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Dad's heartfelt plea as boy (9) hit by car left fighting for life

By Cate McCurry

A desperate father whose son is in a critical condition in hospital after being knocked down while playing football wrote three words on Facebook yesterday: "Please, God please."

The nine-year-old is fighting for his life in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

Named locally as Liam McCallum, the schoolboy was left very badly injured by the incident near his home in Co Antrim on Tuesday afternoon.

His parents Alistair and Natasha McCallum are said to be devastated.

Hundreds of friends wished the youngster a speedy recovery on social media after seeing Alistair's heartfelt plea.

One friend of the family wished Liam a speedy recovery. They said: "Prayers are with you and your family at this time."

It's understood the youngster, who is a P5 pupil at Straidbilly Primary School, was playing football in the area of Toberdoney Road in Liscolman when the collision happened.

Police arrested a pensioner shortly afterwards and appealed for witnesses to contact them.

A spokesman for the PSNI yesterday said that the man, aged in his 70s, was released on bail pending further enquiries.

The boy was taken with a police escort to the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine.

He was later transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital.

TUV councillor Sharon McKillop said that she was left shocked.

The Causeway Coast and Glens Borough councillor said: "I know the family involved personally and my thoughts and prayers are with the young boy who has been injured.

"I was shocked to hear of the accident last night on the Toberdoney Road.

"I hope this tragic accident will cause people again to remember the importance of road safety, particularly during the dark evenings of the winter months."

Ulster Unionist councillor Joan Baird described the incident as "terrible".

"It happened right at the edge of the village," she said.

"I understand that he was playing football and he was hit by a car.

"Information is still coming out but I know that he has been taken away to the Royal. It is really terrible.

"Obviously my thoughts are with the boy and his family, and also with the man who was driving the car."

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