A Texan drawl is not often heard in inner city Liverpool pubs. However, in a pub full of Scouse accents it would be just a little conspicuous. So it was at approximately 6.00pm on Saturday afternoon, an hour after Liverpool's 3-2 victory over Middlesborough, that a smiling American entered the Sandon pub.
Tom Hicks Jnr., son of you know who, thought it would be a bright idea to talk to the fans in a pub whose history is entwined with that of Liverpool FC. If it was an attempted PR stunt, it backfired. Badly.
Whether by accident or design, the Liverpool Echo's dedicated correspondent for the club, Tony Barrett, was there to witness the moment that Texan corporate-speak ran straight up against Scouse ire:
Barrett notes that the "lying bastard" chants directed at Hicks Jnr. aren't warranted, yet points out that "as his father's representative at Anfield on Saturday it borders on the inexplicable that he could have expected anything other than the 'welcome' he was given..........It was ugly and it was nasty. And, perhaps worst of all it was all so avoidable."
Initially, it seeemed as though a penchant for close questioning was to be evident in the pub:
"One fan took it upon himself to press Hicks junior on what was going on and interrogated him Paxman-style for a full five minutes."
However, the mood in the pub soon became aggresive. Somebody spat in Hicks' direction (classy) & a glass of lager was thrown over him (think of the ale, lads!). Whereupon the minders rushed him out of a now seething pub & into his SUV which sped away.
It should go without saying that the actions of some idiots should be condemned. However, Hicks was either dangerously naive, or cynically trying to engineer a situation which would reflect badly on Liverpool fans. If it was the latter, he warrants as much execration as the less than sober individuals wearing red in the Sandon pub.