As a Liverpool fan, this season is ecstasy. But nothing beats a last-minute goal | Hannah Jane Parkinson

It is the high-octane situations that make sport so thrilling

I am a happy bunny, football-wise. As a homegrown and lifelong Liverpool supporter, the extraordinary season my club is having is nothing short of ecstasy. I am unfortunate enough to have been born just as our period of domination ended, and I have had to suffer fierce rivals Manchester United lording it over us in the league (and overtaking us in number of league titles won) ever since. As I write this, Liverpool are 22 points clear at the top of the table. By the time you read this, it might well be more.

Last season, we lost the league by a single point. We had one Premier League defeat over the entire run – to Manchester City, who did win the title. That game is the perfect example of the incredibly thin margins that matches, in any sport, can hinge on. Liverpool lost 2-1. A deflection off a City player went into the goal, but was judged not to have wholly crossed the line. We didn’t just lose the league by one point; we lost it by one centimetre.

It is high-octane situations such as these that make sport so thrilling. The heart leaping at the umpire’s call. The sweaty palms waiting to see which colour card a referee will brandish. But my God; nothing beats the last minute – sometimes the last second – winning goal. In 2012, City became champions in not just the last minute of the game, but the last minute of the entire league. The 94th minute, in fact. The jubilation for those fans!

We love sport because it takes us out of ourselves. It builds communities and forges connections. It entertains. Though it can bring us hot tears of frustration, it can also bring us immense pleasure. A milisecond of time in return for a gigantic triumph, conduited by a 20-year-old local lad. Or perhaps a kid from the other side of the world, who honed his or her skills in rotting trainers and made it out against all the odds. What could be more soul-lifting?

Many of Liverpool’s goals this season have come last-ditch, preserving our (thus far) unbeaten record. It’s a similar feeling to sliding on to a train just as the doors are closing. Or running, shoes and lungs pounding, to catch a bus – and making it. Or hitting a deadline with moments to spare. I can’t scientifically explain why this is so much more satisfying than achieving something in good time, but maybe it’s the excitement of living on the edge. And what could be more exciting than a football rippling the back of the net, when all appears lost?

Contributor

Hannah Jane Parkinson

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
‘Have you ever been handcuffed?’ – why nothing beats an ‘overheard’ | Hannah Jane Parkinson
I recommend keeping one’s head up to catch other people’s nuggets of intrigue, comedy or shock

Hannah Jane Parkinson

08, Nov, 2019 @7:00 AM

Article image
When it’s cold and wet, nothing beats the smug snugness of being inside
I love the bouncing of hailstones off sitting room windowpanes, muffled by curtains drawn against the winter dark

Hannah Jane Parkinson

10, Jan, 2020 @7:00 AM

Article image
Clean, crisp bedding brings comfort like nothing else | Hannah Jane Parkinson
Research shows fresh sheets improve sleep (and even our romantic lives)

Hannah Jane Parkinson

09, Feb, 2019 @9:00 AM

Article image
There's nothing like the full-body slam-dunk of cold-water swimming | Hannah Jane Parkinson
It’s the sensation of a sedentary life cracking wide open

Hannah Jane Parkinson

19, Jan, 2019 @9:00 AM

Article image
’Tis the season of hangovers – and I’ve found the perfect cure | Hannah Jane Parkinson
Forget IV drips and fancy supplements. An all-day breakfast costs only £5 and is easily accessible

Hannah Jane Parkinson

22, Nov, 2019 @7:00 AM

Article image
In our divided age, nothing makes me happier than changing my mind | Hannah Jane Parkinson
Reasoned discussion is a pleasure, and coming to a different view doesn’t always indicate fair-weather flimsiness

Hannah Jane Parkinson

09, Oct, 2020 @6:00 AM

Article image
This column will bring you inspiration to get through the day
JB Priestley celebrated the everyday in 1949. I, too, will bring flowers in a tangle of weeds

Hannah Jane Parkinson

27, Oct, 2018 @8:00 AM

Article image
I crave great big gulps of fresh air – how do I leave this clogged-up city? | Hannah Jane Parkinson
I love the wind whipping up the salty ether of the Cumbrian coast

Hannah Jane Parkinson

10, Nov, 2018 @9:00 AM

Article image
I’m obsessed with property websites. I’m not buying – this is pure escapism | Hannah Jane Parkinson
Cute bungalows in Pembrokeshire or £2m London townhouses, property porn is a sticking plaster on the wound of news

Hannah Jane Parkinson

29, Mar, 2019 @7:00 AM

Article image
In this climate of make do and mend, I love fixing things | Hannah Jane Parkinson
My solutions aren’t exactly kosher, but I don’t care a jot

Hannah Jane Parkinson

13, Dec, 2019 @7:00 AM