Dad knew exactly what to tell Jurgen Klopp after spotting him in city centre restaurant

Aynit Shah with his special Liverpool top, with his daughter Anni and Jurgen Klopp
-Credit: (Image: Aynit Shah)

A dad knew exactly what to say when he saw Jurgen Klopp.

Aynit Shah, 49, is a life-long Liverpool fan and goes to matches home and away with his daughter Anni, 24, and son Ayden, 21. Despite attending the German’s last game as manager against Wolves a few weeks ago, they decided to pay one last goodbye at ‘An Evening with Jurgen Klopp’, held at the M&S Bank Arena on Tuesday, May 28.

Speaking to the ECHO, Aynit said: “Over those last 9 years, they’ve taken the values of Jurgen and instilled that into our own lives. He’s lit the fire for what LFC is about and that’s not going to go out.”

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The family went to Klopp’s very first game in charge, and thanks to his incredible management he has travelled to Wembley countless times and across Europe following them over the last eight and half years.

Aynit also said that Klopp's limitless determination and optimism inspired him to take up marathon running. He ran three marathons in 12 months in London, New York and Paris while wearing an LFC vest.

Just as they do for every home game, they travelled to Liverpool from their home in Leicester. Before heading to the arena, they were deciding what to get to eat.

Aynit said: “We went to Bierkeller and I had an Erdinger beer which has Klopp’s face on the glass. My daughter was like, where are we going to eat?

“We were talking about getting steak at the weekend. We were going to go to Miller and Carter but they had no tables. She said, let's go to Hawksmoor, they have one free at 5.30pm.”

The family were delighted to meet Klopp
The family were delighted to meet Klopp -Credit:Aynit Shah

They thought little of it until they walked through the door of the city centre restaurant and a waiter spotted Aynit’s Liverpool shirt.

Aynit said: “The waiter said to us, Jurgen’s in here, in the private dining area. We thought, 'yeah right'.

“We had our dinner. I went to the toilet and scoured the area. Another waiter said he was in there.”

The family had their meal and were enjoying a drink at the bar area when they spotted Klopp walking through the restaurant with his security guard.

It was Aynit’s son Ayden who took the photo of him and Klopp. Given the amount of trips around Europe he's been on with his two children, he knew exactly what to tell his hero.

Laughing, Aynit said: “I said to Jurgen, 'you’ve cost me a lot of money' which he laughed at. But it's also been the best money I've spent. He’s taught him the values of You’ll Never Walk Alone, going from the doubters and believers. I said to my kids, it's not just about football, it's about life.”

Aynit said Klopp was incredibly kind, and was impressed when he told him of the recent trip he made to watch his former club Mainz to celebrate his son’s recent birthday.

Aynit said: “He talked to us. He listened, he kept saying thank you to us. He was just interested in us more than himself. He just deflected everything we said to him.”

He just had a presence about him. He’s much taller than he is on the telly. We were just in a daze. His smile is infectious.

“I've been lucky enough to meet Princess Diana and Mother Teresa. I've met the Dalai Lama. But meeting Jugren was that kind of level. A living legend.”

Aynit, Anni, Ayden and friends watching Klopp's former team Mainz earlier this year
Aynit, Anni, Ayden and friends watching Klopp's former team Mainz earlier this year -Credit:Aynit Shah

Aynit enjoyed seeing him speak afterwards in a star-studded event. He said: “It was outstanding. Just amazing. We were at Wolves last week on Sunday - that was more of a celebration of his time here.

“Last night I think he got quite emotional. It was emotional in the crowd. It was a proper way to say goodbye. He’s done, he’s finished, he’s got nothing to hide. It was nice to have a small, intimate farewell with 10,000 other people.

“We’ve been to Madrid, we’ve went to Wembley loads of times. We’ve done quite a few trips away.

“It’s costing me a lot of money but I couldn't have spent it on anything better. He’s encapsulated the heartbeat of the city.”

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