Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Expat LFC fan gets surprise of a lifetime at Reds’ Asia Trophy match

Expat LFC fan gets surprise of a lifetime at Reds’ Asia Trophy match
by rick olivares

It has been eight months since Alex Newman moved from England to Hong Kong to open a bar (Bobby’s Rabble located at Central). While he is used to traveling, one slice of home that keeps him from being homesick is watching the Premier League. Liverpool matches to be precise.

“I was born into it,” said Alex while taking in the Liverpool-Crystal Palace Match in the second match of the Premier League Asia Cup Trophy double header. “I’m from Birmingham but my whole family have always been Liverpool supporters. Here in Hong Kong, the time difference is about eight hours so sometimes the matches take place around 12 midnight, two in the morning. And sometimes, even later. Then end around six in the morning. So, I ask my girlfriend (Mary Walsh) to keep me company.”

Newman always makes it a point to follow his favorite club.

When news broke that the Reds were coming over to Hong Kong for a couple of friendlies, Newman asked a friend of his if he could help score some tickets for the match.

Little did Newman know that his friend would do him one better.

Before kick-off between the Reds and the Eagles, Newman went around the Hong Kong Stadium in search of the Liverpool merchandise booth. The line… was kilometric. Feeling rather dejected, Alex went back to his seat with his friends. “I hope to get some merchandise,” he quipped.

A little later, he gave it another go. And this time, he bumped into his friend from Standard Chartered who had “something” for him.

It was a signed Steven Gerrard Liverpool shirt. Complete with a certificate of authenticity. Newman’s eyes bulged at the gift.

“Stevie G is my absolute favorite player,” proclaimed Newman. When he returned to his seat, he proudly showed his shirt to his expatriate friends. One fan seated nearby espied the shirt. “How much for the shirt?” the fan asked.

“No way,” declined Newman. “This one will go to my son… when I have a son. It isn’t every day you come by a signed Steven Gerrard Liverpool shirt.”

Making the day sweeter for Alex and Mary, as well as their friends, was Liverpool’s 2-nil triumph that sent them to the finals of the Asia Trophy this Saturday against Leicester City that dispatched West Brom, 7-6, in a penalty shootout.

“It has been a while since I saw a Liverpool match live. This day… is sweet. All worth it,” beamed Newman before he made his way out of the stadium.

There’s a Golden Sky indeed.

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