Tuesday, April 22, 2008

You'll Never Walk Alone Liam Harker

There is a general consensus amongst football fans that the boardroom antics of George Gillett, Tom Hicks and Rick Parry have degraded one of the world’s leading clubs and reduced the Anfield outfit to a “laughing stock.”

But, between the stories of ownership turmoil and unsettled managers there emerged a tale that showed the rest of the footballing world that the Liverpool spirit has never been stronger.

The story was the tragedy of young Liverpool fan Liam Harker, a die-hard reds fan who was struck down with cancer and told he had just two weeks to live after a long, but ultimately futile battle against the disease.

The 17 year old’s dying wish, to spend the rest of his days in a signed shirt, was taken up by his father who contacted the club and made Liam’s request on his behalf.

Liverpool’s response was not only to offer Liam the shirt, but furthermore to give him the chance to visit the training ground and meet the players and staff, including Kop heroes Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Rafael Benitez.

Unfortunately, he was too weak to accept the invitation, but nonetheless the club gave Liam a signed shirt, publishing the story on their official website on the Friday before the Reds’ Premiership meeting with Fulham.

Few could have predicted the fans’ response to Liam’s heart-rending plight. Following a huge supporter initiative and the story appearing on several unofficial sites, a plan has been formulated to make and display a banner for Liam during the Chelsea match and have it shown on TV so he can see it in his final few days, displaying the ethos behind the club’s legendary song.

The banner has now been made, along with several flags that will fly in the Kop during the match.

It is stories like this that show the true spirit of our national game, with football once again displaying its capacity for compassion and togetherness to support an individual who, like many of us, feel the bond shared by a country through its love of the sport.

So, even though Liverpool’s American owners seem to be doing their level best to tear the club apart from the inside, the strength and solidarity shown by the heartbeat of the club, the fans, is holding as firm as ever before.



Lets hope the lad can make it until the final and pass away with a big fuckoff smile on his face. Fuck you Cancer.

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