Staff and patients from an important University of Liverpool project were invited to watch the Liverpool squad train at Melwood last week to celebrate recruiting their 1,000th participant.
The university's Institute of Infection and Global Health is leading the 'Brain Infections UK' project - a portfolio of new research studies into a range of neurological infectious diseases in the UK, including encephalitis, meningitis and HIV disease.
The team has joined forces with other research organisations around the country to support the 'It's OK to ask' campaign, which launches on May 20 - International Clinical Trials Day - to encourage more patients to get involved in clinical research.
A selection of patients who are already involved in the project were invited by professor Tom Solomon to meet Reds players at the club's training complex last Wednesday.
Among them were Liverpool supporters Cheryl Lomax and Lee McMillan - both have battled encephalitis and worked hard to raise awareness about the condition which affects approximately 10 people in every 100,000 in the UK.
Cheryl said: "My dad and I had a great time at Melwood; it was amazing to watch the players train, see the European Cup and find out what goes on behind the scenes.
"I think the 'It's OK to ask' campaign is fantastic. I am very lucky that my encephalitis was diagnosed and treated so quickly, if not my recovery may have been a lot worse.
"I see my involvement in clinical research as a positive thing that will benefit other encephalitis patients in the future."