As the clocked ticked over past the 95th minute at Ashton Gate in Bristol on Sunday, the referee lifter her whistle to her lips and blew for full time. The Liverpool FC Women’s players leapt with joy and stormed the field, feeling the exaltation and sweet relief of not just winning the match, but mathematically clinching the FA Women’s Championship title and promotion back into the Women’s Super League (after years of neglect and mismanagement from the club saw the team relegate two years ago).
Captain Niamh Fahey, who scored the opening salvo on the day, was handed a replica trophy made by one of the traveling Liverpool fans and did an impromptu trophy lift to the joy of all watching.
Getting that trophy lifting practice in early pic.twitter.com/TFFnb5I58g— Liverpool FC Women (@LiverpoolFCW) April 4, 2022
Afterwards, Fahey spoke to Liverpoolfc.com, discussing just how tight-knit the squad was this season.
“It’s what [manager Matt Beard] Beardy said all along, it’s family. We’ve been a family this year. We’ve had some tough times off the pitch and every little moment of difficulty we’ve been there for each other and it’s such a tight group. I know Leanne Kiernan’s mother comes over and she always says, ‘I love it, I love Liverpool’ because everyone has a warmth and friendliness about them. I think the girls have fed into that ethos of the club and it’s just been an absolute pleasure every day to go and work with the group we have there.”
Fahey is no stranger to success. She’s been on top flight title winning teams with Arsenal and Chelsea, and has been a part of 5 FA Cup trophies as well. For the Irishwoman, however, winning a trophy with Liverpool this season was a top experience for her.
“It’s right up there – to do it with the club I’ve supported since I was a young girl. And going through some tough times and feeling those disappointments was very hard, but then now to have the feel-good factor and winning a trophy with the club is fantastic for me personally. As a club, we’re on the right trajectory – that’s the most important thing.”
Fahey’s experience and leadership have been immense for a club that has been in turmoil and transition before this season. While her influence in the dressing room and on the field has been undeniable, she has been the one who felt honored to be the captain of the side who found its way back to the top flight.
“Being captain gives you that sense of ownership and responsibility, I enjoy that. This club means a lot to me and to actually be captain of this group and leading this group of girls has been such an honour.”
She also made sure to comment on the sensational support from the Reds fans who have been with the quad every step of the way, with many making the trip to Bristol to see the club clinch the title.
“I said to a couple of fans, ‘Thank you for sticking with us’. It’s not every set of fans who are like our fans that are there for us in the bad times. They followed us the length and breadth of the country this season. They’re definitely our 12th man. They’ve pushed us when we’ve been under the cosh – Charlton away, for instance – they kept cheering us on and getting us over the line. I’m delighted for them. They deserve to have this moment as much as us.”
Niamh Fahey and the rest of the squad can now sit back and relax for just a little while as they await their return to Prenton Park and the official trophy presentation. Well, the rest of the squad can relax. Fahey still has to figure out her official trophy lift style. It sound like there by be some tippy taps in her future.
“Missy Bo [Kearns] has me down for the Hendo shuffle. I don’t know, but she has that already so I’ll probably just make her happy and go for that!”