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Thursday, April 24, 2008
LIAM: THANK YOU SO MUCH
A Kopite dying of cancer has said an emotional thank-you to fans who held aloft a banner telling him 'You'll Never Walk Alone'. The message to 17-year-old Liam Harker was displayed at Anfield during the Champions League semi-final against Chelsea.
The brave teenager, who has been given just weeks to live, said: "I would like to thank the fans for everything they have done for me. They have been fantastic, they really have."
News of Liam's battle against stomach cancer has struck a chord with Liverpool supporters all over the world.
Fans on the independent website Red and White Kop pulled together to organise the banner and flag tribute in the Kop end in front of millions of TV viewers.
One read: "Liam Harker, millions of Reds are with you every step of the way, hold your head up high my friend as you'll never walk alone. God Bless."
The Darlington youngster's mum, Tracey, said: "Thankfully he managed to stay awake to watch the game with us and seeing the banner on the Kop was quite a moment. It is something we will never forget.
"Liverpool as a club and the fans have been absolutely fantastic. Liam has been in absolute awe. He couldn't believe that people who don't know him are doing this.
"The gifts, the banners, everything, it just shows there are some good people left in the world.
"I'd just like to say that Liam and his family appreciate everything that they have done.
"They have given us some precious messages over the last few weeks and it has been so good for us. Thanks to absolutely everyone involved."
While Chelsea grabbed a valuable away goal in the game on Tuesday, Liam for one is still sure Liverpool will progress.
Tracey added: "He is still convinced they are going through."
Red and White Kop member John Doherty first wrote on the internet forum two weeks ago after hearing of Liam's story through a family friend.
"It's heart-breaking for such a young lad," he said.
"What touched me about it was the fact that all he wanted was to sit in a Liverpool shirt.
"I was tearful, and felt proud of the response from the fans, but it's not about us, it's about Liam."
John's post sparked a surge of messages from fans across the world, including from Australia, Sweden, Thailand and Canada.
"Liverpool FC is a just a big family and this just goes to prove that," he added.
Amy Jenkins, from Anglesey, North Wales, was one of those who made a banner after seeing the story on the internet.
She said: "It was his wish to have his name up at Anfield. It is such a sad, heart-breaking story, I felt I had to do something."
Fans have arranged for some of the banners to be sent to Liam. The others will travel to Stamford Bridge for the return leg next Wednesday.
Liverpool FC PR manager Brian Hall said: "We were very sad Liam could not make the trip (to meet the players earlier this week). We sent him a shirt with all the players' names on and a team photo, and we hope that will give him the little bit of happiness he so richly deserves."
I'm glad dat Liam is there with us during the match against Chelsea. Although it was a match which Liverpool failed to win, it has very much kept the youngster happy and believe Liverpool still has a chance to proceed to the finals in Msocow. Another sad news came when Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard's mother passed away shortly after the match after fighting with pneumonia for weeks. One match, 2 lives involved..
The great Bill Shankly once said these famous words...
"Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that."
Well, in times like that, I don't agree with him eventhough he's the greatest manager Liverpool ever had.