Academy director Frank McParland writes about his life as both a fan and employee of Liverpool Football Club in the latest instalment of our weekly column.
We'll hear about his days watching from the old Boys' Pen, the pride he felt seeing Jack Robinson make his debut and the heartbreaking experience of having to tell a young player he will leave the club...
I've always been a Liverpool fan. My dad and his dad were both Reds. In fact, my dad was a steward for a long time, so I've always had this club in my blood.
I used to play myself when I was a lad but football was near-enough always played on a Saturday afternoon back then, so for youngsters like myself there would be a clash in timings.
But I'd make the mid-week Anfield games when I could - my dad had season tickets in the Kemlyn Road - that's the Centenary to some of our younger fans.
I can't quite remember my very first game, but I know that Roger Hunt and Ian St John played in it.
The real earliest memories I have came from my time in the Boys' Pen when I was about 10 or 11.
Anyone who went to the Boys' Pen will tell you how we were tucked away up in the corner of the Kop. And the excitement of being there, with kids the same age as you, was just brilliant.
But even then, you wanted to grow up so you could move into the Kop itself. That was what you were desperate to do. The whole experience made me a Liverpool fan. From the Boys' Pen to the Kop and then on from there.
You hear some stories about the Boys' Pen, but the reality is that here in Liverpool we look after our own and I always felt safe in there. There were never any problems.
I was there as a fan at Wembley in 1974 when Shankly's side beat Newcastle 3-0. And I was there as staff in Dortmund and Istanbul. Great days, great wins. But here at the Academy it's not necessarily all about winning.
The most important thing is about getting the players through to Melwood. And when you see the likes of Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom playing first-team games, it's unbelievable.
But the best moment for me personally has to be when Jack Robinson came on at Hull, five minutes from the end of the game, to make his debut at 16 years of age. It was my first year back at the club and it was one of the most memorable moments I've had throughout my career.
But with the highs come the lows.
And the lows come when you have to release players. Whether it's a nine-year-old or a 19-year-old, it's with a very heavy heart that you do so. I always say to the boys: "Everyone leaves the club at some stage - we'll all leave this club."
But it doesn't make it any easier. It's definitely the hardest part of the job - telling someone that you are letting them go.
We do always try to find clubs for these lads but sometimes it's difficult.
Another tough part of the job is seeing young lads suffer long-term injuries. Marc Pelosi had a really bad break recently and so I've spent a lot of time with him and his mum. It's been upsetting to see.
So much has changed at Academy level since I was a young lad.
When I was growing up, there were one or two kids in the city who were at Liverpool or Everton, but it was very rare that you knew anyone who was actually in the game.
It was much more elite then - there were a lot of very good players back then who did not get near playing for Liverpool when they could have been stars.
Look at our Academy now and the amount of staff and kids who are here.
Today, we sign nine-year-old players. But we're looking at them when they are five or six. There's such a massive difference.
Football now is a global business and that starts at academy level. We've got probably over 60 staff in our Academy, full and part time. We've got scouts who go out and search for talent. We've even got five analysts, just for the Academy, looking at the way the kids play and develop.
From the age of nine up, the kids come in of a night and do their own video clippings. We teach them how to produce clips of their performances, so that they can look at the way they have played and figure out where they have to learn.
I still feel our biggest job here at Liverpool's academy is to find Liverpool players. If we can get local, Scouse kids into the first team then that will be our aim.
In the meantime, we are going to continue to bring the best players in England and from abroad to Liverpool. But our ultimate aim is to get as many local kids into the first-team squad as possible. That's the goal.
His passing was such a tragic event for everyone at the Academy and I'm so proud of our staff here who want to complete the Yorkshire three-peak challenge in his name.
Stephen's dad has decided to join the group and take part in the challenge as well, so we're delighted about that. The money is going to Alder Hey children's hospital, who work wonders helping children, not just in Liverpool, but around the country.
So let's do what we do best here at Liverpool Football Club and come together in order to raise these vital funds for such a worthy cause, in memory of Stephen.