Jordan Henderson and the rest of the Liverpool squad have made the incredible, and much-needed, commitment to support the local Fans Supporting Foodbank appeal while elite-level football is on hold.
Local businesses are facing a shortfall of revenue without the thousands of fans who go to matches on a weekly basis—and that’s extended to local initiatives supporting those in need.
Fans Supporting Foodbanks is a joint venture between a set of Reds and Everton fans collecting off match-goers to provide vital food supplies to those in the area who need it most.
Given that no football over the next three weeks—at the very least, and potentially for much longer—means that hundreds and thousands of donations will be missed out on, it could have far-reaching consequences for shortages at a time when people are ill, looking after family members or even out of regular work.
And that’s where the Liverpool captain and his team-mates come in.
Liverpool-based MP Ian Byrne, the Labour member in West Derby, has confirmed that Jordan Henderson has been in touch to assure FSF that the squad will are “committed to covering all the shortfalls” that may be faced over the coming weeks.
Update: It has since been revealed the squad have committed £40,000 in donations.
Needless to say, it’s an enormous boost to the partnership to know that supplies will still be provided for, and it’s another tremendous example of the players going above and beyond to give back to the community which supports them.
The full scope of the issues facing the population—not just in Liverpool, but the rest of the UK and the entire world—are not yet known, but it is almost certain that with large events such as sporting fixtures being cancelled, economic hardships will be met by the health concerns around coronavirus.
For the players to commit to making sure those who need it most don’t go short at a critical time should be applauded and recognised, particularly when it’s far from the first time such a commitment has been made.
As Byrne told journalist Henry Winter, it was a “magnificent gesture of community solidarity” and explained in general terms how Henderson’s offer came about.
“Jordan told me that he’d seen our appeal and wanted to help. Obviously there’s a lot of uncertainty and concern in our communities at the moment so any kind of offer like this is really important because it shows the kind of solidarity that we are clearly going to need.
“Without going into any great detail, the players have committed to covering all the shortfalls that we will incur as a result of not being able to hold our usual match day collections.
“This isn’t the first time that the Liverpool players have shown us this kind of support and, although what they’ve done on the pitch this season has been incredible, I’d argue that this kind of gesture is even more important, especially at a time like this.”
Once again, Henderson is proving that he’s more than up to the task of leading a club like Liverpool, and proving that there’s far more to being a true captain of the club than wearing an armband on the pitch.
He, and the rest of the players involved, will have the community’s heartfelt thanks, and continue to show the strength of the bond between fans and team.