Page 20 - The Twelfth Man - Issue 1
P. 20

News Issue 1
LDSA player of the year
Virgil Van Dijk
The highlight of the Liverpool FC Disabled Supporters Association calendar is the Christmas party when a Liverpool first team player who is nominated by the members of the association for player of the year is presented with his award.
Last season due to the continued success of the team, the player of the year for season 2018/2019 Virgil Van Dijk was unable to collect his award
on the evening as the club were participating in the FIFA World Cup Championship in Qatar, which they won and became World champions as well as being the current holders of the Champions League trophy and the UEFA Super Cup that they had already collected.
This meant that in January the Chairman of the LDSA Tom Hutchinson along with 4 fellow committee members went to Melwood in West Derby, Liverpool which is the first team training ground to present the award to Virgil.
It would be an understatement to say that Tom was excited, he has supported Liverpool FC all his life and he has been going to watch the team at Anfield for more than 60 years. This was a dream come true for him and he certainly made the most of it when he got Virgil to autograph his prosthetic leg! Virgil took this in good humour and admitted that it was one of the more unusual things that he has been asked to sign.
When Tom presented the award to Virgil in front of the Champions Wall, Virgil said that he was “honoured to be chosen by the members of the LDSA to receive this award” he also said “that without the help and support of my team mates winning awards like this wouldn’t be possible” he thanked all members of the association for voting for him and he said he would look at the award with pride.
Virgil then spent some time with
Tom and the rest of the committee discussing all things Liverpool and what the remainder of the season may bring. At the time of the presentation Liverpool are sitting on top of the premier league
with a 16 point lead over Manchester City... could this be the season when the 30 year wait to become the champions of England is finally ended?
Jordan Henderson also made a surprise appearance and was greeted enthusiastically by those present, happily posing for photographs and chat to the committee members about how the season is progressing
If Liverpool do go on to win the league title, in a 12-month period they would have become World, European and English Champions which will be some achievement by Jurgen Klopp and the boys.
When Virgil finally finished getting his photo taken and signing memorabilia
it was time for him to return to training. Virgil is tall in frame and also in stature, but he showed all of us that were present how humble he is. A true gentleman in every sense of the word and it was an honour and a pleasure for all of us to meet him and present him with his award which I don’t think will be his last.
Liverpool FC are portrayed has a family club and the manner in which
we were all treated at Melwood truly lived up to that reputation. From the moment that we got there to the minute that we left we were treated as if we were part of the Liverpool family.
Going forward we are introducing
an end of season awards evening to
the LDSA social calendar to present
the player of the year trophy. This will increase the chance of player availability on the night and with the first awards evening taking place in the Shankly Hotel it should prove to be a fabulous evening for all of our members and
one that is eagerly awaited by all. More details on this event will be coming
soon. Jordan Henderson also made a surprise appearance and he was greeted enthusiastically by those present, happily posing for photographs and chat to the committee members about how the season is progressing.

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