyside’s Jenny McCoughlin will join double Olympic gold medallist Eleanor Simmonds – who was voted BBC Young Sports Personality of Year last December – in the Great Britain swimming team together with another four athletes from the region.
Heather Frederiksen of Leigh, Manchester’s Natalie Jones, Wigan’s Rachel Latham and Stockport’s Matthew Walker will all feature in events at the Aquatics Centre on 25 May, while Stockport’s Elizabeth Simpkin competes in the International Open for Great Britain on 24 May.
Wales’ eleven-time Paralympic gold medallist David Roberts will also be competing in the swimming for Great Britain.
In athletics, Manchester ’s Ian Jones and Michael Churm, Blackpool’s Shelly Woods, Chorley’s Graeme Ballard and Sophie Hancock and and Stockport’s Jenny McLoughlin will all appear in track and field events representing Great Britain at the Manchester Regional Arena on 24 May.
Peter Mearns, executive director of communications and marketing at the North West Development Agency, a partner of the event, said: “The Agency is pleased to support the BT Paralympic World Cup again. It is a major event which is attracting more competitors and visitors every year, and contributing a significant amount to the regional economy. Events such as the BT Paralympic World Cup help to further cement the North West’s reputation as the ideal location for international events.”
The BT Paralympic World Cup has been staged annually in Manchester since 2005 and 400 competitors from over 31 countries are scheduled to compete in four sports – athletics, swimming, track cycling and wheelchair basketball.
The BBC will broadcast the BT Paralympic World Cup live from the Manchester Aquatics Centre on Monday 25 May. The event runs for five days from 20 May.
*The above was used for the following website here
For tickets visit the BT Paralympic World Cup website here
At precisely the same time the football match in Sheffield was abandoned 20 years ago to the day; three cites united to remember the lives of 96 innocent fans who tragically died at Hillsborough stadium.
At 3.06pm today people paid their respects to those Liverpool supporters crushed to death in the Leppings Lane end on 15 April 1989.
Around the city of Liverpool the whole transport network – the buses, ferries, and trains – came to a standstill and even those shopping on this Easter week stopped in their tracks and stayed silent for two impeccably observed minutes.
In Nottingham, the city whose football team Forrest were Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final opponents in Sheffield back then, around 2,000 people gathered to observe a silent respect. And in Sheffield a further 300 or so people attended a brief memorial at Hillsborough, the home to its football team Sheffield Wednesday.
But it did not surprise me one bit the Hillsborough memorial service, held each year at Anfield – home to Liverpool FC, had its biggest attendance today.
I’m sure if they could, the close to 30,000 people in the famous ground would have attended each year, but this particular year had the added incentive it is 20 years since the disaster – two decades and a lifetime on.
When nearly all present joined in a chant and heart felt voice of “Justice for the 96” it also demonstrated, not only to the current Culture Secretary Andy Burnham but the whole country, many still believe strongly these supporters, daughters, sons, and fathers killed on the day have still not been treated fairly.
Their voice was further heard through Mr Trevor Hicks, who lost both his daughters at Hillsborough, and Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Steve Rotheram, who was – as most inside Anfield today – present in Sheffield that day.
Singing by the church choir of St Anne Stanley and Liverpool Singing Choir as well as Lee Roy James, who sang the poignant ‘Hillsborough Anthem’, captured the mood perfectly.
The service closed with Gerry Marsden and everyone in attendance joining together in a moving and spine tingling rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.
Not only was this day a day to be remembered, but also there are 96 reasons for it not to be forgotten.
Twenty years ago a terrible tragedy occurred in Sheffield at a football match when I was just embracing what the great Brazilian footballer Pelé described as the ‘beautiful game’.
At the time, I had become to be – like most young boys – obsessed with everything about the game and especially Liverpool Football Club.
Football, though, was and is accessible to everyone.
However, on 15 April 1989 at Hillsborough stadium the game changed through a horrendous and terribly disastrous set of consequences. And justice is still being fought amongst families of 96 supporters of Liverpool Football Club, who were crushed to death in the Leppings Lane end of Hillsborough, whilst in attendance at an FA Cup semi-final between Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool and Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forrest.
Football almost, many would agree, ended on this afternoon at 15:06 hours for good. In this moment of calamity, most LFC supporters, who were not in attendance at the ground, remember and still remember exactly where they were at the time. Even supporters of other clubs may remember where they were too.
Questions over Police control, newspaper coverage, the design of the stadium belonging to Sheffield Wednesday FC and even the behaviour of LFC supporters remain today and will forever about what happened on 15.04.1989 but more significantly about why it happened.
