Alfie Evans honoured in touching Goodison Park banner by Everton fans remembering 'little boy the world fell in love with'
Fans of the Toffees unfurled banners at Goodison Park that read ‘Rest in Peace’ and ‘God Bless Alfie Evans’ ahead of the Premier League clash with the Saints.
One banner read in full: ‘Rest in Peace Alfie Evens – the little boy the world fell in love with. You’ll never be forgotten”.
Alfie’s dad, Tom Evans, 21, made his first public appearance since his son died at Everton FC's end-of-season awards ceremony where he was awarded the Chairman's Blueblood Award.
He was embraced on stage by Everton chairman Bill Kenwright, who Tom described as the "grandad I never had".
The award, which was presented at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, was presented as a personal tribute by Kenwright to people he feels "embody the Evertonian spirit".
Wearing a blue tuxedo, Tom explained in an emotional speech how he once dreamed Alfie would become a legend like Wayne Rooney at Everton.
He said: “I just want to thank Bill. From the moment I made the phone call I felt as though he was the granddad I never had.
“I never grew up with a granddad, but he said to me ‘if there’s anything you need, anything,’ and I just said I wanted my boy’s name to be echoed round the club.
“My dream as a child was to play for Everton. I remember watching Rooney score that goal in my brother’s bedroom.
"I was only a little nipper but my dream was to follow in those steps.
“When I couldn’t follow those steps and I had Alfie my dream was then to have him to follow those steps.
"My number one goal that I wanted to do was to take him to the game and scream, and scream and come home with a sore throat like me.
“The club, I could not be a happier person to be a part of Everton. I wear the badge with pride no matter the situation.
"There’s no club like Everton, I’m glad that Alfie has worn that kit.
“We’ll always class him as our blue warrior and I’d just like to thank Bill for the award.”
It is the first time Tom has been seen in public since 23-month-old Alfie passed away on Sunday – five days after his life support was switched off.
Defiant Tom and Alfie's mum Kate James had battled to keep their son's life support on in a string of legal appeals after he was diagnosed with a mystery degenerative neurological condition.
They had lost a challenge at the Court of Appeal and failed to have the decision overturned at the Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights.
Following one appeal, Lord Justice Davis, ruled that Alfie's life support must be turned off and told lawyers that doctors had agreed that there was "no hope".
Alfie's life support was eventually turned off at 9.17pm on the evening of Monday, April 23 but the following morning his dad said that the little boy was still battling on and breathing unassisted.
His parents launched a last ditch attempt to send him to Italy for treatment, which was rejected, as supporters flooded Alder Hey.
Parents Tom Evans and Kate James broke the news to their Alfie's Army supporters on Facebook on April 28, saying: "Our baby boy grew his wings tonight at 2:30 am. We are heartbroken."
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