YNWA - Liverpool fan Fergal thrilled after sketch video hits one million views

YNWA - Liverpool fan Fergal thrilled after sketch video hits one million views
Fergal Birrane looking at his belated 26th birthday present of his favourite team. The Co Mayo man is depicted alongside striker Mo Salah.

A heart-warming video of a young man's reaction to seeing himself among caricatures of the winning Liverpool squad has been described by the premier league champions as "absolutely brilliant".

The video of Fergal Birrane looking at his belated 26th birthday present of his beloved team and spotting himself beside Mo Salah has received over one million views since it was posted on Saturday by caricaturist Niall O'Loughlin, who sketched the image.

Fergal, who has Down Syndrome, is a huge Liverpool fan and football has been the one thing which has got him through lockdown since his day centre closed last March.

"He was just ecstatic with the team picture but now that the video has been viewed over a million times and commented on by the club, he is just beside himself," said his mum Ger from the family home in Ballina, Co. Mayo. 

"I've been following Niall O'Loughlin's work and the minute I saw him putting up the image on caricatures.ie, I knew Fergal would love it as he turned 26 on May 30 - the same birth date as Steven Gerrard, as Fergal himself tells everyone.

"I took the video because I knew the reaction he would have and wanted to capture the moment.

"He just loves Liverpool and we have been over a few times to matches. Fergal, his brothers Mark and Cathal and his nephews Luke and Harry all follow me because I've always been a huge Liverpool fan.

"But his dad Johnny is a Leeds supporter and as they look set to be promoted to the Premiership, next year will be an interesting one in this house," she laughed.

"We were also looking at a picture of Fergal meeting Jack Charlton in Ballina in 2011. That would be the only real interest in Leeds!

"Fergal has missed his day centre since it closed last March and we brought a few of his friends to social distance here last week but basketball and football really got him through lockdown.

"Niall is hugely talented and we just love this picture and what he has done for Fergal."

Niall himself says he is hugely taken aback from the reaction the tweet is receiving, adding that he only posted the video as he thought it was such a lovely sentiment.

"It really got to me. I thought it was lovely so I tweeted it. Never in a million years did I think it would be viewed by so many or be endorsed by Liverpool club. It's absolutely amazing.

"Obviously others think the same as I do. Even Liverpool who described the video as 'absolutely brilliant'.

"I sketched the caricature of the team with an added player so that you could personalise it and I've sold hundreds across the world already but when you see the reaction your work gets from someone like Fergal, it really makes your day."

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