Liverpool FC and Taylor Swift helped me to find my future wife and now we’re seeing her at Anfield

Taylor Swift performs at Groupama Stadium on June 02, 2024 in Lyon, France.
-Credit: (Image: John Shearer/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

“And isn’t it just so pretty to think all along there was some invisible string tying you to me.” - Invisible String, Taylor Swift

When I first started writing about Liverpool, I didn’t think I’d ever pen what is essentially a love story. But then my love story would not have been possible without writing about Liverpool.

Perhaps it would have been possible without Taylor Swift, but she also plays a surprisingly prominent role in the most unlikely of tales. And when she comes to Liverpool to perform at Anfield shortly, I will be attending with my fiancée, Alice, in what will be a perfect full-circle moment.

Alice and I met online. But while any stigma around that has started to melt away, this was not the increasingly prevalent dating app romance. We met on another app: Twitter, as it was then called.

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In a wholly uncharacteristic move, I ‘slid into the DMs’, so to speak, after Alice had tweeted about a rough day. This was the height of the pandemic, and she was a key worker in the NHS.

I still can’t entirely explain what made me do it, although I could hardly fail to notice that she was very attractive — I’d like to think my motives were pure at that point, as I let her know she could always reach out, although it’s not as though I was playing the role of Good Samaritan to everyone I vaguely knew on the internet.

We had interacted on Twitter before, with Liverpool Football Club at the heart of our few brief exchanges. She had read some of the things I had written, which was why she had followed me in the first place, and we’d had a good-natured disagreement about the legacy Philippe Coutinho left behind when he forced a move to Barcelona.

That grounding made conversation easy once we got chatting more regularly. Alice introduced me to a game where we used Taylor Swift lyrics to sum up Liverpool performances — I offered ‘in my defense I have none’ as injuries took hold in Jürgen Klopp’s back line that season!

There was no need for me to furiously listen to Swift’s back catalog in order to participate. As it happened, this was another shared love of ours.

We spoke more about that, and stumbled upon an unlikely coincidence. At that point, Alice and I were living at different ends of the country, in Durham and Maidenhead (no, not the place in Kent, that’s Maidstone) respectively. Yet in 2015, both of us had been to the same Taylor Swift show in London, both going with our sisters to watch a leg of the 1989 Tour in Hyde Park.

Little did I know that five-and-a-half years, a law degree and a journalism course later, I would be travelling up four hours on the train to meet someone who had been in that crowd. We danced in the kitchen to Taylor Swift and I didn’t go home for three days.

That this extended stay had been planned in advance spoke to our confidence. We had been talking every day for more than a year by then, and we knew that once we let something start, it would be the real thing.

And as friendship turned into something undeniably more than that, we looked back on those previous Twitter exchanges almost as though they were historical artefacts, the earliest evidence of something that would become life-changing.

Sifting through those, it came to light that there had been another extraordinary coincidence. Aside from debates about Coutinho, we had spoken in 2017 about a seemingly unremarkable match, a relatively routine 3-0 win at Anfield over Huddersfield Town. The topic of conversation? Our respective views of the action, at a game we had both attended.

For some, this might not be so astounding. But while both of us are avid Liverpool fans, neither of us have been able to get tickets with any real regularity, least of all to Premier League games. And yet by some twist of fate, this — in a way — was our first match together.

We’ve since been fortunate enough to attend a number of games ‘properly’ together — we’ve been something of a good luck charm, as it happens, with Liverpool winning every time, culminating in the most special of days at Wembley for the League Cup final, where we watched Jürgen Klopp win his last ever trophy at the club. It’s hard not to feel as though someone has been smiling down on us.

At this point, at least if you’re anything like us, you’ll probably have been doing some mental maths about the timeline of this relationship. A first message during the pandemic, and now we’re engaged?

I suppose it was quite quick, but that’s what happens when your first date comes after a year of getting to know each other, watching shows together every night and sharing every detail of each other’s lives. I moved in after just under a year, and I proposed a little over six months after that.

The setting was the Lake District, immortalized in Taylor Swift lyrics — not a specific choice, but another piece in the tapestry all the same. Who ever thought Liverpool, an American singer and an aspiring sports writer would become so deeply intertwined?

So when Swift announced that Anfield would be one of the venues for the Eras Tour, we knew we had to be there. As luck would have it, there was a specific route to tickets through being Liverpool members, a perk to which I admit we felt almost uniquely entitled.

And so, in a few days’ time, we will take up a spot not far away from where I watched the Huddersfield game, oblivious to the fact that my future wife was elsewhere in the ground. And in a few months, we will walk down the aisle to the sound of Taylor Swift.

Taylor, I know you’ve got another leg of the Eras Tour scheduled for the wedding day. But Jürgen, as for you, I’ve just got one question: do you want the roast chicken or the salmon?