LIVERPOOL FC manager Jürgen Klopp has been awarded the Freedom of Liverpool.
At a special ceremony at Liverpool Town Hall, the civic honour of Freedom of the City has been bestowed on Jürgen Klopp.
On receiving the honour, Jürgen Klopp said: “I have to be honest, when I first heard this news I had to take a minute to take it in. As you can imagine, I get a lot of different types of news in my job but this was definitely a ‘Wow’ moment.
“The main reason for this was what Liverpool, the city and its wonderful people, mean to me and my family. The welcome that we have been given has been unbelievable from the word go, so to get this kind of recognition is incredible. It is also very humbling.
“Obviously, I am not from Liverpool so there will be countless people who know more about the history than I do but I actually already knew a little bit about this award. This was because earlier this year it was granted to Andrew Devine, someone who we all had an enormous amount of love for, along with the other 96 victims of Hillsborough.
“I also know that Sir Kenny Dalglish has received the Freedom of the City previously so if my name is listed alongside those and all of the other recipients that makes the honour even more special.
“So to everyone who made this possible – thank you. You have made my family and myself so, so proud to know that the bond we have with this wonderful city has been made even stronger and will now stay for ever.”
In attendance at the ceremony were the Mayor of Liverpool, the Lord Mayor and fellow Freeman and LFC legend Sir Kenny Dalglish, as was Margaret Aspinall, Chair of the Hillsborough Family Support group.
Born in Stuttgart in 1967, Jürgen is a former professional footballer who spent most of his playing career at Mainz 05 before becoming the club’s manager in 2001.
He was appointed Liverpool manager in 2015 and has guided the club to great success, winning the UEFA Champions League in 2019, and taking the club to another two finals in 2018 and 2022, as well winning the Premier League title for the first time in 2019/20.
In the 2021/22 season the club won both the FA Cup and the EFL cup, narrowly missing out an unprecedented quadruple of trophies. In recognition of these achievements, Jürgen won FIFA Coach of the Year awards in 2019 and 2020.
Away from the pitch, Jürgen is also a Liverpool Football Club Foundation Ambassador and regularly takes part in fundraising events, helping to raise thousands of pounds for local charities such as Alder Hey Children’s Charity and the Side by Side programme, delivered with global children’s charity Right to Play.
Last year alone, the LFC Foundation supported 83,000 people, almost two thirds of those coming from the most deprived areas in the United Kingdom and delivered £8m into the local economy…and nearly £25 million in health benefits.
Liverpool’s Liberal Democrat leader Councillor Richard Kemp nominated Jürgen Klopp to receive the Freedom of the City. Mr Klopp is the third LFC manager to receive the honour, alongside Sir Kenny Dalglish and Bob Paisley.
Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Roy Gladden said: “When Jürgen Klopp joined Liverpool Football Club in 2015 it was said he was a perfect fit for the club, and he has certainly proved that BUT he is also a perfect fit for the city of Liverpool!
“Jürgen has so many traits of a true scouser, humour, loyalty, determination, pride, and standing up for his own community – as we saw after the events of the Champions League final in Paris. He is a true man of the people. And his bond with the fans has very strong echoes of the great Bill Shankly.
“This honour is not only for Jürgen’s contribution to football and the great success his team has enjoyed, but also his contribution to the community and to the numerous charities he supports.”
Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson said: “Jürgen Klopp has completely won the hearts of the people of Liverpool since arriving here. He has built a unique and special bond not just with the club’s fans, but with the city as a whole, consistently showing his rare characteristics of humanity, humility, and warmth.
“Jürgen has instilled a real feeling of pride in the team, and indeed across Liverpool. He is a fanastic global ambassador of Liverpool and has been pivotal in promoting a positive image of our city that has echoed across the world.
“As Mayor, people always ask me who I support, Everton or Liverpool. The truth is, I’m not a football fan, but I do love Jürgen Klopp. He holds an affinity with the city’s politics, having regularly used his platform to speak out on social inequalities and on protecting each other during Covid. He has spoken out to defend the welfare state and he powerfully spoke up for the fans after the debacle at the Stade De France in May.
“Back in 2007, long before he came to our city, Jürgen said that he see’s life as a chance to leave a tiny piece of land a little more beautiful than how you first find it. Well, today, Liverpool is a lot more beautiful because of what he has done for us.”