Some people think football is a matter of life and death, but I can guarantee you, it is much more than that – Bill Shankly. Liverpool Football Club has seen the greatest sporting comebacks in their storied history and boasts some of the biggest names and managers in the world like Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Kevin Keegan, Jurgen Klopp, etc.
It also boasts having the loudest set of fans around the world, and it is the worldwide support that has contributed to making this club one of the best in the world. One of the many fans across the globe is Sh. Ahmed Al Khalifa who has been a lifelong Liverpool fan for the past 30 years.
Living in the Kingdom of Bahrain, some 3000 odd miles away from the northern city of Liverpool, the United Kingdom, Ahmed Al Khalifa’s love for the reds began when his father supported the club. While watching the reds play with his father, Ahmed Al Khalifa instantly fell in love with the thunderous atmosphere created by the red half of Merseyside fans.
He felt connected to the club’s players and their desire to win every game. His favourite players included Steve McManaman, Paul Ince, and Michael Owen. Liverpool ignited his passion and love for the beautiful game, and one of the highest points, as a fan, was to see the reds win a mini treble – League Cup, FA Cup, and the European Cup in 2000-2001, with Gerard Houllier as their manager.
Watching Liverpool play for Ahmed Al Khalifa meant that when other kids in Bahrain would go to sleep, he would watch the television late at night, on “Showtime Arabia”, as Bahrain is three hours ahead of the UK. This passion for football catapulted him in getting selected for the U18s side of Riffa SC, where he spent two years as a professional footballer.
After this, he went to the United States to become a Master of Business Administration from the DePaul University. He got a job in the Bahrain government as the head of finance for the Ministry of Housing. Despite a busy work life, he never gave up his passion for supporting the Merseyside reds and football.
He attained the role of director for the U23s Bahrain national team and later became a board member of Riffa SC. Ahmed Al Khalifa’s first season as a board member witnessed Riffa SC win the league and cup double. Ahmed Al Khalifa’s personal highlight of supporting the reds came in 2007 when he went to see a game at Anfield, sitting in the iconic Kop stand.
Right from boarding the plane to watching his team play in front of his eyes was majestic, capped off by Liverpool thrashing Derby County 6-0. As a lifelong Liverpool fan, Sh. Ahmed Al Khalifa not only has contributed to his club by supporting them but has also brought a welcome change in Bahrain’s football.