Brad Lewis: Rejoice, 30 years of unrequited Liverpool fandom rewarded (finally)

OPINION: Thirty years of mediocrity, heartbreak, and peering enviously at the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal ended at 9:10am Friday.

May 1991 was the last time Liverpool could call themselves champions of English football, tumbling from atop the first division table midseason and rocked by the resignation of club icon Kenny Dalglish as manager, before eventually losing their crown to archrivals Arsenal.

Ever since, aside from 2-3 years of nipping at the heels of the eventual champions, Liverpool have flattered to deceive. 

So many great players have come and gone, and left with them the odd Cup win, but no league title. 

Yes, there were two European titles, but for a club that had previously set the standard for English football, that wasn't enough.

I vaguely recall staying up late watching the great team of the 1980s winning FA Cup finals and planted myself in front of the TV to witness Arsenal's stunning 1989 win. 

But as an 11-year-old, I didn't really grasp the importance of what winning a league title means to football fans. 

That all changed in 1996 - the day I realised I deeply cared about Liverpool.

Led by that French git Eric Cantona, Manchester United outclassed Liverpool 1-0 in a dour FA Cup Final at Wembley. I watched that game with a few mates, two of whom supported the 'Red Devils'. 

I copped an absolute barrage of abuse about how shit my club was and how United were going to dominate the game for the next 20 years. That triggered this strange sense of passion that not even the mighty All Blacks held in my heart. 

I wanted desperately to have my moment of bravado and turn the tables my mates. 

I bought my first Liverpool shirt a day later - thanks, Mum - and that was it. I was locked in. I'm not going to lie, it's been a tough road supporting the club, but I have never wavered in my love for Liverpool and the players that wore the famous red shirt. 

Manchester City players realise their reign is over
Manchester City players realise their reign is over. Photo credit: Reuters.

The past few years have been a little easier. United's self destruction since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson has been quite a delight and almost as rewarding as a league title.

Strange how many Red Devils fans pop their heads out of the sand when they win a game these days. Be prepared for 20 years of mediocrity, fellas - this is the new normal! 

While COVID-19 has taken the gloss off such a monumental moment and handed haters the ridiculous notion that there should be some sort of asterisk next to this title win, this has simply been the most dominant team in Premier League history. 

Two losses in the last 69 games for 186 league points - this season, Jurgen Klopp's squad have proven recordbreakers. 

Eight-six points in 31 games - enough to win the title with seven games to play and a league record.

Drink that in.

Brad Lewis is a Newshub online sports producer - and an unashamed Liverpool football fan

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