No doubt Wycombe Wanderers’ players were all in jubilant mood after securing promotion to the Championship by beating Oxford United at Wembley – but only one man got to celebrate with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
After the Chairboys triumphed 2-1 on Monday to reach the second tier for the first time, veteran striker Adebayo Akinfenwa gave an on-pitch interview to Sky, in which the 38-year-old referenced a similar post-match interview from four years earlier.
On that day in 2016 – after scoring a penalty for AFC Wimbledon against Plymouth Argyle in the League Two play-off final – he famously said: “I think I’m technically unemployed, so any managers hit me up on the WhatsApp and get me a job.”
So after last night’s result, Akinfenwa, a long-time Liverpool fan, joked: “Let me tell you something, the only person that can hit me up on WhatsApp this time is Klopp, so we can celebrate together. You get me? Oi!”
And so that’s just what Klopp did.
In a video call, Klopp explains that he saw the game, but missed the post-match interview. However, apparently, “Hendo and some of the other boys” told him all about it.
“Even in these strange times, I hope you celebrate appropriately,” Klopp says in the video.
Messages of congratulation followed from other Liverpool players, including Virgil van Dijk and Jordan Henderson himself.
The much-travelled Akinfenwa – as well as AFC Wimbledon, his former clubs include, but are by no means limited to, Torquay, Swansea, Northampton, Gillingham, Doncaster and Millwall – is celebrated almost as much for his physical stature as his goal-scoring prowess. He goes by the nickname ‘The Beast’ and has written an autobiography called ‘The Beast: My Story’.
But The Beast has a soft spot for newly crowned Premier League champions Liverpool.
When the Reds sealed their first league title for 30 years last month, he happily took a club fine for turning up to training at Wycombe wearing an LFC shirt.
And apparently he even waived a rebate on the fine due to him after Monday’s heroics, having subsequently revealed: “The gaffer told me he would halve my fine if we got promoted, but I’d be so happy if we went up, I’ll still gladly pay the full amount.
“It would be money well spent.”