England’s most successful football club, Liverpool FC, has picked Nairobi as the destination for its February leg of the LFC World fan experience.
In a free two day experience for football enthusiasts, the LFC World Hub will set up at the St. Mary’s School in Nairobi on February 23 and 24, opening for eight hours between 11am and 7pm.
Kenya’s official Liverpool fans supporters group greeted the news with excitement, terming it as “scarcely believable”.
The group which calls itself KopKenya tweeted, “Incredible news. Kop Kenyans going wild at the announcement!”
Liverpool said on their website that the club’s past heroes including fan favourite John Barnes and 2005 Champions League winners Sami Hyppia and V******r Smicer, will accompany the fan experience tour.
“LFC fans in Kenya will be able to enjoy a whole host of activities for all ages,” the English club said on their website.
Presented by Standard Chartered, the LFC World Hub recreates certain landmarks related to the Merseyside club which allow football fans experience an atmosphere similar to that of the English loyalists.
It includes a recreation of the Shankly Gates which stand at the entrance to Liverpool’s Anfield stadium and which is named after former legendary manager Bill Shankly.
Also in the hub will be the “This Is Anfield” sign which is positioned at the stadium’s tunnel where players emerge from onto the pitch. The sign is immortalised as being iconic for inspiring Liverpool players — who touch it on their way onto the pitch — while intimidating opponents at the same time.
Liverpool also says that the hub will feature a version of the club’s dressing room, where football fans can sit under the shirts of their favourite LFC players and recreate their own iconic dressing room image.
Former Liverpool captain Hyppia said the LFC World Hub in Nairobi “is the place to be.”
“We know not all our fans can make it to Anfield, so this is our way of bringing Anfield closer to them. We can’t wait to meet everyone, it’s going to be a fantastic weekend,” he said.
Supporters also have the opportunity to have their photo taken with the UEFA Champions League Trophy, a cup Liverpool has won five times — more than any other English club.
“There will be lots of fun activities for fans to take part in throughout the event and special prizes and giveaways provided by presenting partner, Standard Chartered Bank,” Liverpool said.
— KopKenya – OLSC (@KopKenya) January 9, 2019
From within the hub, football lovers will also have the opportunity to watch the Barclays Premier League match pitting Liverpool against their fiercest English rivals Manchester United. The match which will be played at Man Utd’s Old Trafford stadium, will be on February 24.
Liverpool FC is one of the most iconic football clubs in the world. Formed in 1892, it grew as the “red side” of Merseyside in North West England and had unprecedented success during the 80s.
In Kenya, a huge following of the Premier League means Liverpool is one of the best supported clubs alongside the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City.
The club has not won England’s top flight since 1990, and this means that its following in Kenya is largely drawn from fans who grew up watching its successes in the 80s.
Its global appeal however means that it continues to accrue newer fans.
Younger fans are excited by the fact that the club stands a great chance of winning the 2018-2019 Premier League season on the back of current form.
It currently leads the Premier League table and had gone the first 21 games of the league campaign unbeaten before succumbing to last season’s champions Manchester City in a game on January 3.
Liverpool’s shirt sponsors are Standard Chartered Bank, a British multi-national bank that is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges as well as the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India.
Standard Chartered has hosted 15 versions of a Nairobi marathon that is part of the bank’s “Seeing is Believing” community initative that aims to raise funds for the needy in the community.
The bank also hosts a Road To Anfield Media Challenge, which pits media houses against each other in a football tourney with the winner earning a trip to represent Kenya in Liverpool.