Thousands of pounds raised in memory of young Arsenal fan killed in car accident on New Year’s Day
Thousands of pounds have been raised in memory of a young Arsenal fan who died after being hit by a car in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
Celebrity Gunners including The Last Leg’s Alex Brooker and Jonathan Creek actor Alan Davies are among those to have donated money amid an outpouring of support for the family of 24-year-old graphic designer Liam Seager.
In Liam’s memory, his father Dave has raised almost £6,000 for the Willow Foundation, a charity set up in 1999 by Arsenal legend Bob Wilson after his daughter Anna died from a rare form of cancer.
Dave, an Arsenal author, columnist and broadcaster said he, his wife Jo and daughters Lindsay and Bethan decided to set up the campaign as a tribute to Liam.
Liam, a talented footballer at school who went on to graduate in graphic design from the University of the West of England, had recently moved to Balham, south London, and was working as a freelancer.
Paying tribute to his son, Dave told the Standard: “He was only 24. He had big plans for 2019, I was incredibly proud of him.
“I’m not spiritual but he was one of those people who people said had an aura about him.
“He was the cool kid at school who was happy to be uncool. He didn’t mind standing up to bullies. He had a warmth about him and he was always there for his friends.
“He was shy, but when you got to know him he was incredibly funny. He had such a bright future.”
Dave said the Willow Foundation, which arranges special days for people between the age of 16 to 40 who have life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses, came to mind following Bob Wilson’s support for his books, including helping him promote Arsene’s Double Double last year.
He said: “Bob Wilson’s a friend and has been supportive of my books.
“Because of what the Willow Foundation does and with the massive Arsenal connection we thought it would be a good thing to do.
“I pressed the launch button on Tuesday night and we’d raised £1,500 by Wednesday morning. Arsenal supporters from all over the world have been donating.
“Football fans get a bad press sometimes but this is phenomenal generosity from the Arsenal family.”
Former Arsenal goalkeeper Mr Wilson told the Standard: “At the moment everyone’s thoughts should be with Dave and his wife. But what he has done since the death of his son is just extraordinary and the reaction to it has been extraordinary.
“So far with the money he’s raised that’s four or five special days and it seems to be growing. It is amazing that people have reacted in this way.
“This is about a mum and a dad who have lost their son but out of that there is something positive.”
Mr Wilson said since the charity was launched 20 years ago it has arranged 16,000 special days for young people who are seriously ill.