Wednesday 11 April 2012
Liverpool's substitute goalkeeper Brad Jones has dedicated his dramatic penalty save in the thrilling 3-2 victory over Blackburn Rovers to his late son Luca.
Jones came on for his Barclays Premier League debut when Alexander Doni was sent off for bringing down David Hoilett in the first half.
And with his first touch, the 30-year-old dived down to his right to save the resulting penalty from Blackburn Rovers striker Yakubu.
"I've definitely got someone watching over me"
- Brad Jones
It was a poignant moment for Jones, whose five-year-old son son Luca passed away in November after a long battle with leukaemia.
"It was nice to save the penalty as it has been a difficult 18 months with losing my son, and maybe today he gave me that good fortune," Jones told the club's official website.
"Luca is with me every day. I carry him everywhere as his picture is in my wash bag, his toys are in my travel bag and I take him everywhere, so in that sense I've definitely got someone watching over me."
Jones faced two penalties from Yakubu at Ewood Park on Tuesday night after the Australia international brought down the Rovers striker in the second half.
And Jones said the fact that he used to play with Yakubu at Middlesbrough may have given him an edge when facing his former team-mate.
"Me and Yakubu were good mates at Middlesbrough and we still keep in touch," added Jones.
"I used to work with him on penalties every Friday in training and maybe that gave me the heads up for the first one.
"For the second he went the other way, so it would have been nice to save them both but we are just happy with the win."
"I think the victory will do everybody the world of good"
- Kenny Dalglish
Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish, meanwhile, paid tribute to his players after they ended a poor run of form despite playing for most of the match with 10 men.
"I can't speak highly enough of the effort and commitment the players showed," he said.
"They got a fantastic start, were 2-0 up and then we go down to 10 men.
"With the help of the supporters, who drove us forward, I thought we did really well in the second half. I think we just about deserved to win.
"We're delighted for the players. It's not been the best of times for them recently. That doesn't mean to say we've turned any corners but it certainly gives everyone a lift.
"We're delighted with the result and with the three points, and we pay tribute to the players.
"I think the victory will do everybody the world of good. We've not had the best of results recently and that gives everybody a lift."