This week's edition of the Global LFC Family series comes from the island of Mauritius and a fan who grew up idolising Kevin Keegan. This is his story…
Name: Jean-Carl Palmyre
City/country: Saint Pierre, Mauritius
Job: Team leader sales, Cim Finance Ltd
Why did you pick Liverpool as your team?
I was around 12 years old when I started to play football, and very often I heard about Liverpool Football Club on the radio, and I asked my dad and his friends with persistence about the team. I was instantly drawn to support LFC. Liverpool was a huge discovery for me and I obtained information from radio and TV and newspapers. LFC was a new world to me and I even climbed trees to see if the city of Liverpool was on the other side of the hills where I lived!
What's your earliest LFC memory?
My earliest Liverpool memory was a team in red playing quick passing football with the fans always supporting the team. I remember hearing the famous song 'You'll Never Walk Alone'. I was watching Ray Clemence, Kevin Keegan, Alan Kennedy and Graeme Souness, and they were winning trophies and showing their football skills to the world.
How did people in your country follow Liverpool's fortunes at first?
Liverpool fans in Mauritius and Rodrigues have great passion for the club and have religiously followed the fortunes of the Reds since the early days of 'Big League Soccer' on our national TV and sports news on radio. We additionally had some live matches on TV. The love for Liverpool has grown mainly from grandfather to father and the kids in the '60s, '70s and '80s. It was a blessing and a heritage powered by a unique football culture. Historically, we were governed by the British and the French (we speak and write both English and French, but we speak mainly Creole) and we have been traditionally influenced mainly by the British.
Was it difficult to find out news or see the match?
It was not too difficult as the local media clearly understood that British football was so widely popular and it was part of our everyday habit to seek for information. I must add that we have close relatives who live in England and France and they regularly communicated on the phone and they spread the latest news of the team.
Who was your first LFC hero and why?
I would instantly say my first generation heroes were Alan and Ray Kennedy, Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness. It is quite difficult to single out one hero but I was fascinated by Kevin Keegan because of his exceptional quality. From the next generation, I considered John Barnes, Robbie Fowler, Sami Hyypia, Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard as phenomenal and they inspired me as leaders.
What is your favourite LFC memory?
The 'Miracle of Istanbul' is my favourite among the others - although beating Manchester United at Old Trafford 4-1 and Chelsea in the Champions League also rate highly. However, Istanbul is the one because it was the night where I erased the word 'impossible' from my life. I was so tense that night - I screamed, jumped, danced and cried for hours. It changed my life completely.
Where were you while we were in Istanbul?
The official supporters' club - Mauritius branch - organised a gala night for the Istanbul final. We had a buffet and giant screens and there were about 300 fans there. In Mauritius, the match time was about 10pm. The media were present and at half-time, it was a desperate atmosphere but I said to the fans that today is our day and history will remember us and this will change our life forever. It happened.
Who has been your favourite Liverpool manager and why?
The great Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley are still both amazing in terms of vision, values and philosophy. They generously dedicated their lives to the club and fans around the world. I would also like to salute the influence of Rafa Benitez, who contributed to the Liverpool way, and I can now feel the powerful mindset of Brendan Rodgers, who is emerging as a modern commander of the Reds.
What has been your lowest point supporting Liverpool?
When we lost the last game of the season against Arsenal at Anfield in 1989! The Hillsborough disaster still hurts me so much today and would like to say to all the families that in Mauritius, we always have a deep respect and you are always in our prayers.
Have you ever been to Anfield?
Yes! Liverpool is a fantastic city, Anfield is an amazing stadium and I also had the honour to visit Melwood and the Academy and meet some key people at LFC. Anfield is a very special place that blends the past and current history. It inspires me.
Do Liverpool have a passionate fan base where you're from?
I officially launch an invitation to the LFC management and all the fans of the world to visit Mauritius and Rodrigues. It is amazing and incredible how we support the Reds and how LFC is such a big part of our lives here. The Mauritian fan base is loyal to the values of the club in every way. I would like to thank our official supporters' club founder and executive members - George, Vishal, Reyaze, Chin, Ken and Iqbal - for their wonderful contribution to make the branch a real success.
Which team are considered Liverpool's biggest rivals in your country?
Where do you go online to follow news about LFC?
We are lucky in Mauritius as we have outstanding online connectivity and I can surf websites for LFC news on a daily basis. There is not a day where we are not connected to LFC. We have cable companies who show Liverpool nearly every week. The social media networks are a great source of information and help us engage with the club as participation is massive here. Football and sports are icons in our Mauritian society and are anchored in our daily lives.
Do you also support a local team?
I was playing football at national level in the '80s and '90s and nowadays I play gala matches for the Fire Legends and Cadets Club 86 with a view to inspire the young and contribute to enhancing our local football scene.
Who is your favourite current player and why?
It is quite difficult to single out one player. I have huge admiration for Jamie Carragher and our captain Steven Gerrard for their respective contributions to the club. They are the legends who inspired my belief that the club will dominate again.
If you could meet anyone connected to Liverpool FC - past or present - who would it be and why?
I would certainly meet Bill Shankly, Brendan Rodgers and Steven Gerrard together and have a chat with them. Together they could be the architects to drive the club to another level.
What makes you most proud to be a Liverpool supporter?
Reds fans are unique and the unity that we share around the globe is the spirit of humanity.
Finally, what does 'the Liverpool way' mean to you?
We are Liverpool and remain Liverpool around the world. It is the way of commitment, humility, respect, loyalty and determination.
Previous articles in the Global LFC Family series:
South Africa - Melissa Reddy>>
Thailand - Jeerawan Duangnam Herriot>>
Australia - Wayne Psaila>>
Mexico - Victor Alvarado>>
Indonesia - Andhika Sarwendha Suksmana>>
Nepal - Nischal Adhikari>>
Ghana - Aristo Dotse>>
India - Kaushal Goyal>>
Singapore - Henry Hann>>
Bahrain - Mohamed Ashoor>>
Mongolia - Amarsaikhan Orsoo>>
Vietnam - Pham Quynh Le>>
USA - July 4th Special>>
Iran - Mohammad Reza Rahimi>>
South Korea - Yong-Suk Choi>>
Norway - Arild Skjæveland>>
Russia - Ivan Potapov>>
Myanmar - Khin Maung Cho>>
USA - Roy Yates>>
China - Chen Jing>>
Brazil - Bárbara Rubio>>
Kenya - Mitesh Chavda>>
Spain - Luis Gutierrez>>
Venezuela - Jorge De Castro>>
Greece - Efstratios Sakkias>>
Malaysia - Muzili Aznor Musa>>
Taiwan - Roxan>>
Finland - Jani Lilja>>
Turkey - Ulfan Ismihanov>>