Interview with George Sephton: 'Voice of Anfield' + Origin of 'You'll Never Walk Alone'
Updated: Jan 21, 2019
George Sephton has been the stadium announcer since August 14th, 1971
In his time, he's witnessed scores of classic games and crazy incidents. I wanted to have George on for a couple reasons.
First, to talk about how the stadium experience has changed over the last 70 years, lets remember he was a fan before a stadium announcer. How is the atmosphere and the theatre of it all different.
Secondly, I was curious what it was like for someone like him to be a part of a club, the voice of a stadium, and reach so many fans on a weekly basis yet still be a fan and still be an outsider at the club in many ways.
Third, because I have a soft spot for his role. Quick aside, I grew up in New York and my favorite baseball team, the Yankees, which many of you listening have heard of, had a famous stadium announcer. His name was Bob Sheppard, and he was also the organist. Shepard was there for almost sixty years and when you went to the stadium for a game he was part of the experience. His distinctive voice and how he used to introduce the players was part of the ritual. For many of you listening there is a stadium announcer where you live who holds a special place in your heart.
This is the main reason I wanted to do this episode. I'll think you enjoy some of his stories and hopefully gain an appreciation for the man behind the mic in your home stadium, especially now that the season has started.
8:25 European adventures
15:05 Heysel memories
21:36 The origin of You'll Never Walk Alone
32:50 The chaotic Wales World Cup Qualifier in 1998
36:35 Stadium experience in 1970s vs 2010s
44:40 The best game at Anfield that no one remembers
52:22 Stadium experiences around the country
"You can hear me announcing the 6 minutes and you can see Rafa Benitez looking up at me and saying to his coaching staff, 'did he just say 6 minutes?'"
"During my time standing in the Kop there was a real crush. I had my broken ribs twice…"
"I've never seen so much chaos in my life." Discussing the Wales World Cup Qualifier in 1998
"He shouts at me again, do as your told. Then he went off and came back with a Belgian police man with a gun pointing in my direction…I said 'no.'"
"She said, 'it's alright you standing down here, I bet you couldn't do any better."
"The song itself [You'll Never Walk Alone] was written for a musical called Carousel in 1948."
You can follow George on Twitter @VoiceofAnfield