Bend it Like Damian Lewis, Part I

We know Damian does not tweet that often. And when he tweets, he tweets about stuff he cares about. Well, one recent tweet is about English Premier League’s NEW champion Leicester City — a TRUE Cinderella story! 🙂

source: @lewis_damian twitter
source: @lewis_damian twitter

Damian Lewis LOVES his footie. It was just last week that he played in the Legends match between England and Germany honoring the 50th anniversary of England winning its one and only World Cup in 1966. You can see the highlights of the match here.

source: Twitter
source: Twitter

Damian wearing number 66 is a nice tribute. And here’s number 66 in action for you! Many thanks go to JaniaJania for making the gifs!



When asked about what he is watching on TV at Times Talks London; Damian first gives us the usual suspects, including Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Game of Thrones; then adds that on top of his recording list is ALWAYS Match of the Day. And many thanks go to Bookworm for reminding me of a Homeland Fun Fact about Match of the Day! Well, remember the scene in Homeland Pilot where Carrie notices Brody’s almost jazz like finger tapping…

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

…it turns out Damian is finger tapping to Match of the Day tune there. You can hear the story from the man himself on the Commentary for the Pilot on Homeland Season 1 DVD and even hear Damian humming the tune for Claire 😀


So, yes, Damian Lewis LOVES his footie!

Damian is a Londoner and currently lives in north London that puts him geographically in the Arsenal zone. But he does not root for the home team.

He roots for Liverpool.

source: wikipedia

Damian and I are only a year apart — me being one year his junior. This means we were kids at the same time in different countries with completely different cultures… But when it comes to football… In particular, if you live in a country where football is LIFE, say, in England where Damian grew up, or, say, in Turkey where I grew up, football fans speak the same language! I don’t have a clue about how Damian became a Liverpool fan, but I have a pretty educated guess!

My dad was a football fanatic. He did not only follow the Turkish league very closely, but also the European leagues and championships. And, in late 1970s, there was one football club that had constant presence in our living room: LIVERPOOL.

The club had a legendary manager, Bob Paisley who led Liverpool through a period of unprecedented domestic and European dominance, winning twenty major honors in nine seasons: six League Championships, three League Cups, six Charity Shields, three European Cups, one UEFA Cup and one UEFA Super Cup. They simply won EVERYTHING.

My dad liked Liverpool, and easily recruited me as a fan. We cheered for the team together… That’s why Liverpool is always a reminder of warm childhood memories for me…  As I grew up, I found out about other things about Liverpool, the city, that made me love it even more: Liverpool is a working class city which is close to my politics, and it gave the Beatles to the world, which is close to my heart. I have always had a soft spot for Liverpool.

It turns out, so has Damian… Well… If you were a young kid in 1970s seeing this fantastic football team with brilliant players sweeping all championships and cups in Britain as well as across Europe year after year after year, why would you go and support some other team? THAT’S WHY, I believe, Damian, me, and many children of our generation were all fascinated by the success of Liverpool and became fans!

source: showtime
source: showtime

And, now, Damian, exactly like my dad did 35 years ago, wants to recruit young fans for his team… like his son!

Here’s the sweetest story in an interview with the Independent:

“Well we live in north London and our local team is Arsenal,” says the father of two.

“And my wife, when I was filming in America – and I take great pleasure in making this public – went to the Emirates and bought my son an Arsenal strip. She doesn’t even support Arsenal. I said, ‘What are you playing at? You’ve crossed a line – a boy and father’s rite of passage, going on their first trip together.”

The actor is a die-hard Liverpool fan. Given his own personal allegiance he clearly has not been coping well with the thought of his son Gulliver in an Arsenal shirt. Can Lewis bear to let his son support the local team? “You know what, I’m in two minds about that,” the 40-year-old admits. “I did say, ‘he’s got a birthday coming up, so I’m going to buy him a Liverpool strip as well, so he’s got both,’ and she said, ‘oh well, that’s just confusing. You’re going to play guilt-trips on your son; he’s going to want to wear one to please one parent and the other one to please the other parent’.”

HILARIOUS…. But… you know, Damian, as much as I like you… women are always right 😀 And, believe me, your son being a Gooner is not the end of the world 🙂 You gave him the love for the sport, and I know, I lived it, it will stay with him forever.


source: wikipedia
source: wikipedia

UPDATE 01/21/2017: A recent tweet confirms that Damian has been successful in his efforts to recruit Gully to Liverpool 🙂

UPDATE 02/11/2017: Damian and Gully got to enjoy Liverpool – Tottenham match at Anfield and got to meet Liverpool goal keeper Simon Mignolet, too. Or, as the tweet below says, Mignolet got to meet the two of them 🙂

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

15 thoughts on “Bend it Like Damian Lewis, Part I”

  1. my husband was a professional football player, he said that currently the best football is English football! He watchs all English match and when it’s Liverpool I am watching, thinking Damian!
    The season will start and Damian in NY, will be unhappy because he probably will not watch the games and especially liverpool!
    Maybe Helen register the games !!

    1. Wow – you’re married to a professional football player, very cool! I ❤️ football, grew up with it!! Premier league rocks! I suspect Damian will buy a cable TV package or he will go to NY pubs and watch with beer in hand

  2. I would have liked to see a video of the england match against the Germans, to see Damian play!
    funny to see a footballer, with long hair and a beard, though many footballers, now has a beard!

