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Israeli fans shared my Liverpool joy

After a restful Passover break in Israel, I came home ready for the business end of the Maccabi football season. That was until Tuesday’s night’s epic Champions League game at the Etihad – when I was hit by a late and rare dose of pre-match nerves.

    I had watched the first leg at Mike’s Place in Tel Aviv – where there was a fairly even spread of fellow Liverpool supporters and the blue side of Manchester. A near-perfect performance at Anfield set us up nicely for the return leg, but when Jesus converted a cross in the first minute, I feared the worst.

    I said a little prayer at the Kotel the day before the first match, and am thankful they were answered. The locals were shouting “Liverpool” and high-fiving my son all the way back to the hotel – the Reds are arguably the most popular English club in Israel, having featured Avi Cohen, Ronny Rosenthal and Yossi Benayoun over the years.

    Throughout my stay, I managed to maintain a good fitness regime, in preparation for the Maccabi GB Community Fun Run, combining the outdoor gyms along the beach with jogs from Jaffa to the Old Port in Tel Aviv at the crack of dawn, before the heat became too overpowering.

    Upon my return, my family prepared to welcome a new addition to the household. I took a lot of convincing before agreeing to purchase a dog. My only request was that I had naming rights. So Shankly got a ringside view of my rollercoaster of emotions as Liverpool moved into the semi-finals.

    *As we went to press, rumours were circulating that Redbridge Jewish Care could concede their MGBSFL Premier Division match against Hendon United due to a number of stone-settings. The league declined the club’s request to reschedule the fixture which would mean Hendon would be crowned champions without playing.

    Update: I can confirm the league has rearranged this weekend's fixtures, with Hendon now playing title rivals Oakwood A.

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