Fences constructed in front of supporters were removed and many of the top stadiums converted into all-seater as a result of Lord Peter Taylor’s report into the disaster.
In 2003 I interviewed former Liverpool striker John Aldridge, who was a player for Liverpool at the time, and he confirmed the Hillsborough disaster had caused him to think about ending his career. Football – a game he loved and lived for – had died for him. What he went through is something he can never really describe.
Despite going on to lift and win the FA Cup, and scoring in the final, he felt he was never the same player for the club after the disaster. He consequently left his much loved Liverpool Football Club later in the year to resurrect his hunger and love of the game in Spain.
Just short of two years later, in 1991, arguably the greatest Liverpool footballer to ever wear the club’s shirt, Kenny Dalglish, who was managing the club at the time, headed for the exit door. And when it was stated he left due to health reasons it made most Reds suggest the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster must have had some contribution to this.
These two legends of the club, however, will be the first to say what they went through is absolutely nothing compared to those families who stayed waiting for their loved ones to return home from this football match. Football no longer was a recreation people could enjoy. For a large majority of them it never will be.
This is why Dalglish and Aldridge continue doing whatever they can to help ease this sense of loss and why their support has helped bring the Hillsborough disaster back into the headlines.
Together with former LFC stars Howard Gayle, Phil Thompson, Bruce Grobbelaar and Alan Kennedy, they’ve come together to make a magnificent contribution to a new single in aid of the Hillsborough Family Support Group.
Using the musical talents of artists John Power, of the La’s and Cast, Nick Kilroe of Echo and the Bunneymen, Peter Hooton of The Farm, James Walsh of Starsailor, and Rob Taylor of Troubadours, all have united to record ‘Fields of Anfield Road’.
The song is based on the Irish ballad ‘Fields of Athenry’ and is a new version of the one the Kop sing every LFC home game – created, a very reliable source told me, by normal supporter Gary Ferguson from Huyton.
Elvis Costello, Pete Wylie and James Walsh have contributed appropriate B-sides to this single, titled Liverpool Collective – featuring The Kop Choir, which is available to download on 6 April.
Philip Hayes, director of The Picket Liverpool, held an official launch of the single and said: “Kevin McManus and I were asked by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Steve Rotheram, to put together an appropriate musical tribute to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. Kevin McManus, from Merseyside ACME, is joint project co-ordinator.”
Cllr Steve Rotheram, who originally came up with the idea, added: “Everybody can instantly recall the precise moment they heard the news from Hillsborough. The memories of the events of the 15 April 1989 are as vivid today as they were 20 years ago and the launch of this CD is simply an attempt to commemorate the men, women and children who didn’t return home from that FA Cup semi-final in Sheffield . We will never forget the 96.”
One man, a Spaniard, who finished a memorable few weeks by committing his future to the club for a further five years, attended its launch and gave his frank and honest opinion on the single.
The current Liverpool FC manager, Rafael Benitez, said: “I think you can feel the emotion in every single game, what it means to the fans. It is a very good song and Liverpool fans sing it better than anyone.”
Even if you buy it and never listen to this song, supporters of Liverpool Football Club will, I am sure, be eternally grateful to those of you who remembered these 96 people like you and me.
And any true supporter of LFC does not need telling what they should do next.
*For more information and details on how to get your hands on this anniversary single visit www.fieldsofanfieldroad.co.uk
Liverpool FC striker Fernando Torres capped off a memorable week by scoring twice against Premier League title rivals Chelsea tonight.
The Spanish football superstar left it until the final few minutes to score a brilliant headed goal from team mate Fabio Aurelio’s cross, before slotting home a Yossi Benayoun pass in front of the Anfield Kop stand.
Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-0 after totally dominating the game, with the away side seeing a straight red card given to their talismanic midfielder Frank Lampard for a challenge on Liverpool’s Xabi Alonso.
Liverpool are now two points behind leaders Manchester United, who have a game in hand.
Prior to his double strike, 24-year-old Torres was honoured with a Breitling Super Avenger watch.
The luxury watch featured a white dial and a red Ocean Racer strap and was rewarded to him for his outstanding debut last season with the Reds.
Torres was presented with the gift by David M Robinson in Church Alley, Liverpool city centre, on Thursday.
Torres also left the jewellers with a beautiful necklace, rumoured to be for his girlfriend Olalla for Valentines Day in less than two weeks.
Following a poll by the official Liverpool FC website, Torres was voted best player of last season, which Jamie Carragher was bestowed with last year for the season before. He also received a watch for the accolade.The watch given to Torres retails for £2,695.