YNWA-Blog #17

All good things… must come to an end

We’ve been shooting “You’ll never walk alone”, a documentary on the football anthem, for nearly six months now. But there’s one important stop left: In Liverpool Joachim Król follows the trail of Gerry and the Pacemakers and visits Liverpool coach and erstwhile BVB legend Jürgen Klopp.

Hardly any city is more representative of the link between music and football as the English port city of Liverpool. On this cold November morning the Cavern Club, a rock ’n’ roll pub in the city center has yet to come to life. It was here in the early 1960s that the Beatles met up in the bleak basement pub, and many other well-known musicians and groups like The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Elton John also passed through its doors. The Club closed down in 1973. The building was demolished to make way for the underground railway, and rebuilt in 1984.

Along with the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers was among the UK’s hottest groups in the early 1960s. Gerry Marsden once related how, stuck in a cinema on a rainy night, he heard the number “You’ll never walk alone” in the film of the musical Carousel, and suggested it to his band. They played the song to a live audience for the first time in the Cavern Cub, moving listeners to tears. The song eventually made its way into the stadium because at Anfield Road the chart-topping hits were always played before a match. As the song slipped from the number one spot, the fans took it on themselves to sing it…and the rest is history. The song conquered football stadiums in Glasgow, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Tokyo, Mainz—and Dortmund. But our brief visit to the Cavern Club isn’t of course our main reason for flying to Liverpool. We take a cab from downtown to the west of the city.

On Melwood Training Ground Liverpool FC is training this afternoon for the next match. In the press room Joachim Król waits for ex-BVB trainer Jürgen Klopp. “Today I’m really nervous, for the first time,” admits Król. Jürgen Klopp is particularly well acquainted with both of the best-known stadium versions of the song: In 2015, after seven years as BVB coach, he moved to the UK. And on the first weekend of November he succeeded for the first time in reaching the top of the Premier League table with Liverpool FC. Król talks to Klopp about his time as coach with BVB, the switch to Liverpool, the fans’ special relationship with the Club, and, of course, his connection with the song “You’ll never walk alone.” “That song follows me around,” laughs Jürgen Klopp, because it was also part of the repertory of football songs in his first post as coach at 1st FSV Mainz.

Klopp and Król wallow in nostalgia together and the time goes by much too fast. Klopp glances at his watch and makes to leave; the training session will begin soon. And for us this means the film’s in the can: We’ve only to pack up our gear. The hard disks carrying all our material will now go to the cutting room. And so ends our journey on the trail of “You’ll never walk alone”. We’re eagerly looking forward to the finished film and will keep you posted…

„Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart.

And you’ll never walk alone.

You’ll never walk alone.”