Trent Alexander-Arnold was on hand for a very special surprise for a young Red as he helped create memories to cherish in a personal visit before the global pandemic struck.
The trajectory of the No. 66 is one which dreams are made of, rising through the ranks to become a mainstay in a Liverpool side who have earned a Premier League and Champions League title.
And while he has excelled on the pitch, Trent is never shy in giving back off it and five-year-old Emerson Grant was the latest unsuspecting fan on the receiving end of a heartwarming surprise.
Emerson comes from a family of Reds and at just 11 months old he was diagnosed with a reoccurring Arachnoid Cyst on his spine which led to being paralysed from the chest down.
“There’s no doubt having a spinal cord injury is tough – every day is tough,” Emerson’s dad, Lee Grant said. “Coming from Liverpool, Emerson has that ‘take-care-of business’ attitude.”
And ahead of what would have been the 2020 Wings for Life World Run event earlier this year – a unique running event to raise critical funds for spinal cord injuries, which was later cancelled due to COVID-19 – Trent made a surprise visit to Emerson’s grandparents’ home in Toxteth.
While still amid Liverpool’s title charge in 2019/20, Trent’s house call proved to be one which would forever be cherished as Emerson was gifted a signed Playstation and challenged to a game of FIFA.
Trent was humbly defeated 5-1 in a ‘Liverpool vs. Liverpool’ matchup where cheeky barbs were traded, and it is once again stressed that the special meeting took place before the coronavirus.
On his visit to meet Emerson, Trent said: “I know Emerson’s a young lad who has had a really tough time so far in life.
“Meeting him, he’s such an inspiring person, and it was a really big eye-opener for me. Wings for Life is an amazing organisation with lots going on, so I was happy I was able to put a smile on his face.”
After the 2020 Wings for Life event was cancelled, the UK will now host a virtual run on May 9, 2021, where thousands will take to the streets to run for those who can’t to help raise valuable funds to help find a cure for spinal cord injuries.
* You can sign up to the Wings for Life App Run here, 100 percent of entry fees and donations go toward spinal cord research.