Jürgen Klopp has written a special letter to Liverpool supporters around the world to mark Christmas Day...
As I am sure you know by now, each year I like to write a message to Liverpool fans around the world to wish them a very happy and peaceful Christmas, however they are choosing to celebrate it.
After the year we have had, it’s perhaps more important for me to share these words directly to each and every one of you reading them than ever before.
It is clear, we will never forget the year 2020 – for both good and not-so-good reasons, let me say it like this.
These are extraordinary times we are living in and every single one of us has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. It has changed all aspects of our lives, both personally and professionally.
Who would have thought one year ago that our year would turn out this way, that we’d be in ‘lockdowns’, that we wouldn’t be able to travel or, most importantly of all, see loved ones? So, what it has really taught me is how precious life is; how quickly things can be taken away, so to appreciate all that you can.
But also what it has taught me is what good people can do when they come together and support each other.
I would like to pay tribute with all my heart to the frontline workers around the world, the doctors, nurses, hospital staff, the emergency services, for all you have done in the last nine months. Wow, what can I say? I do not have the words to even begin to describe to you how much I respect and admire all you are doing for people in these times.
On behalf of me and my team and my club, thank you. You are real heroes for us all. I will be thinking of you today.
To those who have worked to keep countries going, to keep shops stocked and serving customers, the drivers who have kept public transport going, you are amazing and your selfless work has helped countless people, including myself. I appreciate it.
It was sad that circumstances meant we were not able to make our annual visit to Alder Hey this year and let me tell you, the boys, my staff and myself were very disappointed about that. But I am glad with the use of technology that I don’t fully understand, we were able to bring at least some smiles to some of the families and the patients on the wards. I send big hugs to you all today.
To those who have worked selflessly and tirelessly across the city in the foodbanks and other charities to support others, my love goes out to you. I was so happy to hear how Fans Supporting Foodbanks continues to do amazing things for people in need and I really enjoyed the footage of the tractors driving through the city with Christmas lights on in aid of FSF and Alder Hey.
I also watched the video recently of Lee and Timo from The Florrie visiting Anfield and speaking with Sadio… it was very emotional to see. But it also said so much about the spirit of this city and its people. When we come together, we can make a difference in the lives of others.
Of course, this is not just in Liverpool, we are seeing such amazing work being done elsewhere to help others too – and my respect for what Marcus Rashford is doing is huge.
It is simple, it is obvious: we are better when we come together. It is always a solution and not a problem.
Sadly, as this virus has impacted all of us as I said, there will be those of you reading this who have lost loved ones to it. To you – and supporters of all clubs who have been bereaved in this way and any other – my message is simple. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Similarly, today and every day, all of our thoughts are with the Hillsborough families, survivors and campaigners and the 96 who lost their lives. Your strength, resilience and courage continues to inspire us every day.
We also sadly lost some members of the Liverpool family this year and my thoughts are with the families and friends of Gerard Houllier, Michael Robinson, Ray Clemence, Arthur Edwards, Jacques Crevoisier, Don Woan and Brian Jackson.
I would like to take this opportunity to place on record my deepest thanks and gratitude to the staff at this club. Really, the work they did to get us back onto the field, to make a safe environment… it was incredible.
From the moment we knew we would be leaving Melwood for a period on that Friday afternoon back in March, the way they all reacted and adapted to the circumstances to keep the boys fit and healthy and keep us in shape ready to return was genuinely something remarkable. There was not a book they could look at to get the information, there was not a website, they had to do it themselves – and they did brilliantly. I am so proud and appreciative of what they did for us.
I have said many times, I am nothing without my staff. That’s true. But also, Liverpool Football Club is nothing without its staff.
I won’t name individual names as some people get embarrassed and I have been told off by them for doing that before, but thank you for all you have done and continue to do to keep the club moving. From everyone at Kirkby, the receptionists, the kitchen staff, the grounds staff, the security guards, our drivers, our travel staff, to everyone in all other departments: your hard work, hard efforts and ability to adapt to a new way of working has been incredible. This is for all of you: our success as a team is just as much about you as anyone in the ‘football’ department.
To the staff who work with our charity programmes, LFC Foundation and Red Neighbours, your work is something I am proud is part of this club. What you are doing is amazing for the community.
Of course, when we look back on 2020, now and in the years to come, for anyone who is with us they will always remember these words: Liverpool Football Club, champions of England.
That sounds great, doesn’t it?
How it always is in life, sometimes it is funny how things come together and for us in our bubble, we were able to be together the night we became champions. I think you have seen the footage by now… and some of the dancing!
But it was important for me that we were able to share this special moment together. The boys deserved this.
I will never forget the time we spent together but apart if you like during the lockdown. Our WhatsApp group was on fire, let me say it like this! But it showed me the togetherness and team spirit that exists within this group of players.
I didn’t need somebody to tell me that, I knew it already, but what I love about this, how I have always said, is all the different nationalities, cultures, beliefs and backgrounds coming together and working towards one goal as colleagues and as friends. Really, it is something amazing when you think of it and, as I said, it shows how better we are when we are together as human beings.
So, to share this moment together – when we became champions, a moment we will all remember and savour for the rest of our lives – was massive. It was emotional, as I am sure you saw on the TV afterwards. Then to have the trophy handed to us by Sir Kenny Dalglish… wow!
Yes, it was not how we all lay in bed at night dreaming of it – a packed Anfield celebrating together – but as I said at the time, we had to celebrate it in the right way for the moment.
Our time for celebration together will come, I can promise you this.
I am not too proud to say I miss you at Anfield. I miss you at our away games. I miss you in Europe. Really, how much you invest in following this team is something I always find remarkable.
I think you saw on my face when I walked out for the warm-up against Wolves and saw some of you inside Anfield how happy I was. It was an emotional feeling for me and afterwards, it was something most of the players said they felt in the dressing room.
I am a person who always tries to be positive, so for me there is plenty to look forward to in 2021. Most importantly, the advances in medicine and science mean that we will hopefully begin to overcome this pandemic and regain some ‘normal’ again.
But in a football sense, we will hopefully have a full Anfield once again at some point in this new year. Can you begin to imagine what that will be like? I have goosebumps just thinking of it as I type these words!
And there is much to look forward to for this team. We are not finished; we are as hungry and as determined as ever before to bring you the success you deserve. I see that in the boys’ faces each and every day.
We have also moved to a world-class training facility in Kirkby, which has brought us closer to our Academy and the incredible work they do there. My utmost respect to Alex and all the staff there for the work they are doing. It is that work that has allowed us to bring in the likes of Curtis, Neco, Rhys, Billy the kid, Caoimhin, Leighton, Jake and many more.
We also should have some positive news on the expansion of our home, Anfield, which will mean more of you can be with us inside the stadium.
Finally, I would like to say, if this year has taught us all one thing, today is not about what is under your Christmas tree but who is standing around it with you.
We have seen how life can change so quickly, so today we should all appreciate every moment, every second, we spend with our loved ones.
As I have said in a video to LFCTV, it’s not about the gift you receive today, it’s about the thought and love behind the present and who is giving it to you.
Cherish these moments with your loved ones today. They are special.
So, wherever you are in the world, however you are celebrating, I wish you a safe, peaceful and happy Christmas.
I hope our team has helped put a smile on your face during an otherwise tough year for all and I am looking forward so much to seeing you again soon.
Love and big hugs,