Picture the scene. Liverpool FC have just scored against Toronto FC in one of their meaningless pre-season tour fixtures. Only the hardiest of fans have turned out to see their footy club playing late on a Saturday night in the Fulwood Arms on Aigburth Road.
SevenStreets has decided to skip the Saturday-night madness of Lark Lane and see if rumours of the Fulwood’s decline have been exaggerated. Perhaps they have, it’s certainly rather quiet and there’s a disappointing range of drinks available, but it makes for a welcome change of pace.
There’s something a bit grand guignol about the decor; red velvet curtains covering walls and elaborate, padded wallpaper. There are two large windows looking onto one of the less pleasant bits of Aigburth Road, all concrete and brick walls. The one we’re looking through has grubby hand prints all over it. These are the sort of windows faces look in at.
The handful of people watching the game raise their hands and voices in what is a fairly desultory celebration and we look out of the window on Aigburth Road in boredom.
To see Kenny Dalglish staring mournfully (let’s face it, Dalglish does everything mournfully these days) into the pub, cast in the yellowy light of the suburban artery.
Kenny Dalglish. On Aigburth Road. Staring through the window into the Fulwood Arms. At a TV showing his former club scoring a goal in their pre-season friendly tour.
SevenStreets freezes. It’s one of those moments where you lose touch with reality for a few seconds. Can this really be happening? We fumble to find our glasses for a precious few seconds to confirm that King Kenny is, indeed, creating a moment of aching pathos on a South Liverpool dual carriageway.
When we look up he has gone. Like a villain in a Hollywood thriller, Kenny has departed, seemingly in the wink of an eye. SevenStreets is almost pole-axed by the surreal nature of the preceding few seconds.
We wrestle with the possibilities. Could Dalglish have been out for a walk at 11pm on a Saturday night, miles from home? Could he have been passing through and suddenly caught short – or keen to see how his old team were getting on? Might that explain why we didn’t see him in the pub – presumably he’s keen to avoid such places, especially in Liverpool? Maybe he read our review of Light of Bengal and fancied a tarka dal?
None of it stacks up. We start to question whether we did see the Most Recent Anfield Messiah.
We repair to the bar for another drink. No-one seems moved to comment on the recent appearance of a Liverpool legend in – or outside of – the pub. Perhaps we dreamt it?
And then… something on the bar. A small business card advertising not taxis, conservatories nor ladies of the night. Professional, personal services of an entirely different kind.
The business card of George Connor; professional Kenny Dalglish lookalike.
George is available to “meet and greet, mix and mingle” at birthday parties, store openings, corporate events and nightclub appearances. We look around the pub again but George / Kenny has gone; faded into the night like Banquo’s Ghost.
He may not know it, but his greatest ever performance may be something he may never be aware of.
* Of course, it wasn’t Kenny after all, but it was hard to explain in the title