Liverpool’s Virgil makes Abi’s day with signed jersey

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By Aimee Walsh

A LIVERPOOL super-fan is over the moon after receiving a signed jersey from football superstar Virgil Van Dijk.

14-year-old Abi Ward, who attends Firhouse Community College, embarked on a fundraiser to raise funds for charity and received a signed jersey from her favourite Liverpool player as a token of his appreciation for her hard work.

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Liverpool fan Abi Ward with Virgil Van Dijk jersey

Abi’s dad Terry spoke to The Echo about how it all came about.

“In October Abi decided to do a run to raise money for Pieta House and Focus Ireland. She did a 96km run over 20 days. She is a Liverpool supporter, and the 96km was for the 96 lives lost years ago. She raised over €3,800 for the two charities.

“I was on Twitter so I stuck up the video of her running progress, and then in November I put up a message saying I would love to get a message off her favourite Liverpool player Virgil van Dijk to say well done. I think that got over 260,000 views over the last few months.”

Abi, who plays football for Home Farm, is a ‘super-supporter’ of Liverpool, after her dad Terry brought her to her first game aged seven.

“We go about six or seven times a season, it’s our thing we do. When we go to the matches they always stay in the hotel and we go up an hour before, she always gets the pictures with Virgil or whoever else comes over and they sign her programme or jersey,” Terry explained.

“Last Monday evening I got a message from someone that works for Liverpool Football Club looking for my address because Virgil was in touch and wanted to send her out a present. I never said anything to her because I wanted it to be a surprise.

“Friday it came in the post and we recorded it when she was opening the package. The first thing Abi said was ‘he actually spelled my name right’ because usually they spell her name wrong. She was absolutely delighted- it made her day.”

Alongside the signed jersey from Virgil, Abi received a message from Liverpool Football Club as well as a message from Neil Ruddock, showing their appreciation for her determination to raise money for charity.

“The messages were coming in saying well done. It just went from there. It was a great day for her,” Terry added.

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