Geoff Morgan - Sydney, Australia
Updated: Dec 18, 2020
Welcome, everyone, to the first in the new 'FanConnect' series.
To kick-off this new feature, I’m delighted to welcome Geoff Morgan – affectionately known as ‘Morgs’ - as our first guest.
Morgs lives in Penrith, Western Sydney, Australia with his wife of 35 years, Sharon. They have two kids, a son and a daughter, both big Reds fans.
He has been a PE teacher in Australia over the last four decades, and plans to retire in 2021. For his retirement, he has a very special event on the go…. but more on that later.
Let’s talk to Morgs:
Q. So, Morgs, when and how did you become a Liverpool Fan?
A: Oh gosh, it was a long time ago now. Back in Australia in the 70s, the only live game we got on TV was the FA Cup Final. I remember as a young kid watching the 1971 Liverpool Arsenal final, but it was a few years later, in 1974, watching the Liverpool Newcastle final when my love affair with the club really started.
I was 10 years old, and Kevin Keegan became my very first hero. He was simply brilliant. One of my biggest disappointments following The Reds was when Keegan announced he was leaving the club. I was devastated when he left; but then again, we did end up replacing him with Kenny Dalglish, so in hindsight it wasn’t so bad. (laughs)
Q. What’s your greatest memory, or iconic moment as a Reds fan?
A. Well, there are two that stand out.
First, in over 20 years as a fan, I had never been to Anfield until my wife and I went on a 6-day tour of England, so of course we made our way to Liverpool. I remember the date exactly; it was December 17th 1991.
Sharon and I went to Anfield, and as we were walking around the stadium, we plucked up the courage to ask one of the staff there if we could possibly see the inside of Anfield. We certainly picked the right person because he not only agreed, he gave us a guided tour of the empty stadium.
It was night time so the floodlights were on and I stared in awe at the magnificence of a floodlit and empty Anfield. That was back in the days when The Kop was still all standing. What a magnificent sight it was.
I also got to touch the ‘This Is Anfield’ sign which I think is something every Liverpool fan dreams of, so all in all, not a bad night.
In terms of an iconic moment, I was one of those in attendance at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2013; the night Melbourne turned Red. Little did I know just how iconic that game would become because of the incredible ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ that night. The YouTube video of it has over 10 million views now.
In a crowd of over 95,000 you could barely find any Melbourne fans in their home stadium! It really was a very special night.
We also went to the training session the day before, and there were 20,000 fans who showed up for that! It just showed how much Liverpool FC means to the people in Australia.
Q. Great stuff Morgs,. So, moving on, two questions. Who is your favourite all time Liverpool player, and who is your favourite from the current squad?
A. All time, John Barnes no question.
Such a brilliant player. The way he glided past players. His dribbling was a joy, and he was such an unselfish player too. If I had to be marooned on a desert island with one player, it’d be John Barnes (laughs).
Back in 2017, Western Union partnered with Liverpool and did this ‘Legends In Disguise’ series, where they invited Liverpool fans to a promotional event. I was lucky enough to be chosen.
We were in a studio being interviewed and asked to answer a few questions. One of the questions was ‘who is your favourite player’ so I, of course, said John Barnes.
While this was going on, we kept getting interrupted by Eric, the sound engineer. Well, it turns out, Eric was actually John Barnes in disguise! I couldn’t believe it – I got to meet my hero in Australia! What are the chances?
Some people thought I must have been a plant and had known in advance John Barnes was there which is why I picked him as my favourite player, but honestly, I had no idea. It was an incredible day and such an honour to meet him.
In terms of favourite player today, hmm….. it’d have to be either (pause) Bobby Firmino or……. Andy Robertson. Both give absolutely everything and are so essential to how the team plays. Having said that, given what we have achieved over the last two seasons the name going on my next shirt is our captain, Jordan Henderson.
Q. Can’t argue with any of that Morgs. Before we move on to your ‘special event’ anything else you’d like to share about your life as a Liverpool fan.
A. Well, I once met Gerry Marsden (laughs). He was such a fantastic fella and a pleasure to speak to. I was wearing my ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ top, so he got a kick out of that.
I also met Robbie Fowler at a special event when Claymore Wines released a wine named after him.
Considering I live on the other side of the world, I’ve been very lucky to meet quite a few of my heroes and true legends of the club.
Q. Ok, Morgs… final question. Tell us all about this challenge you’re doing at the moment.
A. Well, the story starts back in 2014 . As I mentioned, I’m a teacher and all my students knew about my obsession with Liverpool. One day, I wore a Liverpool top to work, and the kids loved it. They set me a challenge for fun. They said “how about wearing a Liverpool shirt every day for a whole term?”
Well, I love a challenge, and the gauntlet had been thrown down, so I did it.
Whenever we won, I’d wear a Red shirt the next day; if we drew, it was either grey or white, and if we lost, it was one of the black ones. So, the kids knew not to mess with me if I was in black (laughs).
That gave me a taste for it, so I did it again in the 2016/17 season. I managed to go 225 days this time and I let people know about it on social media. It really seemed to resonate with people and it had the added bonus of increasing my circle of Liverpool fans around the world.
One guy, Budi Iskandar in Indonesia, who I’d never met or even spoken to, reached out to me and ended up sending me a shirt from Indonesia to help me complete the challenge. He's a mate to this day.
Another Liverpool fan, Kerry Elizabeth from the US, also got in touch. In fact, Kerry ended up coming to visit and stay with us for a few days when she on a trip to Australia. I’ve made so many lifelong friends because of it.
Another guy from Liverpool contacted me, and inspired by the whole thing, he went on to wear a different shirt every day for an entire year.
So when I decided to retire in 2021, as a sort of ‘grand finale’ leading up to my retirement day, I decided to wear a different Liverpool top every day for what in the end will be 420 days.
I’ve just passed 80 days, so only another 340 to go.
They’re loving it at school, and once again I’ve met even more Liverpool fans around the world because of it. The Liverpool fan community really is a global family, and I’ve had so much support from everyone, it’s been fantastic.
Q. Brilliant that mate! Morgs, thanks for your time. It’s been a pleasure. One final question I have to ask. What shirt will you be wearing on your retirement day?
A. (Laughs) You’ll have to wait and see, mate. It’s a secret.
FanConnect is a weekly blog featuring Reds fans' stories from around the world, and brought to you by the KopConnect team. If you like this feature, we would appreciate you sharing it with all your fellow Reds. YNWA.