‘A huge loss’: football fans on Jürgen Klopp’s departure from Liverpool

<span>Jürgen Klopp wearing a 'Thank You Luv' hoodie following his final match as <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Liverpool;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Liverpool</a> manager.</span><span>Photograph: <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Wolverhampton Wanderers;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Wolverhampton Wanderers</a> FC/Wolves/Getty Images</span>

As Jürgen Klopp leaves Liverpool after nine years at the helm, fans have been reflecting on his tenure at the club. The coach delivered Liverpool their first league title in a generation, as well as creating countless memories on the way to securing another European Cup.

As he waved goodbye to Anfield one final time on Sunday, Guardian readers told us about their enduring memories of Klopp – as well as their hopes for the future under new manager Arne Slot.

‘He gave absolutely everything’

Klopp announcing his departure was one of those “I’ll always remember where I was when I heard the news” moments – up there with Elvis dying and Kenny Dalglish stepping down. I was in a Tesla with my cousin between Ilkley and Leeds for what it’s worth. Honestly, I feel glad for him.

He’s been truly transformative for the club but, more than that, he just fitted in so well with the city and the fans’ mindset. He gave absolutely everything, is the definition of authenticity and, as a result, looks absolutely exhausted. It has been an honour to see him at work and to see and feel the impact he’s had.

It’s very hard to compare managers in different eras and I would struggle to rank all the Liverpool managerial greats. But the way he completely changed the mentality of the club from accepting failure to expecting success and demanding everything from everyone was Shankly-esque. Like Bill Shankly, his impact will be felt for years to come. Liam McCormack, 60, New York

‘It’s a huge loss to the club and city’

It’s a huge loss to the club but also the city. Klopp has been so much more than a football manager. He seems to have such belief in the good of people and a drive to do the right thing by others. His humour and intelligence when talking about matters beyond football truly inspire me.

In Liverpool you can pretty much buy anything in a shop with his face or name on it. He is bigger than, and will be missed more than, any of the players we have had in his nine years. Supporting the club in that time has been nothing short of a pleasure. To go to Anfield under his watch you always expected to see a great performance and that can’t be said of a lot of teams. Nathan, Liverpool

‘We would all love a Klopp hug’

I adore Klopp as do my family and in particular my late mother. He has brought, joy, drama and much happiness to all of us. We would all love a Klopp hug. Can you imagine what that would feel like? I saw that first press conference and most of the ones since. He is so charismatic and has transformed the club, the game and the lives of many. I can’t thank him enough. LFC will never be the same again. Thank you Jürgen. On Arne Slot [it’s] hard to say; he could be the ideal replacement. He seems to be a nice guy with a similar style. Although I can’t help but think Alonso is waiting in the wings. Ann Liggett, 60, Nottingham

‘He got us as a city and a club’

Jürgen leaving has killed my enthusiasm for Premier League football. He’s not just a magnificent manager leaving but a wonderful man who, as corny as it sounds, “got” us as a city and as a club. He was almost like a beacon for me as I struggled to align my own beliefs with the [large amounts of] money involved in football.

I will be forever grateful for what he has done for the club. He is and will always be the boss. I hope Slot does well obviously but he’s no Klopp. He seems like a decent fit and person but not sure it’s enough to keep my already faltering love of football going. Les Dunn, 38, ICT technical analyst, Liverpool

‘I’m looking forward to the change’

It’s been a special time. The bond the manager has with us all, I feel like he’s my best friend and mentor even though he has no idea I exist. His press conferences alone made him the perfect Liverpool manager. He’s built a unique connection with the city and supporters that will be difficult to replace.

The memories and moments almost mean more than the trophies. He built a fallen giant into a team that genuinely terrified Europe. He’s downed Bayern, Barcelona, Manchester City, Inter and many other top teams across the continent. The fact he was quicker to win the Champions League in England than Pep Guardiola says it all really.

