Fans of Liverpool have demanded that the club enable terminally ill Sven-Goran Eriksson to realise his lifelong dream of managing the team.
The former England manager, who has pancreatic cancer with about a year left to live at the “best case”, told Sky News’ Niall Paterson of his footballing regret at never having taken the helm at Anfield.
Eriksson, like his father, has been a lifelong supporter of the Merseyside club.
In response to the poignant interview, supporters have backed the idea of the 75-year-old managing the LFC Legends side in a charity home match against Ajax in March.
The annual fixture raises funds for the LFC Foundation, which supports children and young people.
The suggestion was made by football YouTuber and LFC fan Douglas Horne, who posted on X:
“Let’s get Sven to manage the Liverpool legends v Ajax one last dream for him.”
John Gibbons, a host of the award-winning Anfield Wrap podcast, told Sky News it was “a fantastic idea”
He said: “I think people would think it a lovely thing.
“He’s a popular person, but knowing that he’s got this dream of being a Liverpool manager all this time just kind of hit home for those Liverpool fans even more really.”
He added: “We’ve got a legends game coming up in March, so a lot of Liverpool legends come back every year.
“It raises a lot of money for the fantastic LFC Foundation and there’s maybe a role there to manage that team.
“It might be a legends game but it’s always close to a full house at Anfield.
“A lot of great players, ex-players you know, play and it’s a wonderful occasion.
“I’m sure as he’s leading the teams out, you know this is Anfield, they will play You’ll Never Walk Alone it’ll feel like the closest thing.
“I’ve seen quite a few Liverpool fans mention that and I think it’s a fantastic idea.
“It’s not my idea, but it’s one I’ve seen and I think it would be absolutely brilliant.
“Kenny Dalglish normally does it and he’s done it loads of times, so I’m sure he’d be quite happy to pass it on to Sven because he’s such a fantastic popular football man throughout the country.
“I’m sure everyone would love to see him do it.”
In a direct message to Eriksson, he said: “It’s always nice to have one more of us so welcome to the Liverpool family and of course to his father as well.
“We’d love to see you fulfil your dream and your dad’s dream to see you manage Liverpool in this legends game.
“So if we can help you try and make that happen, that would be fantastic.
“But if not there is a space on the Kop next to me.
“If you’d like to come and watch a game as well you would always be more than welcome at Anfield.”
There was also an outpouring of support on social media.
Steve said: “LFC let’s make this happen. To make a dying man’s wish has Liverpool’s name written all over it.”
Kristian Andersson said: “Let’s all together show the true meaning of #YNWA and make Sven’s dream come true, by having him as the #LFC manager in the legends game against Ajax!”
Football coach Paul Purse wrote: “As many have suggested, manager for the legends game would be a class touch @LFC.”
Lifelong Red Dan Mathews said: “It will get done. It’s what we do. It’s why we’re different Sven will get his wish I’m sure.”
Speaking in his Sky News interview, Eriksson said: “My father is still a Liverpool supporter and I am a Liverpool supporter too, always have been.
“So I always wished to be the manager of Liverpool and that will not happen, but I’m still a Liverpool fan.”
Since revealing his terminal cancer diagnosis on Thursday, Eriksson said he had received “a lot of messages and phone calls” from former colleagues and players he coached, including from his days as England boss.
Between 2001 and 2006, Eriksson coached the so-called “golden generation” of footballers in the England team including Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Rooney and Frank Lampard.
While that squad did not manage to reach a major final, Eriksson believes the current crop is a “good team” and can win Euro 2024.