Liverpool fans to invade Capital for European crunch

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LIVERPOOL fans have vowed to “paint the town red” in the hours before their Europa League clash with Hearts.

The English side have been allocated 1200 seats at Tynecastle, with several hundred more fans set to travel to the Capital without a ticket.

Les Wright, away fans’ representative on the Liverpool FC Supporters’ Committee, said he expected the majority of visiting supporters to stay for at least one night in the Capital, with excitement ahead of next Thursday’s tie growing on both sides of the Border.

It is hoped that the invading army of Reds fans will provide a timely cash boost to pubs, bars and hotels in the city, with early indications suggesting Fringe attendances may be down this year.

“Edinburgh city centre will be mobbed before the game,” Mr Wright said. “A lot of Liverpool fans will pay whatever it takes to get to the match.

“There will be lots of noise and lots of singing. We’ve still got a hardcore of supporters who haven’t bought into the corporate thing – it’s a 
working-class club with working-class fans and they’ll go to enjoy themselves.

“I think most of our fans will want to stay and enjoy Edinburgh, especially with the Fringe on. I suspect a few hundred will travel up on the Wednesday and head out and paint the town red.”

Mr Wright said Jambos travelling to Merseyside for the return leg on August 30 would be offered a warm welcome by Scousers, who he said had a strong affinity with Scots.

Final details of the allocation of away tickets at Anfield for Hearts fans are still to be revealed, but it is anticipated that the club can expect to receive around 2000 seats. Hearts may then apply for more if there is high demand.

Liverpool revealed yesterday that adult tickets would cost between £12 and £20 in the home end, while children’s tickets will cost £5. It is hoped that the pricing structure will apply to away supporters, although no-one at Liverpool or Hearts would confirm prices last night.

“I would imagine most Hearts fans will jump at the opportunity of coming to Anfield,” Mr Wright added.

“I expect the Hearts fans will be very well received. When we played Aberdeen in the 80s we adopted one of their songs, and we’ve played Rangers and Celtic as well. There’s never been any trouble.

“I would like to think we will win, but we won’t be taking anything for granted. All we want to do is out-sing the Hearts fans – I don’t think there’s much chance of out-drinking them.”

Steven Kilgour, secretary of the Federation of Hearts Supporters, said: “We’re looking forward to mixing with the Liverpool supporters. There’s no need at all for any animosity between us and we’ll get on well, as we have done with fans from across Europe.”