But Oh, didn’t he ramble (Jelly Roll Morton)
We have started a small collection towards research at Hjärnfonden, the Swedish charity for brain research, hoping to contribute 10 000 kr to their cause. This may only be a small sum of money in comparison with the huge needs in developing effective treatment strategies for the different types of tumours that can affect the brain, we believe that the symbolic value of this support is significant. Bitte thought long and hard to find a theme for our collection and landed upon “You’ll never walk alone”, as she felt that this phrase has great significance for me and captures the essence of my life philosophy. I hope that I can do some justice to this and give a little background in this article.
Growing up, as I did, on Merseyside one has to relate to the two major forces in football which dominate local sports and much of the conversations, especially after a weekend or towards the end of a long season. In general, there seems to be a divide between the catholic population, who tend to support Everton, and the protestant population, who side with Liverpool. In my case, I sided very early on with Liverpool and have been an avid fan throughout my life, although I do have a soft spot for Wrexham FC as an acknowledgement of my Welsh background. Unfortunately, Wrexham have spent a number of years way down the league system.
Liverpool have been associated with the song “You’ll never walk alone” since the mid-1960s, when it was a hit by Gerry and the Pacemakers. The supporters would sing the song to rally their team, as heard on the Pink Floyd song Fearless, from the album Meddle.
The song is, in fact, taken from the 1945 musical, Carousel, by Rogers and Hammerstein, based on the play “Liliom” by Ferenc Molnar.
When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm
There’s a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark
Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone You’ll never walk alone.
But context can change so much.
In 1989, Liverpool were to play a semi-final cup match against Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Football ground in Sheffield. Due to a number of traffic incidents and congestion caused by poor planning an the part of the local authorities, supporters of both clubs were arriving late to the ground. In the confusion that followed a number of poor decisions were made which resulted in the stands becoming overfilled and caused the deaths of 96 supporters of Liverpool FC. A tragedy which could have been avoided if competent people had been in charge.
After the event the authorities covered for each other through lies and deceit, and deflected the blame onto the football supporters. It took over 25 years for the truth to finally come out. Throughout this time the people of Liverpool stuck together and supported their cause against a system that had so terribly let them down. Throughout the campaign to bring out the truth, the word “You’ll never walk alone” kept people together.
Four weeks ago, my world was turned upside down by what turned out to be a malignant brain tumour. Now after surgery, the doctors are confident that the tumour has been removed in its’ entirety and that the likelihood of me making a full recovery are good. Throughout this time, I have felt the support from those around me and this has helped me remain confident and that I will not be alone on the journey forwards.