Liverpool’s locker room agrees around the “bigger picture” to face the new challenge

The most challenging year was unique for Liverpool Football Club.

Winning the first championship title in 30 years in the middle of a world pandemic will surely be in it.

But while results flourished during an unforgettable calendar year for Jurgen Klopp and his players, the club itself was forced to face modern-day problems.

The suspension of football in mid-March, along with the constant needs of the community in which they serve, made working life difficult for those who have a liver bird on their chest.

The absence of regular match days had wider consequences than many may have initially feared.

While some have wondered how their weekends will be filled without the entertainment of Premier League leaders, the lack of action has put local food banks in serious danger.

The postponement of the main games should have a strong impact on northern Liverpool Foodbank, which receives about 25 per cent of its donations from collections on match day.

It was quickly decided that the LFC Foundation, the Red Neighbors and the players themselves would gather and support fans who support food banks by donating £ 40,000 in the absence of the Premier League football.

The idea was to donate £ 10,000 for every remaining home game that season before a staggering £ 147,000 was awarded to help fight food poverty across the region earlier this month.

“Actually what we were trying to do was think about what we, as Red Neighbors and the LFC Foundation, could do together, and we quickly identified three areas we wanted to focus on,” Red Neighbors senior manager, Forbes Duff, told ECHO this month.

“They were food, social isolation and support for the NHS and key workers, so they were a priority.

“We focused on that, so we quickly gathered a working group, focused on those areas between March and September, and tried to really provide activities in which we could support those areas.”

“It was fast, football stopped at game 15, and then we immediately promised the £ 40,000 to the North Liverpool Foodbanks because we knew they would miss out on football.

“What we wanted was to act fast, so the LFC Foundation donated £ 20,000 and the players matched it and it went straight into the St. Andrew’s Community Network.”

The latest offer was raised as a result of donations from the return of tickets for the canceled match of the legend with Barcelona, ​​the sale of clothes specific to the Levi club and the donation of members of the executive salon and the town hall.

Approximately £ 80,000 will be used to fund five new community pantries across the city, while a new £ 20,000 van will be purchased to cater for 22 locations of the food bank network.

“We recently announced £ 140,000 for community storage, which is fantastic,” adds Forbes.

“The St. Andrew’s Community Network wants to push people towards the pantry, not through emergency food packages.

“So the generosity of the fans and the people who came together after realizing that there was a need really helped us give all the money directly to support the pantries and groceries as well as the poverty in the area.

“We as a club have a big responsibility to help people and that’s what we’ve been trying to do for the last four or five seasons. We’re going to keep doing it.”

But generosity and support are not limited to those who work for the club’s charities.

Those within Klopp’s playing staff more than played their part during a turbulent and disturbing year for people across the region.

In an effort to maintain morale levels for the overworked health service, Liverpool sent 200 chocolate corks to 14 different hospitals in April.

They were followed by messages of support from Captain Jordan Henderson, local star Trent Alexander-Arnold and left-back Andy Robertson, who created his own charity, the AR26 Foundation, earlier this month.

Robertson joined people like Thiago Alcantara and James Milner by launching his foundation, while other prominent members of the Liverpool team also helped with various goals during 2020.

Milner’s has raised well over £ 1 million since its founding in 2011, while Thiago’s Alcantara Foundation, run primarily by his wife Julia, is largely trying to help asylum seekers in accommodation.

“I think it’s a bit encouraging for both the club and the players who want to do it,” Milner told ECHO last year.

“We have a locker room full of good guys thinking about the bigger picture.

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“Obviously we all know how important football is to people, but sometimes it’s too hard for people to get through hard times and we can help them with that.

“We all try to help where we can, and the club fantastically supports initiatives and thinks of ways it can help.”

Robertson agrees that the club’s willingness to allow its players the freedom to first immerse their heads in charity is all the encouragement needed in the locker room at Anfield.

“It all starts with the club,” Robertson told ECHO earlier this month. “The club is very involved in being honest.

“Liverpool and Everton and they work a lot in the community and when you become part of that and sign one of these clubs, it’s your duty to buy it and that’s why a lot of guys have done the job for food banks, from both teams, in Liverpool.

“Because as we know, the percentage of people who use them in Liverpool is very high and Milly has her own foundation, Thiago and people like that, so I wanted to start something for me.”

Explaining the decision to officially launch the AR26 Foundation, Robertson says: “I’ve always thought about it in the last few years and now is the right time to do it.

“I think we can help a lot of kids and their families as well. I’m really passionate about it and I hope it’s been a long, long time and we can be so successful at it because I believe we can make a big difference with the visions we have and the projects we have .

“So if we can just level that gap a little bit, we can walk away from it, whenever it is, happy with it. Because, like I said, I believe the gap is getting bigger and these poor kids are left behind, and I don’t I don’t think that’s fair.

“Children come to life as equals and of course we are brought into different circumstances and environments, but they should have a rift in life and if they want to, we hope to give it to them and it is up to them to go and seize the opportunity to be a part communities and similar things.

“So I can create my own life. In my life, everything I’ve done, I’ve always tried to do 100 percent and forget my football, I’m not here as footballer Andy, but someone who runs my own charity and I’m going to give 100 percent.”