(Reuters) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp brought smiles to the faces of three supporters currently in isolation amid the COVID-19 pandemic by dropping in on their Zoom calls.
Liverpool in March launched an initiative aimed at helping people stay connected during the outbreak and German Klopp was more than happy to play his part.
Liverpool released a video on Tuesday showing Klopp first checking in on Brett Duffy, a volunteer with the LFC Foundation studying performance analysis, and reminiscing on his early days as a coach.
“When I started, I had to do all the analysis myself so I know it’s quite intense! In the end you give it to a head coach and he says ‘yeah interesting’ and puts it away,” Klopp told Duffy, who is self isolating at Liverpool John Moores University.
“You look in good spirits still, that’s important. That’s how the boys are, that’s how I am, and so we will go again and we will be back.”
Klopp also caught up with Darren Smyth, who had undergone brain surgery on his birthday last January and is currently isolating due to a cancer diagnosis.
Smyth told Klopp he was at Anfield for the Merseyside derby in December 2018 and marvelled at the atmosphere in the stadium following Divock Origi’s stoppage-time winner.
“You ended up celebrating three or four rows below and I ended up in (goalkeeper) Alisson’s arms. We were in slightly different places but we felt exactly the same,” Klopp said.
“That’s what football is all about. That we can share these moments and never forget them.”
Klopp invited Smyth, who is due to have lung surgery, to Anfield to share a beer in his ‘food room’ and asked him to stay strong.
“You have a wonderful family around you, and I really, really hope to see you soon,” Klopp added.
Noah Smallwood, a young boy suffering from Perthes disease, a condition that affects the hip, was the third fan to be surprised by Klopp.
Noah was scheduled to have an operation at Alder Hey, which the Liverpool manager labelled the best hospital in the world.
“We know a lot of people there. You are in the best hands there. I’ll invite you to Kirby, our new training ground and we’ll pass a few balls and meet the boys,” Klopp said.
Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis