You know what it’s like: no matter where you grew up in the world, there’s a chance that there was kids in the school playground wearing the replica shirts of Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal – regardless of their geographical location.
These famous clubs just have a certain pull on people – they win lots of trophies, which always helps when selecting which football team to support, but there’s a chance to be involved in a huge community of fellow fans; more appealing to some than the rather more niche pursuits of Accrington Stanley and co.
In that spirit, there’s plenty of famous Liverpool FC supporters around the globe who have absolutely no connection to Merseyside – they have simply nominated themselves as Reds fans for their own personal reasons.
So here’s a look at some of Liverpool’s most famous – and/or unlikely – fans.
Sadly no longer with us, former South African president and humanitarian Nelson Mandela was known to be a fervent follower of Liverpool’s results.
He confirmed as much when the Reds’ players and coaching staff were invited over to South Africa just a month after Mandela was inaugurated as the country’s first president – he revealed he was a ‘lifelong fan’.
There’s the famous photograph of Mandela modelling his signed 1990s Candy shirt, presented to him by John Barnes, which now takes pride of place in a museum dedicated to the anti-apartheid leader.
There’s a mural dedicated to Mandela in Toxteth, which shows that the good feeling between the iconic politician and the city was mutual.
Pope John Paul II
Liverpool fans have always shared a god – a chap by the name of Robbie Fowler, but Pope John Paul II found it within his heart to pray at the altar of two deities: Fowler and Jesus Christ, in no particular order.
Yes, the Pope – who sadly passed away in 2005 – was a Liverpool FC supporter….according to one of the club’s former players, at least.
Jerzy Dudek, who won the Champions League with the Reds in 2005 and the FA Cup a year later, claims to have enjoyed an audience with the Pope in 2004.
Revealing that the young John Paul had played in goal himself as a youth, Dudek has claimed:
“I spoke to a couple of guys who are very close to the Pope, and they told me he is always watching our games and he is always thinking of me when Liverpool play.”
He must have summoned up some divine inspiration for the Miracle in Istanbul….
There is some conjecture that suggests Brad Pitt is not as big a Liverpool fan as has been rumoured.
— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) November 8, 2014
But the Fight Club and Se7en actor has been quoted by the official Liverpool FC website as saying that it is indeed the Reds that are his true love – rather than Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie and co.
“I have some friends who are very close to Liverpool, so if I went another way I might be disowned,” said Pitt.
Not a statement dripping in passion and fervour.
Ironically, Jolie herself claims to be a Liverpool fan – she filmed the Tomb Raider film not far away in North Wales, and her son Maddox was once treated at the Alder Hey hospital.
Samuel L Jackson
While Pitt is a member of Hollywood royalty whose Reds credentials can be questioned, there’s no doubting Samuel L Jackson’s love of the club and the city.
You may remember the film The 51st State, which was partly filmed on Merseyside and starred Jackson alongside the likes of Liverpool’s own Ricky Tomlinson and Stephen Walters.
It was while on set that Jackson formed his love for the city – and the football club.
“That happened because I shot a film there and I had never been to a proper football game until I got to Liverpool,” he recalled.
“That was like my first football experience so that’s why particularly I am a Liverpool fan, that was my introduction to football and I spent a lot of time in the stadium singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.”
What do Liam Neeson, Dr Dre and Adam ‘Ian Beale’ Woodyatt all have in common? Lots, probably, but the most pertinent of their shared experiences is that they are all Liverpool fans.
But the last place on our list goes to James Bond actor Daniel Craig, who was left shaken and stirred by trips to Anfield in his formative years.
Craig is a genuine Reds buff, attending games when his work schedule allows and worshipping a 007 of his own in Kenny Dalglish.
In 2018, Craig was even invited into the Liverpool dressing room before an International Champions Cup fixture in America, which the Reds went on to win 2-1.