I’m looking forward to the change; the team needs fresh impetus. There are a lot of good young players who will need a chance and we have Champions League football next season, which will allow the club to invest a little bit more. It’s exciting. Joe Turnbull, 27, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne

‘I’m delighted for him’

It feels very strange now that we’ve all had time to mourn it. We’re going from having Klopp, to simply having a football manager again and I don’t even recall what that felt like. Our success on the pitch has obviously been fantastic but it now feels almost secondary to having had him as our manager all this time. It’s an exhausting experience being a football fan, and I cannot even begin to imagine being a manager who cares so sincerely for his club, the fans and the city they represent.

Shocking as it was when he announced he would leave, I’m now delighted for him that he’s had the strength of mind to let himself leave and relax without such a weight on his shoulders. I’m very hopeful about Slot. There’s no point trying to figure out if his team will be successful at this point, so it’s more about seeing if he’s the kind of man that we can get on with. Lee Jones, 40, works in software development, Liverpool

‘I remember when winning titles was just fantasy’

There are some who are saying things have got a bit stale and it’s time, but they’re just fooling themselves. I’m remember times when winning Premier Leagues and European Cups was just a fantasy. The base level of quality and expectation that Klopp has established is still pinch-me stuff.

I’m worried that his good work with young players and newer signings might go out of the window when he and his staff are gone. We as fans need to be very mindful of taking the standards Klopp has set for granted. I’m still not used to expecting to win away from Anfield the majority of the time but hopefully Slot can continue Klopp’s legacy. Matthew Hockey, 43, Isle of Wight

‘He will have a statue soon enough’

I live in France but all my family is from Liverpool. I’d been a Liverpool fan by default but hadn’t felt the passion I now feel about the club. That came through Jürgen, with his witty approach to interviews and mad touchline celebrations.

His personal relationships with players, investment in the academy and approach to the transfer window felt like a step away from the flashy, throw-cash-at-the-problem football world. The number of trophies he’s won during his time as manager doesn’t translate the amazing memories he’s provided.

I don’t think any Liverpool fan will ever forget the Barcelona semi-final. It’s difficult to realise he’s leaving, but he’s left a real legacy and will have a statue soon enough. Eleanor, 25, from France

‘I called my dad, sobbing, when we won the title’

When Brendan Rodgers left, we had high hopes – seemingly impossible hopes – that Klopp would choose us. But he did, and we celebrated. For some reason, we knew this was the turning point. For the next few seasons, we saw wonderful things.

I called my dad, sobbing, when we won the title. I couldn’t believe it had finally happened. I also couldn’t believe it was the season of a global pandemic and I couldn’t see my dad – he was too high-risk. I wanted to share that moment with him. To hear the joy in his voice, the sheer thrill of it – it was like he was better again.

My dad died last year. I think of each match without him – especially if it’s a team we rarely play, or a night in Europe. Jürgen Klopp has given everything to Liverpool, any fan can see that. Danke, Jürgen. Daniel Thompson, 28, Liverpool

‘He delivered after so many before him failed’

I have mixed emotions; he was the man who finally delivered the league after so many before him failed. However, the timing feels right for all parties. The players look exhausted and the way we’ve tailed off this season is alarming.

Some will say “he only won one title in nine years” but ask Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea fans if they would take that plus the other trophies and they’d bite off your hand.

It’s a free hit for Arne Slot really. No one is expecting much. If he can come in and challenge for the top four then that’s all I’d realistically expect. It will be an interesting summer with comings and goings and contracts up for renewal. As long as we are entertaining to watch then that’ll do me. Lee, Northern Ireland

‘Klopp and Liverpool were perfect for one another’

It’s sad but I am grateful. It seems like the right time to go; nine years of intense pressure must take its toll. He’s been amazing, not just for the football he’s given us, but for his community spirit and generosity. He was perfect for us and Liverpool was perfect for him. We’ll miss each other. I don’t know much about Slot, but have read encouraging articles from those who do. We wish him all the best, but as Jürgen says, it’s more important what you feel about someone when they leave, rather than when they arrive. Anonymous, 63, from Liverpool