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Huh? Was Muammar Gaddafi a secret Liverpool fan?

Evidence recovered from the villa where the Libyan dictator spent his final weeks hints at a link to the Anfield club.

Image: John Walton/EMPICS Sport

IN THE LIFE and times of Muammar Gaddafi, truth was often stranger than fiction.

Now the Daily Mail has obtained photographs from inside the villa where the Libyan dictator spent the final weeks before his murder, showing some of his personal effects — including a Liverpool FC mug.

This is not the first time that the Gaddafi family has been linked with the Anfield club.

In 2002, Gaddafi’s son Saadi — who played football in Italy’s Serie A and for the Libyan national side — was reportedly considering an investment in the Reds.

Saadi, who was then operating as an adviser to the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company, said: ”Maybe we make a deal with them to market their merchandise or we invest in the new stadium they are building. When I meet the management of Liverpool I will discuss this with them.”

However, until now Gaddafi Sr’s supposed love for Liverpool has remained a secret. A report in the Daily Mirror earlier this year suggested that his loyalties actually lay with the blue half of the city since an Everton tour of Libya in 1979.

Everton’s win against Sunderland will have provided some temporary relief for one of their biggest fans. That’s none other than umbrella-wielding mentalist Colonel Gaddafi, who has been following the team since the late 1970s.

Gaddafi’s love of the Toffees is said to have begun when Everton visited Libya on tour in 1979. The dictator was so impressed he immediately changed the Libyan national side’s kit to all-blue, and rewarded each of Gordon Lee’s side with a luxury Arabic carpet.

Gaddafi joins a growing list of well known personalities who have flaunted their red connections in recent weeks, including NBA superstar LeBron James who visited Anfield for the recent 1-1 draw between Liverpool and Manchester United.

Nor is this the first time that a reviled political figure has had their Premier League affiliations touted.

In a biography of Osama bin Laden, author Adam Robinson wrote that the former Al-Qaeda leader developed an affinity for Arsenal while living in London during the early 1990s.

Despite some sections of the Gunners support immortalising this alleged relationship in terrace chants, the Guardian moved to debunk it as a myth after his death.

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Niall Kelly

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