EXCLUSIVE: Harvey Elliott has been praised for his impressive displays recently, but his recent interaction with a fan in hospital has also received plaudits
When 13-year-old Jacob was sat in the X-ray department at Leeds Infirmary General hospital, the last person he probably expected to give him a medical assessment was Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott.
The English forward was stretchered into the back of an ambulance at Elland Road in the Leeds vs Liverpool match on Sunday.
Elliott was slide tackled by Pascal Struijk as he tried to break away on the counter-attack, however, the defenders trailing leg landed on his ankle and caused a dislocation.
Within the hour, the 18-year-old was sat on the hospital ward next to youth footballer Jacob, who had sustained an arm injury whilst playing for his local football team, North East Leeds Pumas under-14’s.
Jacob went viral that evening after a WhatsApp message of him holding Elliott’s shirt and boot, that were gifted to him by the footballer, was posted on Twitter, with many praising Elliott for his generous gesture.
But it wasn’t only a shirt and boot that Jacob, a Reds fan, went home with that evening, he also got a medical assessment from the former Blackburn Rovers loanee.
Speaking to the Mirror, Jacob’s father, Imran, said: “Jacob was going to watch the Liverpool game with me later on but he obviously didn’t because of the injury so he didn’t know what was going on.
“Harvey explained to him what had happened to him but he actually spent more time talking about Jacobs injury.
“He actually assessed Jacob’s injury and said ‘You’ll probably be out for six weeks or so,’ and that was spot on as well as, I think that’s the assessment we’ve been given by the doctors.”
Elliott has impressed in his four appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s side this season, playing as an attacking playmaker in the Reds’ midfield trio and causing defences’ nightmares due to his licence to roam and be a presence in the final third.
Imran continued: “It was just incredible really because in that sort of situation you’ve got a professional footballer who’s got something broken, so you don’t expect to spend that much time with them.
“It’s wasn’t just a short conversation, it was a really long conversation asking how Jacob was, what was going on, how everything was, who he plays for, what position does he play, so lots and lots of detail. Obviously, Jacob knew who Harvey Elliot was and he was blown away by how long he spent talking to him.
“He was just really polite, really well-spoken, really responsible. I think that’s what Jacob was shocked by. You hear negative views of footballers, maybe even negative views of Harvey Elliott from when he was a young kid but it was the complete opposite. The family were superb, really lovely guys from a family perspective, and he was just a really nice kid.”
Elliott has since undergone surgery on his left ankle but the club have not named when they expect their exciting prospect to return, although they will be hoping it will be around January as they will lose Sadio Mane [Senegal] and Mohamed Salah [Egypt] to the African Cup of Nations for that month.
Jacob left the hospital with his arm in a cast, an unforgettable memory and several match worn items that he can proudly display.
Speaking about how Elliott gifted his son his shirt and boot, Imran said: “During the course of the conversation, Harvey just took off his top and his boot and gave them to Jacob, he said he wanted to keep the other boot as it’s his lucky boot. Jacob was just in awe and shocked.
“Harvey just said he wanted to give it to Jacob as a memento because he was a Liverpool fan and he was in a difficult situation and he wanted to make sure that he was okay, it was something for him to remember meeting a Liverpool player by.
“He just went out of his way to make sure Jacob was alright really, and I find it mad because he’s only just turned 18, so he’s not much older than Jacob really, it doesn’t look that way because he’s so incredibly mature.”