LIVERPOOL, May 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Alfie Evans’ father Tom appeared in public yesterday for the first time since his son's death on the weekend.
Evans was given a special award at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall by Bill Kenwright, the chairman of the Everton Football Club. The “Chairman’s Blueblood Award” is given annually to people Kenwright believes embody the “Evertonian spirit.”
Association football—more commonly called soccer in North America—is as important to English life as the NFL is to the USA. Tom Evans is a loyal supporter of the Everton club. He told the audience at the award ceremony that he had dreamed that his son might play for the team one day.
“My dream as a child was to play for Everton. I remember watching Rooney score that goal in my brother’s bedroom. I was only a little nipper but my dream was to follow in those steps,” said Evans (watch event here.)
“When I couldn’t follow those steps and I had Alfie my dream was then to have him to follow those steps,” he continued. “My number one goal that I wanted to do was to take him to the game, and scream, and scream, and come home with a sore throat like me.”
Evans told the crowd that he was proud to wear the club’s emblem and that Alfie had worn the uniform during his short life.
“…I could not be a happier person to be a part of Everton,” he said. “I wear the badge with pride no matter the situation.”
“There’s no club like Everton. I’m glad Alfie has worn that kit.”
Kenwright gave the Evans family a “massive donation” in February to help them in their legal fight against Alder Hey NHS Foundation Trust. The hospital had gone to court to seek permission to remove life support from young Alfie Evans, whose brain had been badly damaged by an undiagnosed condition.
Last night the club chairman told the story of how he had met Tom Evans and how he admired him.
“In November last year, I left the car park, and through the railing a lad talked to me,” Kenwright said. “And he told me about… his boy, who was in Alder Hey hospital.”
The chairman said he noticed how tired and thin the young man was.
“The one thing I’d noticed about him was how tired he looked, how skinny he was, how undernourished, but he had his Everton shirt on and he didn’t [ask] anything from me, he just wanted everyone to know about his lad and what his lad was going through.”
Kenwright was touched by the loyalty Tom showed both to his son and to his team.
“The one thing I know about Evertonians is they are loyal, they are steadfast and, by God, they care for Everton to the end of their days,” he said.
“And this lad, and his missus, sat by his boy and [dreamed] of taking him to Everton [games],” the chairman continued. “He became my mate, I got him to a few games…but his only interest was his son, and the last few months it’s got a wee bit more dramatic. He’s spoken to me, and the fight he’s had with certain legal entities has been extraordinary.”
Now the whole Everton Football Club is mourning, he said.
“Last Saturday, when we were on the way to Huddersfield, we found out that Alfie had passed away and Evertonians had broken hearts.”
“But Alfie, and his dad, and his [mom] Kate, were in this together, and we’re in this together, and it’s what I love about football, and more than anything about Evertonians–he wore that blue shirt […] with such pride in bad times.”
Alfie Evans was born on May 9, 2016 and died on April 28, 2018, just over four days after Alder Hey removed him from a ventilator and other life-sustaining equipment. An Italian newspaper is alleging that a nurse gave the child “four drugs” two hours before the child died, when his father was out of the room. These allegations have not been denied by the child’s parents.
After fighting Alder Hey and the courts very publicly, on April 26 Evans made an uncharacteristically meek statement to the press, what some are calling a “hostage letter,” that he would be giving no more interviews.