Liverpool FC manager Jürgen Klopp has been awarded the Freedom of the City of Liverpool. for his work at the football club and support for local charities. He is the second foreign national to have been bestowed this honour after Nelson Mandela in 1994.
Upon receiving the honour, Klopp spoke beautifully about what it meant to him:
“I have to be honest, when I first heard this news I had to take a minute to take it in. As you can imagine, I get a lot of different types of news in my job but this was definitely a ‘wow’ moment.”
“To get this kind of recognition is incredible. It is also very humbling.”
“Obviously, I am not from Liverpool so there will be countless people who know more about the history than I do but I actually already knew a little bit about this award.”
“This was because earlier this year it was granted to Andrew Devine (the 97th Hillsborough victim who died last year), someone who we all had an enormous amount of love for, along with the other 96 victims of Hillsborough.”
“I also know that Sir Kenny Dalglish has received the Freedom of the City previously so if my name is listed alongside those and all of the other recipients that makes the honour even more special.”
“So to everyone who made this possible – thank you. You have made my family and myself so proud to know that the bond we have with this wonderful city has been made even stronger and will now stay forever.”
Here’s a very sweet video of the boss reflecting on his time in the city.
Lord Mayor of Liverpool Roy Gladden remarked that Klopp had the traits of a “true Scouser”, and commended him for his response to the events in Paris where fans had been tear-gassed by police:
“His actions lifted the spirits of many thousands who had been treated in such a violent and loathsome way. I promise him it will be a long time before this is forgotten.”
Sir Kenny Dalglish also spoke about the impact Klopp has made on the football club, and by extension, the city. At the end of his speech, the King joked:
“I’d just like to say, Jurgen, I know you won’t have understood a word that I have said to you. Being a Liverpool fan and being fortunate enough to work at the club, danke schon.”
A video containing messages of congratulations from players and staff at the club was also played, and contained this gem from captain Jordan Henderson:
“I’ve been told if I get any car park fines you’re the man I need to come to.”
Well deserved, boss. We love you. Now let’s make more beautiful memories together.