    1. I know! I linked to the highlights of the match in the post and you may see a few glimpses of Damian with his 66 jersey running — pretty fast!!!!

  3. Quite a feat for a man nearly mid-age to play so equally against such younger athletes. You can see he had talent to go into football if he’d wanted to, but aren’t we glad he didn’t! He needs to keep his day job. 😀

    Interesting what you say makes a sports fan. In my experience, the team one picked had a lot to do with peers and local influence, especially if one’s parents weren’t really fans of any team. On the other hand, I do know one local family: the dad is from Boston and a baseball fan and thus the son wears a Red Sox hat even at local games when they’re playing against our hometown Mariners. Guess fanhood is a father to son transmission afterall! :D:D

    1. Nearly? He’s mid-age 🙂 But young at heart and that’s the most important part if you ask me <3 Haha. I wonder if I would discover Damian the football player... My all-time fav football player being Diego Maradona I would probably not pay much attention to looks though 🙂 I am so glad he chose the arts!

      I think everyone has a different experience re being a sports fan, but family plays a role if you are coming from a family of fans! My dad was a crazy football fan. When he was in college, he slept in front of the stadium the night before the match --- I don't know why probably because he wanted to get in first to have the best seats 🙂 Rings a bell? 😀 😀 It's no surprise I have "fan gene" in me!!! It's not my mom, it's certainly my dad! And he made me a football fan. And I was a such a dad's girl that I would of course support whatever he loved and supported. No question about that. As far as I know Damian's dad is not a football fan. So he may have more of a peer effect in his club choice or it may just be that he supported Liverpool just because they won everything in 1970s.

  4. Coming from a football mad family, following the team is very family orientated which is why I am siding with Damian on this one.

    It would be interesting to find out why Damian chose to support Liverpool.

    1. I certainly know what you are talking about. My dad was a crazy football fan. When he was in college, he slept in front of the stadium the night before the match — I don’t know why but probably because he wanted to get in first to have the best seats! Rings a bell? It’s no surprise I have “fan gene” in me!!! It’s not my mom, it’s certainly my dad! And he made me a football fan. And I was a such a dad’s girl that I would of course support whatever he loved and supported. No question about that. Football is not just a sport that I love but it’s also sweet sweet childhood memories of lazy Sunday afternoons in front of TV!

      I have no clue how come Damian has come to support Liverpool. For me, it was easy because my dad loved Liverpool and they won everything! Damian’s dad, as far as I know, is not a football fan. So it is his choice whatever the reason is. I still think them winning everything could at least partially explain the choice. And he stayed loyal. Well, Damian’s an aquarius like me and loyalty is our signature personality trait 😀 It seems we need to ask Damian about how come he chose to support Liverpool! 🙂

  5. Awww, if there is a sport I enjoy, its definitely soccer/football. I don’t understand it, at times(WHAT IS OFF SIDES HELP ME I CAN’T FIGURE IT OUT), but it is really fun to watch. I had a high school boyfriend and his best friend who played, and I loved going to the games.

    Great story! I love learning about all the various sides of “the tall one” and his interests.

    1. Ha! You are good – offside is the most ambigiuous part of football. Bookworm is the expert though so she should comment on it. My take though is that we all know what off side is, but a referee decision about an off side makes people talk for a week or more.

      I love it that you call Damian “The Tall One.” He is 😀

      1. Team A is defending and Team B is attacking

        A (Goal Keeper)

        B (striker)

        A (Defender) A (Defender) A (Defender) A (Defender)

        B Midfielder

        Referring to B (striker) – if he is in a position where he is in front of any or all of the A defenders before or as the B (Midfielder or other B player for that matter) kicks the ball then he is offside.

        A (Goal Keeper)

        A (defender) A (Defender) (B striker) A (Defender) A (Defender)
        or (B striker)

        B Midfielder

        Referring to B (striker) – if he is in a position where he is level with or just behind any or all of the A defenders as or after the B (Midfielder or other B player for that matter) kicks the ball then he is on side.

        However if you receive the ball in your own half you cannot be offside regardless of position i.e. if a player is in what would normally be considered an offside position but is in his team’s own half of the field when he receives the ball then he cannot be offside. Nor can a player be offside from a throw in.

        Hope this helps.

        1. You really know anything, my husband was center-back, sweeper, that is to say that he was the last defender in front of the goal keeper, he marked the opposing center forward,, and would intervene against wingers team opponent!
          My son brings us londre in September, and my husband comes with the promise to see a liverpool match!!

          1. Have fun in London — it’s so cool you will go see a Liverpool match! Hope the Reds WIN! 🙂

  6. Interesting piece, but I must correct your facts. North London is the natural territory of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, who were founded there in 1882 and have never moved from the spot. Ars*nal is named after the Woolwich Arsenal in southeast London, yet the club decided to abandon its local fans and seek glory horning in on another club’s territory in 1913. And as the chant says: “North London is ours / North London is ours / f*** off back to Woolwich / North London is ours!”

    And yes, having a son to support Woolwich WOULD be the end of the world. 😉

    (Spurs supporter from Atlanta, Georgia USA.)

    1. Thank you for reading and thank you for correcting the facts! It is Damian himself that said their local team was Arsenal 🙂 It is a local team after all, a London team, but I understand from your comment that there is some quite interesting micro-geography there. And I love the correction that having a son to support Arsenal would be the end of the world! Maybe it would REALLY be! Greetings from North Carolina!

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