Being a mascot at Anfield is every young Liverpool fan’s dream, so we spoke to the father of one recent Reds’ mascot for their story.
For Martin Feeney and his son Senan, walking out alongside Virgil van Dijk ahead of the Arsenal match this month had been a long time coming.
“I originally won the prize for Senan on The Mighty Reds Junior Members Twitter page in February 2020 to be a mascot for the Bournemouth game that March,” explains Martin, whose son and daughter had recreated the Alisson and Mo Salah celebration from the Man United game in order to win the competition.
Of course, then lockdown hit.
“We got a call on the Thursday before the game to inform us that the players were being placed in a bubble and that no mascots were allowed.
“We still travelled over from Ireland and they gave us complimentary tickets and a signed jersey from James Milner who was captain on the day.
“They also promised to honour the prize for all the winners once the Covid threat had disappeared.”
That proved to be quite the wait. Few realised it would be months before the Reds played a league game again and even longer until fans were in attendance again.
“Little did we think it’d be three years!” says Martin.
Amazingly, Liverpool’s mascot co-orindator kept in contact during the long three years, saying they hadn’t forgotten the promise.
When it did finally come around, Martin didn’t tell his son until the week before, just in case anything else went wrong!
Senan ended up walking out alongside Van Dijk, so how does that work out who gets which player?
“It was completely random,” Martin explains. “The kids line up along the tunnel and the players just go to a child in the order they come out of the dressing room.
“Senan was quite nervous in the tunnel. Virgil said hi, rubbed his head, smiled and reassured him that he’d tell him what to do.
“I thanked Virgil over Twitter for the way he looked after Senan and he replied straight away with a ‘like’!”
After a three-year wait, there was another late scramble for Martin and his family, needing three more tickets for his wife and children to all attend together to see Senan’s big moment.
“I had managed to source two tickets with the promise of a third but the third fell through on the morning of the game,” he explains. “We decided to explain our situation at the ticket office before the game in the hope that there might be some last-minute returns.
“To our amazement, the stewards and the lady in the ticket office managed to sort it out for us and we were all in the stadium to witness it live.
“We cannot thank them enough for the lengths they went to facilitate our request. They really went above and beyond.
“The highlight was the way all the staff and all the Mighty Red team, the stewards and the lady in the ticket office treated us. We couldn’t praise or thank them enough.”
All in, it’s a lovely story of the club and the staff that work behind the scenes.
Thanks to Martin for sharing his and Senan’s story!