Ian Broudie is one of the few people to have claimed a place in English football history without ever being involved in the game at a professional level – you might remember a little song he did with Frank Skinner and David Baddiel called “Three Lions”, or perhaps erstwhile Goal of the Month theme tune “The Life of Riley”. Now he’s back on the road with his Lightning Seeds, performing across the UK in February – click here for dates and tickets, including what is sure to be an emotional homecoming show at Liverpool O2 Academy on February 11th – so Football Burp caught up with the great man for a quick natter about his beloved Reds…
“…neeeever stopped me dreaming…”
Are you happy with the job Kenny Dalglish is doing at the moment?
I think that Kenny is a hero and that, coming in after not being involved for years, there was always going to be a big learning curve. I don’t think he’s been fortunate with the players that he’s bought – not just Andy Carroll, but a lot of players he’s brought in for big money haven’t really worked out. That happened to Gerard Houllier as well, and it’s tough for a manager in that situation. Hopefully it’ll get better but at the moment it’s a bit horrible to watch. Well, the Stoke and Bolton matches, anyway.
There’s an argument that he should have spent the money on more reasonably priced players from abroad, like Newcastle United have been doing.
Maybe that [buying British] was to do with the changing of the rules? I don’t really understand why they wanted to do that myself. I used to love getting all the Spanish players under Benitez, but even if you kept it English, I saw that Junior Hoilett from Blackburn is available for £5m because his contract’s running out, so they don’t always cost more. I hesitate to blame players because I always think of Lucas, who I didn’t rate for ages but now I think is fantastic. It’s taken him a long, long time to get good, but now he is really good. It’s a difficult situation for clubs because you need players to be good this minute, don’t you?
Do you think Jamie Carragher’s days as an automatic pick are coming to an end?
Well, that’s what’s happening, he’s not first choice anymore. I think he’s still got a lot to contribute – he’s someone who you’d keep around the dressing room, keep around the club, so I don’t think his input is coming to an end, but his role is being redefined.
Do you remember the first game you ever went to?
I do. It was a midweek game against Leeds, would have been the early ‘60s, and the Kop was singing Beatles songs. That was a massive moment for me, very much a musical moment as well as a football moment. It was an occasion, all the colours – the red, the white and the green – the floodlights, all the big blokes singing really loud. It was fantastic.
You must have seen many games over the years. Out of them all, would you be able to pick a personal best and worst?
There are different reasons for things being the best. The best display I ever saw was Liverpool beating Nottingham Forest about 5 or 6-1, the Beardsley and Houghton era. Dalglish may have been the manager then, I can’t remember. I think Brian Clough was managing Forest, and Liverpool trounced them with what I remember being the best football I’ve ever really seen. Then there are the exciting European nights midweek against Chelsea, or some of the United games where it’s really close, but they’re not really enjoyable at the time. They’re retrospectively enjoyable!
Especially some of those almost unbearably tight semi-finals against Chelsea, except for the one that finished 4-2 of course.
Yeah, what’s riding on it – a lot of it is just torture at the time, but then you look back at it and think it’s great.
Any particular lows spring to mind?
Loads! There have been lots of lows, like the time under Gerard Houllier when they never used to go past the halfway line. Bolton last weekend, Stoke the week before. But that’s what being a football fan is – there’s more misery than anything else, isn’t there? It’s funny, but the bad stuff’s just as important as the good stuff.
Finally, if you had to pick a five-a-side team out of all the players you’ve seen in the red jersey, who would you go for?
I think Steven Gerrard’s the greatest player that’s ever played for the club, because he’s played for the club in an era where they’ve been pretty crap a lot of the time and still shone. I think it can be difficult for players to maintain a high standard if the standard around them isn’t that great, whereas when you play with great players it drives you on to excel and pay above yourself, but Steven Gerrard’s almost always been surrounded by inferior players and he’s never let himself drop. He’s always been world class in spite of all that and I think that’s an amazing achievement.
I loved Robbie Fowler, because he’s Robbie Fowler, know what I mean? He was like having a fan on the pitch, and he was a fabulous player. John Barnes was one of the best players I’ve ever seen, and I think he’d be good at five-a-side. I’d have Torres – I loved watching Torres, thought he was fantastic – and Xavi Alonso, so I’m not even going to have a goalie. That team would be so good that it wouldn’t need one!
Ian Broudie, thank you.
The Lightning Seeds will tour the UK in February – click here for a list of dates and links to buy tickets.