Split loyalty for members ahead of historic clash

When news broke in early February that English Premier League club Liverpool FC would play Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium this Hyundai A-League off-season, Tony and Margaret Buckley couldn’t believe their luck.

Proud Brisbane Roar members for the past nine seasons and regulars at the club’s Hyundai A-League, Westfield W-League and Foxtel National Youth League fixtures, the Buckleys are also long-time Liverpool fans.

The Brisbane couple were part of the 95,000 crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in July 2013 when Liverpool played fellow Hyundai A-League club Melbourne Victory.

The Reds won 2-0 but the night is most fondly remembered for the rousing rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone before kick-off, which went viral online in the days and weeks following.

Since that memorable night in Melbourne, the Buckleys had always hoped the Queensland capital would be on the agenda the next time Brendan Rodgers’ side came Down Under.

“It was what we had been hoping for since they played in Melbourne,” Tony said.

“We went to the game at the MCG but many of our family and friends couldn’t make it. This is great for the family to have the chance see the Reds in action.”

Their support of the Reds sparked in the early 1980s, when Australian Craig Johnston made the move from Middlesbrough to the Merseyside club which had the likes of Ian Rush and Kenny Dalglish on their books at the time.

“Having an Aussie in the English First Division was great but playing with such a legendary club as Liverpool was unheard of,” Tony explained.

“It captured a lot of interest across Australia in those days.”

The highly-anticipated friendly – Liverpool’s second game in their 2015 pre-season tour – is finally just one day away and the Buckleys, who have been at all three of the Roar’s Grand Final victories, are now preparing for another big night at Suncorp Stadium.

“We will be wearing something from both teams - we can’t lose on the day no matter what the score,” Tony said.

“The singing of You’ll Never Walk Alone was impressive in Melbourne but knowing Suncorp and how it is much more compact it is than the MCG, the decibel level may beat that of when Erik Paartalu equalised in that first Grand Final!”

In a big win for Brisbane-based Liverpool fans, the Merseyside club will unveil their new 2015/16 New Balance away kit in King George Square at 5pm today, following a live Q&A and signing session with Liverpool legends Rush and Dietmar Hamann.

Liverpool will then hold an open training session at Suncorp Stadium from 7.30pm. Tickets are still available here or at the stadium with proceeds going to local charities and the Liverpool FC Foundation.