Diehard Liverpool fan Ben Tollitt had the distinct pleasure of watching his beloved Pool Boys in person yesterday during a preseason friendly against Tranmere. In the match, the Reds’ beleaguered, error-prone keeper Loris Karius once again bungled a pretty routine save and gave up an easy goal. Tollitt was so dismayed by this mistake that he appears to have shouted, “You’re fucking shit” in Karius’s direction.
Now, Tollitt’s presence in the stadium and his reaction to the boner would’ve made him just like the many other Liverpool fans in attendance—absent the fact that Tollitt was actually right there on the pitch with Karius, because he plays for Tranmere.
The play in question came with Liverpool leading the Tranmere Rovers, who compete in England’s fourth-tier league, by a score of 3-0. With a free kick in a fairly dangerous area, Tranmere’s Ollie Norburn fired a hard and straight shot right at Karius. For some reason Karius tried to catch this powerful blast rather than parry it safely away. The shot came in too hot to catch, though, and instead of snagging it, the keeper saw it bounce off his chest and fall squarely into the path of Jonny Smith, who slipped it into the back of the net.
In the video of the play, you can see all of this, and you can see what looks like Tollitt following up with Karius about his mistake in ruthless fashion:
You’d think a Tranmere player would be more concerned with celebrating the goal than barring up the opposing keeper, but then you wouldn’t understand who Tollitt is. Before the match, Tollitt sat for an interview with the Liverpool Echo where he explained his lifelong fanatical passion for Liverpool FC and how ecstatic he was to get to compete against his boyhood club:
“I’ve been a massive fan all my life. I grew up in Anfield, I still live there now, and you can see the ground from my house, you can hear the songs being sung before the games, and my family have got season tickets, so it will be amazing if I can get some minutes.
“It was unbelievable watching them last season, I loved it, and I believe we’re very, very close to being a very, very good team and winning trophies.
“It’s great to watch Mo Salah and Sadio Mane. They’re not going to be there on Tuesday, as they’ve only just finished playing at the World Cup, but some of the other players are just as good, and it will be some experience.”
Kudos for the 23-year-old Tollitt, who just three years ago was fitting windows with his dad for a living, for realizing what I assume were his two big dreams in life: making it as a professional soccer player, and being the most dedicated, uncompromising Liverpool fan in the world.