News'A magical day' – Dáire returns to Liverpool to meet the Reds

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By Phil Reade and Chris Shaw

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“My life is Liverpool. It means absolutely everything. I can’t put it into words. It’s just a complete escape. There’s absolutely nothing I love more.”

Nobody who saw the hugely moving clip of Dáire Gorman’s emotional reaction to experiencing Anfield for the first time could doubt the sincerity of his words.

The 12-year-old, from Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland, was brought to tears by the pre-match playing of You’ll Never Walk Alone when he visited the stadium for September’s 3-0 victory over Aston Villa.

Many who watched the footage that was shared widely across social media were, too.

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“I couldn’t sleep the night before,” says Dáire. “It was an emotional breakdown as soon as You’ll Never Walk Alone played. I tried to sing a couple of words but they just wouldn’t come out of my mouth.

“I love the song, it has beautiful lyrics. The way my life has been, I always listen to it, and know I’ll never walk alone.”

Dáire was born with a rare condition called Crommelin Syndrome, which is thought to have been diagnosed in only a handful of people across the world.

He has no arms from his elbows down and is missing the femur bone in both of his legs, which means he is a full-time wheelchair user.

“Dáire is definitely one in a million, he has a massive personality,” says his mum, Shelley. “What he has come through over the last 12 years, and he is still smiling, is amazing.

“It’s like Liverpool Football Club is his best friend.”

Dáire’s trip to see the Reds in September was arranged by the Little Blue Heroes Foundation – a charity that aims to support families of children with serious illnesses in Ireland – in conjunction with Ted Morris, chair of the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association.

Among the millions of people touched by his emotional response in the stands that day were Jürgen Klopp and the Liverpool squad.

So much so, the boss personally invited Dáire and his family – which also includes dad Kenny, a big Red too, and sister Aoife – back to Merseyside last weekend.

On the UN’s annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities, December 3, Dáire returned to Anfield to witness a thriller as his heroes delivered a dramatic 4-3 comeback win against Fulham.

The Gorman family were then welcomed to the AXA Training Centre the following day to spend time with Klopp – featuring a guided tour of the facility from the manager – and meet several members of the squad, including his favourite player Luis Diaz.

Photos by Nikki Dyer

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“You cannot imagine how much I enjoyed meeting you. You can’t,” Klopp told Dáire.

“This club is all about the people and the supporters, and you are one of the most special. I watched the video again this morning and I sat there and thought, ‘Oh my god’. Life without emotions… imagine that!”

Dáire finished: “It’s been a magical day. Meeting Klopp and meeting Diaz – my hero – I don’t know how to put it into words. Mo [Salah] came by to say hello.

“I’m just so grateful for it all and I can’t believe I came back to Liverpool again to do all this.”

Celebrating our diverse fanbase is a part of LFC’s Red Together work, which encompasses the club’s commitment to ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion is embedded into everything it does.

For more information on the club’s Red Together work, please visit www.liverpoolfc.com/redtogether.

Visit the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association website here.

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