A CLIP sprung up on social media this week showing Liverpool players boarding the team bus.

Nothing newsworthy there, until you see the crowd around them.

Fans pressed by the steps shouting for autographs and selfies but the squad filed on board without stopping, headphones on, faces emotionless.

It claimed to have been taken this week, although that was quickly discounted. More likely, it was before a game last season.

The when and wheres don’t really matter.

But the timing of its appearance on Twitter was apt, popping up on the timeline between videos showing a very different interaction between team and fans.

For anyone who didn’t go to Germany last week, I urge you to seek out the recordings.

For those of us who were there in Echterdingen town square, it was one of those special nights that will live a long time in the memory. If still a little hazy on the detail …

City players, club officials and supporters letting their hair down together.

Such a concept would send a shudder of fear down the back of most Premier League executives.

To them, the faces in the crowd are just that; customers and consumers, in their corporate jargon. Background dressing to appeal to the TV audience in the Far East; always best seen but not heard.

And never, ever treated as equals on a night out.

But rewind to last Saturday evening and the scene was one big, joyous party; singing, drinking, laughing and bonding.

Who can forget Tony McMahon, standing on the table in full Blues Brothers mode of shades and hat, enthusiastically joining in the chants of “Stuart, Stuart” that rained on the manager?

Or his gaffer’s immediate response that “We should have sold you to Blackburn”?

Colin Doyle once again dusted off his party piece, last witnessed at the player of the year awards, with a lusty rendition of “Please don’t take me home”.

You couldn’t knock the big keeper’s enthusiasm – but it might take more than pre-season to work on the tuning!

Then there was the sight of pretty much the whole squad, some fairly “tired and emotional” by that point, taking to the stage to serenade Midland Road.

McCall and his coaching staff were happy to mingle; so were Edin Rahic and his wife as he willingly pressed the flesh with anyone looking to have a natter.

All the time they were joined by a mass of West Yorkshire travellers, who had found their way to the small town to the south of Stuttgart via all manner of destinations and transport.

Yes, I’ve still got the bloated feet from spending nearly two days cooped up on a coach. But I promise not to bore you with that story again.

But it was seeing the players clearly at ease in their surroundings which made the greatest impression. They felt comfortable to be around those who are happy to follow them over land and sea.

And how often can you say that about footballers?

“It was a class night,” recalled McMahon this week, swapping his headline role on stage for the rather more serene surrounds of Guiseley’s Nethermoor.

“It was all good fun and a reward for all the hard work we’d put in throughout the week. But I’ll know not to go for the gaffer again!

“There’s not another team I’ve played for where you’ve had that togetherness. Nobody stepped out of line. The fans enjoyed it and we enjoyed it as players.

“The manager is different class but that’s just the way he is. When it’s time to work, he’ll make you work, but when it’s time to have some fun, he’ll be in there with you.

“He gets the balance right and it worked last season. I’m sure he can do it again this time.

“That’s why those trips are good, especially for the new ones. You’re living together 24/7 so you get to know people – who you get on with and who you’re sick of!

“The togetherness last year was brilliant and we’re going to need that again.”

Togetherness not just in the dressing room but evidently with all those in the Valley Parade stands.