On November 14, 2016, the Liverpool-based events company 5times brought Jamie Carragher to Toronto’s Opera House for an evening of football stories. Eric Anderton was there, and graciously gave us a quick rundown on what these events entail. Here’s Eric:
The occasionally rowdy pockets of the crowd fall silent as Sky Sports presenter Pete Graves prompts former Liverpool vice-captain Jamie Carragher about the famous half-time team talk in Istanbul. What was going through the defender’s mind? What did manager Rafael Benitez tell his men that night in May 2005?
I won’t spoil the details, partly because that’s the tradeoff for these events. If you could find these stories on YouTube, the evening would loses some of its lustre. After all, that is what 5 Times Co. brings to Liverpool supporters around the world. An opportunity to hear stories from some of the most respected names in the club’s history.
Last year Toronto’s Liverpudlian faction were privy to the wit and banter of Robbie Fowler, Dietmar Hamann and Jason McAteer. The trio spent the evening reminiscing, while also perpetually taking the mickey out of the other two. This time around it was a one-on-one session with the one-club-man who made the number 23 famous at Anfield.
Fans who opted for the meet-and-greet ticket upgrade were able to enter The Opera House earlier than the rest to shake hands and grab a photo and autograph from Carra. Next to the bar was a selection of kits and photographs signed not only by Carragher but also the likes of Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso. All of the above was either for sale or up for grabs as a raffle prize, with further memorabilia doled out in an auction during the intermission.
5 Times Co. and Jamie Carragher’s 23 Foundation tour the globe with events and prizes like these with a dual purpose. Part of the deal of course allows Liverpool supporters on Merseyside and abroad an opportunity to interact with club legends. At the same time, it is all in the name of giving back, raising funds for charitable causes important to the players involved. As with Fowler, Hamann, and McAteer, Carragher details his time traversing the Liverpool youth system and earning his first senior team call ups for club and country. Touching on the “Spice Boys” era, the treble in 2001, Istanbul, and his thoughts on Jürgen Klopp’s current setup with the Reds, the conversations elaborate beyond the contents of his autobiography.
With Toronto having hosted 5 Times Co. events in back to back years, here’s to hoping for more of the same in the years to come.