Football fan from Lancaster gets VIP treatment

Andy Smith alongside his hero Ian Rush.
Andy Smith alongside his hero Ian Rush.
Share this article

A member of staff at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals made the dreams of one of her patients a reality.

Rachael Moses, consultant physiotherapist at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals organised for one of her patients, Andrew Smith, 38, from Lancaster, to meet Liverpool Football Club players and his personal hero, former professional football player and all-time leading goal scorer, Ian Rush.

Andy is a huge Liverpool fan, and when Rachael found out that he and a friend were attending a football match, she decided to send a Tweet to Ian Rush, in the hope that they would be able to make something happen for Andy.

Within an hour, Ian had tweeted back, added Rachael as a connection and shared his personal details with her to organise this, all as a secret for Andy.

Ian Rush and Liverpool Football Club kindly allowed Andy to go to the stadium early to meet all of the players, get photos signed, and gave him tickets to sit in the VIP hospitality box.

Andy’s mum, Beryl Smith, said: “I want to say a big thank you to Rachael for thinking about Andrew and making so much effort to make this happen for him. He had the most incredible day and we’re all still on a massive high. Liverpool Football Club means so much to Andrew; Ian Rush and all of the players were absolutely unbelievable and gave so much time to Andrew.

“It honestly has made his life, he’s over the moon. Rachael has been so incredible through Andrew’s treatment; I can’t thank her enough for everything that she has done.”

Rachael said: “I am so thankful to all of the players and team at Liverpool Football Club who helped to make this happen, and in particular to Ian Rush, who replied to my Tweet asking him if anything could be made possible, and stayed by his side throughout the visit and absolutely made his day.

“ I’m so happy that we’ve been able to do this for Andy, he was absolutely thrilled. At the NHS, we invest a huge amount of time to making sure that our patients are medically well, but I always like to go beyond that and really make a difference to our patient’s lives.”

Andy, who married his partner Tracy in 2005, suffers from an undiagnosed neurological condition that resulted in complex neurodisability but despite the challenges he lives a very full independent life with help from family, friends and his care team.