For half a century, Liverpool Club was the number one team in the hearts of Norwegians. About 2% of the population of this Nordic nation is proud to be Liverpudlians.
Why do Norwegians love Liverpool Club so madly?
From the Kristiansand coast in the South Pole to the Varangerhalvoya National Park in the Northeast, passing through the cold capital of Oslo or the west coast with thousands of peninsulas, Norway pops up with unique landscapes. But no matter what land you cross, there’s a constant called Liverpool Club. The Norwegian heart, regardless of region, beats to Anfield. In the country of 5.3 million people, up to 130,000 people, equivalent to 2% of the population, registered in the Liverpool fans’ union.
Mari Lunde, 30, is currently an official staff member of Liverpool Club supporters in Norway. The Norwegian female reporter married an Englishman because he was so idolized by Michael Owen. Every weekend, Mari is responsible for transporting 200 Norwegians flying to Liverpool to cheer on the football team. “The Norwegian fans are quite easy to identify, most of them are very tall,” Mari shared on L’Equipe. Also part of the Liverpool fans’ association in Norway, Kari Baklid often flies at least 15 round-trips every year to cheer on the Merseyside team. “I love the feeling at Anfield, we sing and scream,” Baklid said.
Nikolaisen vows will jump if Liverpool Club does not win the Premier League this season.
The Liverpool fever in Norway is deeply rooted in the process of trade and cultural exchanges between the two lands. Two centuries ago, the Vikings crossed the sea to Liverpool port. The term “Scouser” refers to the people of Liverpool derived from a Norwegian dish called “lapskaus” (a stew made from meat and potatoes). The famous Gustav Adolf Church in Liverpool is also known as Scandinavian Seamen, a witness to the period when the Norse immigrated massively into Liverpool in the 1870s.
But it took 100 years before the television screen for the Norwegian FC to love Liverpool Club. In 1969, Norwegian television first broadcast the English league. The Norwegians began indulging in a The Kop that ruled the fog throughout the 1970s and 1980s. “I fell in love with Liverpool when I saw the 1974 FA Cup final, Kevin Keegan scored twice in a 3-0 win over Newcastle,” recalls Oyvind Alsaker, a former Norwegian television commentator.
In the 1990s, the Norwegians became interested in MU when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer successfully played at the Manchester team. But the love for Liverpool Club is something bigger than the usual admiration for a team. “Norway is a country that promotes the concept of solidarity and equality. We find a similar culture in Liverpool, ”said Lars Sivertsen, a Norwegian sports writer working in London.
Norwegian fans and Liverpool people work in a standard manner and respect for each other. A quarter of the budget of Liverpool fans in Norway is devoted to charitable activities of the red shirt team. In return, the Anfield team hosts regular pre-season friendly matches in Norway.
In 2001, John Arne Riise landed at Anfield, drawing even more Norwegian attention. The brilliant left-back career at Liverpool has brought great pride to the Norwegians. But Scandinavia people don’t just love Liverpool stars. Anyone who relates to the color of a redshirt is treasured.
Gregory Vignal, a French left-back who played for Liverpool Club between 2000 and 2005, said that in the summer of 2007 he joined Southampton in a friendly match in Norway. Vignal was surprised when Norwegian fans flocked to the crowd to ask for autographs and photos. “It took me an hour to talk and take pictures with them, even though I had been out of Liverpool for 2 years,” Vignal told L’Equipe.
Morten Nikolaisen, a Liverpool Club fan at Stavanger, announced that he would jump if the Klopp team didn’t win the Premier League this season. Joern-Erik Heimseter, president of the Liverpool fans’ club in Bergen, is determined to remain single for life because “my life is devoted to Liverpool.” If Liverpool estimates there are 771 million fans worldwide then Norway is the most fanatic “fans”.
|Riise is the most successfulLiverpool Club history has witnessed 6 Norwegian players playing football at Anfield. The first person to wear Liverpool was defender Stig Inge Bjornebye (from 1992 to 2000). The remaining five names include Bjorn Tore Kvarme, Oyvind Leonhardsen, Vegard Heggem, Frode Kippe and John Arne Riise. The most successful face is Riise with 7 seasons with The Kop (2001-2008), winning the Champions League 2004/05 and FA Cup 2005/06. Ever since the left-back left with a thunderous shot leaving Anfield in 2008, Liverpool Club has not yet welcomed any Norwegian players.Leaving Liverpool 2 decades still being “disturbed” by fansVegard Heggem used to play for Liverpool Club in the period of 1998-2003. After retiring, the former right-back Norwegian manager at Aunan Lodge hotel in Orkla (Norway). “I still get annoyed by Liverpool fans every day. They came to rent a hotel, found me and asked me how I felt about walking on the grass of Anfield. I answered this question hundreds of times. It’s like this every day” the former player at the age of 44 shared on L’Equipe. 130. There are currently about 130,000 registered in Liverpool fan clubs in Norway, accounting for 2% of the country’s population (5.3 million).|
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