“You’ll never walk alone”: The terminally ill Eriksson’s big dream has come true

“You’ll never walk alone”
The terminally ill Eriksson’s big dream has come true

Sven-Göran Eriksson will not be alive much longer; the Swedish football coach is terminally ill with pancreatic cancer. The former England national coach can still fulfill a big dream: he will coach a Liverpool FC team.

Swedish coaching legend Sven-Göran Eriksson was celebrated with loud applause at Liverpool FC’s legendary game at Anfield Road. On his emotional return to the coaching bench, Eriksson, who was terminally ill with pancreatic cancer, led the Reds’ legendary team to a 4-2 win against the legendary Ajax Amsterdam team. Shortly before the game, the Swede and current Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp warmly hugged each other.

It could have been Eriksson’s last appearance on the sidelines of a football game. With his efforts, the 76-year-old fulfilled a heartfelt wish. Eriksson made his diagnosis public in January, after which coach Jürgen Klopp invited the great Liverpool fan to the game. Both greeted each other as “legends”. Before kick-off, Eriksson came onto the pitch first with a walk-in child in hand. Around 60,000 fans stood and applauded before the club anthem “You’ll never walk alone” was played.

“I want to enjoy every minute,” emphasized Steven Gerrard, one of the club’s great legends, before the start of the game. “It still feels like a very special place,” agreed his former teammate Fernando Torres: “And it’s a special day for Sven.”

Eriksson managed a selection of former Liverpool players at Anfield, including Jerzy Dudek, Sami Hyypiä and Dirk Kuyt. The proceeds from the charity game against the legendary Ajax team will be donated to local institutions that are primarily committed to education and social issues.

The Swede, who is nicknamed “Svennis” in his homeland, resigned from his position as sports director at the Swedish club IF Karlstadt at the beginning of the year after his cancer diagnosis. In his coaching career, the former defensive player coached, among others, the clubs Benfica Lisbon, AS and Lazio Rome and Manchester City as well as the national teams of England, Mexico, the Philippines and the Ivory Coast.

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