Michael Owen may not be every Liverpool supporter's favourite former player but ask a whole generation of fans around the world why they chose LFC and invariably his name will crop up time and time again.
The impact of Owen's iconic goal against Argentina at the World Cup in 1998 on Liverpool's global fan base simply can't be understated.
Like millions of other soon-to-be Liverpool fans around the world, Yong-Suk Choi sat at home and watched in amazement as this fresh-faced 18-year-old kid scored one of the greatest goals in the tournament's history.
Home back then was Seoul, South Korea and this week, it's the focus of our Global LFC Family series...
Name: Yong-Suk Choi
City/Country: I am from Seoul, South Korea, but currently live in Kansas, USA while studying abroad
Job: Student, president of the Korean Liverpool FC fan community and editor at Goal.com Korea
What's your earliest LFC memory?
I remember I was amazed by Michael Owen's wonder goal against Argentina at the World Cup in France in 1998. Afterwards, I decided to watch him more closely. It was the second game of that season, away at Newcastle and Owen scored a hat-trick. Can you believe it? He was just 18 years old! Understandably, he was under lots of pressure after such a great performance at the World Cup but he didn't let that affect his game. That was my earliest memory.
What made you pick Liverpool as your team?
I still remember the day I became a Liverpool fan. The first time I heard 'You'll Never Walk Alone', I felt my heart pounding and I knew this was love at first sight; the decision was made for me. I honestly feel that Liverpool picked me and made me a true supporter. It was destiny.
How did people in Korea follow Liverpool's fortunes at first?
The miracle of Istanbul brought attention to the club in my country. It was the six minutes that shook the whole world, including South Korea. The goals flowed for Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso. Milan's spirit was broken and they folded completely during the penalty shoot-out. During those six minutes, Liverpool once again became the centre of the football universe, gaining on the misfortune of Milan. As a result, many Korean football fans converted to Kopites.
Was it difficult to find out news or see the match?
It was very difficult to find news and match information before the official LFC website was set up. But as a devoted fan, I always found a way to keep updated.
Who was your first LFC hero and why?
Can I pick a manager instead of a player? Bill Shankly! His philosophy has captivated me. Shankly took charge of our team when we were in the Second Division and he rebuilt Liverpool into a major force in English football. He built a very strong foundation. I would say Shankly is Liverpool and Liverpool is Shankly.
What is your favourite LFC memory?
The Carling Cup Final! Last year, as a result of the victory, our Korean Kops community fundraised more than £400 in order to send a special gift and a message to the team (see picture). Ardent Korean supporters of Liverpool FC led the project and we sent our gift to Melwood training ground in order to share our joy over winning the Carling Cup and to encourage the players and staff.
Who has been your favourite Liverpool manager and why?
I would have to say Brendan Rodgers, our current manager. Last season he did a very good job. He tried to close the gap between Liverpool and the top four. The season before last, Liverpool ended 17 points off fourth place. Last season we were 12 points behind fourth place and scored 24 more goals. We still have problems with the defensive line, but it is my belief that our boss will get better performances out of our players and finish in the top four this season. Also, I like his style of management. He not only has a positive frame of mind but also a very rational way of thinking and a firm grasp on reality. I do believe that the combinations of Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge will make a huge impact next season. He has a nice vision of Liverpool's future.
Have you ever been to Anfield?
I am currently planning to go to Anfield this winter. It's going to be my first visit and I am extremely excited.
Where were you while we were in Istanbul?
In accordance with the policy of all South Korean male residents, I was serving my mandatory two years in the military. I didn't have the opportunity to watch the actual match as it happened.
Do Liverpool have a passionate fan base in Korea?
Yes, of course! We have many passionate fans. Many Korean football fans support Manchester United because of Ji-Sung Park. He did a great job and left an amazing impression while playing for Manchester United. He captivated many Korean fans and shed a lot of light on the Premier League. The attention Ji-Sung Park brought to the Premier League was very beneficial overall and brought many South Korean football fans the opportunity to become Liverpool fans.
Which teams are considered Liverpool's biggest rivals in your country?
Manchester United and Everton are the big ones. In the upcoming season, Manchester United will be the biggest rival because of the acquisition of David Moyes from Everton.
Where do you go online to follow news about LFC?
Mostly, I use Twitter and Facebook to follow LFC news. Before the set up of the LFC Twitter account, it was hard to find a reliable source. In Korea, my board members and I translate English to Korean every day to give our fans LFC news through our fan account. Check out our Korean Kops website.
Do you also support a local team?
I support our domestic league, the K-League Classic, and FC Seoul. Of course, I also support the Korean national team, but my heart is always with Liverpool.
Who is your favourite current player and why?
I know he's no longer current but Jamie Carragher is my hero - a true leader with real loyalty. He put his heart into every game and he only played for Liverpool. I'm so sad that he has retired. I wanted to see him grab a league trophy with a big smile. Our quest to win the title will now continue with our great captain Steven Gerrard.
If you could meet anyone connected to Liverpool FC - past or present - who would it be and why?
This is a very difficult question and I honestly can't decide. I would like to meet all LFC players and past managers but I would say it would be either Bill Shankly, Kenny Dalglish, Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard, or Luis Suarez. It's too difficult a question!
What makes you most proud to be a Liverpool supporter?
Every single moment, Liverpool just makes me so proud. LFC is an integral part of my life. To this day, I still get goose bumps and fill up with an overwhelming feeling of joy every time I sing or listen to 'You'll Never Walk Alone'. As a Liverpool supporter, I have an immense appreciation of the club's values and history and in turn, I try to be a better person as well. This is why I am so proud to be a Liverpool supporter.
Finally, what does 'the Liverpool way' mean to you?
You'll Never Walk Alone. Be proud of our history and values. Never give up. Keep your head up. Justice for the 96. Cherish and be humble. Liverpool is more than football. Liverpool is more than a club. This is the Liverpool way for me.
Follow the soon-to-launch Korean LFC Twitter account today by clicking here.
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