Having held the post as Liverpool’s stadium announcer for nearly 50 years, George Sephton has seen and experienced it all, but it was Jurgen Klopp who played a key role in the best moment of his career.
One of Klopp’s greatest qualities is his openness, awareness and his ability to be present in every moment.
From the day the German walked through the doors at Anfield in 2015 he has embraced the club, its values and its people, and he is a breath of fresh air who never fails to brighten the day of any Red.
And while his work on the pitch has seen Liverpool experience an exponential rise to world champions, it is the moments off it which have left the greatest impressions.
For Sephton, Liverpool’s stadium announcer since 1971, there was only one moment which immediately came to mind when he considered his fondest memory at the club away from the field of play.
“That’s easy,” Sephton told This Is Anfield. “The place is strange now since I’ve moved my office over to the far side of the ground as I don’t mingle with people, I don’t get to meet many people that way. But the best moment of my career was when Jurgen turned up.
“I was standing there and Jurgen went past and I said to someone I must say hello, so I followed him up the stairs.
“I said ‘excuse me, Klopp’ and he turns and is looking at me with quizzical eyes and I just held my hand out and said: ‘I’d just like to introduce myself, my name is George-’ and that’s as far as it got. His eyes lit up, ‘oh yes you are the famous Voice of Anfield’.
“And I was completely and utterly gobsmacked and I’m not often speechless, but I was speechless. He bowed and shook my hand at the same time and that’s another surreal moment – you just think it doesn’t get any better than this.
“I told him, ‘Welcome to Anfield, hope it all goes well, good luck and great to have you’ – all the usual stuff and then he wandered off.
“I walked down towards three stewards and two of them were as stunned as I was but the third came over and said ‘I’m full-time with the club, I work at Melwood during the week and come here on match days. That guy has been here six days and he knows everyone’s name, not just the players, but the tea lady, the office cat, security men, the fella that sweeps up the dressing room – everybody.’
“He said Brendan Rodgers was here three years and still doesn’t know my name.
“That is Jurgen Klopp in a nutshell, that’s why everybody loves him. He’s the ultimate people person.”
It is that natural search for connection and desire to embrace everyone which has created a deep sense of inclusivity and family within the club.
There is no greater knowledge to have than to confidently feel that you are valued and Klopp excels in this arena, forging a unique connection with everyone he comes into contact with.
And as George aptly said, “that’s why everybody loves him.”
* Stay tuned to read more from George on This Is Anfield in the coming days, and you can follow him on Twitter @VoiceOfAnfield.