A young Liverpool fan was “overwhelmed” by the response from his club after fans and players alike messaged him for his eighth birthday.
Oliver Geldard has kyphoscoliosis, a deformity of the spine which has required him to wear a weighted metal frame in hospital for 23 hours a day since October 2 2018. It is a treatment known as halo traction which will require surgery after Oliver’s back has straightened.
After dad Chris Geldard sent a tweet about Oliver’s condition and explaining he was celebrating his birthday on January 28, the pair have been met with thousands of messages.
Players past and present, fans and even Liverpool Football Club itself sent Oliver good wishes and gifts.
“Oliver has been overwhelmed by the reaction,” Mr Geldard, 42, told the Press Association. “LFC players and fans from all around the world have been absolutely fantastic, like a family looking after one of their own.”
Asked which player’s birthday wishes he was most pleased with, Oliver said “the best goalkeeper in the world” – current Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
Along with the messages, Oliver has also been sent birthday presents.
“Ian rush (messaged) me and is sending Oliver a vintage shirt,” said Mr Geldard. “A man I’ve never met has sent £50 for me to take Oliver to Anfield next season.”
Mr Geldard, a head chef from Stockport, has also commended the response from those outside of the Liverpool fanbase.
Former Newcastle, Tottenham and Everton midfielder David Ginola wished Oliver well, while fans from rival clubs did the same.
“I think we have heard a lot about the nasty things in football,” said Mr Geldard. “Racism, violence etc which leave a horrible taste in the mouth.
“But for me personally, the fact a Chelsea fan, Manchester United, Manchester city, Newcastle and more have all left my son really positive messages, has given me hope that there is a majority of fans who do let the rivalries stay on the pitch.”
Once Oliver’s spine has straightened sufficiently he will require surgery.
“We thought we’d be home by now but it’s a complicated problem with his spinal curve,” said Mr Geldard. “We are taking it a day at a time.”