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Tommy Smith’s thankyou to fans at Anfield

Tommy Smith’s thankyou to fans at Anfield

Aug 15 2007

by Greg O'Keeffe, Liverpool Echo

LIVERPOOL legend Tommy Smith will step on to the Anfield pitch on Sunday to thank supporters who helped him get through major heart bypass surgery.

The 62-year-old former Reds defender, known as the Anfield Iron because of his tough reputation, had a six-way bypass in Broadgreen Cardiothoracic Centre.

He collapsed while gardening at his home in Crosby on June 6 and told the ECHO he feared he was going to die.

Now Tommy, the first Liverpool captain to lift a European trophy in 1973 and goal-scoring hero of the club’s first European Cup win in 1977, is recovering with regular physiotherapy sessions.

He will make an emotional return to Anfield at half-time at the Reds’ first home game of the season against Chelsea to thank the thousands of fans who sent him get-well cards and good wishes.

Speaking before a treatment session with heart specialists, he said: “It could be one of my most emotional appearances at Anfield.

“I was overwhelmed with all the cards and genuine messages of goodwill while I was in hospital and it gave me and my family a lot of strength.

“I’ve been on that Anfield turf on well over 300 occ-asions, but Sunday will be very special and I’m sure there will be a little lump in my throat.”

Tommy and wife Sue had to cancel a holiday in Florida after the heart scare.

One of Liverpool’s greatest servants and an ECHO columnist for more than 20 years, Tommy had been complaining of discomfort in his chest for several days before the attack.

But he dismissed the problems as indigestion.

Tommy also suffers painful rheumatoid arthritis.


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