Playing with Rush & coffee with Rodgers as Liverpool fans reminisce on Melwood

With Liverpool leaving Melwood after seven decades and moving into their new training ground in Kirkby, fans, journalists and staff have all shared their memories.

The club officially handed over the keys to their historic training ground on Tuesday, with transformation group Torus taking over to develop socially responsible housing on the site.

It is a strange day for Liverpool, but they are moving forwards as they head to the AXA Training Centre in Kirkby, following a £50 million redevelopment of the old academy facility.

Jurgen Klopp and his squad will resume training later this month, initially with a reduced group due to the international break, with the move allowing the first team a closer link to the youth ranks.

Players both past and present have already paid tribute to Melwood on social media, and this has been followed by a host of fans, journalists and staff, who have reminisced about their experiences with the Reds at the training ground.

For The Athletic’s James Pearce, this included dodging tackles from Ian Rush and interviewing Klopp in his office, while This Is Anfield’s David Lynch, formerly a club journalist, expressed his sadness at not being able to visit one last time:

Chris McLoughlin, columnist for This Is Anfield and writer for the Liverpool FC Magazine and the matchday programme, echoed Lynch’s sentiment and added “I’ve been lucky to visit for the last 20 years”:

The moment is certainly a sad one for the family of Bill Shankly, as his granddaughter wrote:

Liverpool’s digital video editor Nikki Dyer relived the journey from “looking through the gaps in the wall, to getting to go inside as part of my job”:

Supporters Greg McLean, Gareth Ellis and Aman Singh looked back to a time when it was easier for supporters to meet their heroes:

This did still extend to recent years in some instances, with Decky Valentine reminiscing on an invitation for coffee from then-manager Brendan Rodgers:

It may, for all intents and purposes, just have been a training ground, but Melwood has been the bedrock of Liverpool Football Club since the 1950s, and the memories made are priceless.

Hopefully, the club will be able to maintain that connection with the fans upon the move to the Kirkby site, with Klopp eager to ensure it is a “really special place,” just like Melwood.

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