The father of Alfie Evans has spoken of how he dreamt his son could follow in the footsteps of Everton star Wayne Rooney.
Tom Evans was speaking as he was presented with an accolade at the club’s end of season ceremony on Tuesday night.
Alfie died on Saturday aged 23 months after his life support treatment was withdrawn last Monday following a long-running legal battle.
Alfie’s parents, Mr Evans and Kate James, opposed withdrawing life support from the youngster, who had a degenerative brain disease, and wanted to take him abroad for treatment.
Mr Evans was presented with the Blue Blood Award by Everton chairman Bill Kenwright and said: “My dream as a child was to play for Everton. I remember watching Rooney score that goal against Arsenal in my brother’s bedroom and I wanted to follow in those footsteps.
I don’t think there was a happier person than Alfie to be part of Everton, Alfie wore the badge with pride through his situation
“Then when we had Alfie I wanted the same for him. I wear the badge with pride no matter the situation and Alfie wore his no matter his situation.
“Alfie really wanted to go to a game and as soon as we went to a game, he was screaming.
“I don’t think there was a happier person than Alfie to be part of Everton, Alfie wore the badge with pride through his situation.”
“I just want to thank Bill from the moment I had the phone call with him. He said, ‘Anything you need, anything’, and I said, ‘I just want Alfie’s name to be known around Liverpool’.”
Moved by the prayers and immense solidarity shown little Alfie Evans, I renew my appeal that the suffering of his parents may be heard and that their desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted.— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 23, 2018
The plight of the youngster saw the family receive support from across the world, with Pope Francis saying he was “moved by the prayers and immense solidarity” shown to the youngster.
Speaking after he presented the award, Mr Kenwright said: “Tom has just whispered in my ear, ‘He would be proud, wouldn’t he?’ Well Tom, every second he was proud of you.”