Alan Smith thanks Liverpool staff

Smith said: “Sunday will be the first time I will have been able to thank in person the people at Liverpool who helped me that day.

“People at every club up and down the country have been great, but the people at Liverpool sorted me out as soon as possible.

“You can’t put a price on things like that or the lengths that some people will go to help, and sometimes that isn’t seen by people.

“There is a rivalry. but it’s a good rivalry. People like rivalry and that’s why football is so big. That’s why people get excited about coming to watch and why we get excited about playing.

“If the people at Liverpool hadn’t acted as swiftly as they did at the club then things may have been worse. I appreciate that so much and it will be nice coming face to face with them again on Sunday to say thanks.

“John Arne Riise got in touch and most of the Liverpool players did, as did players from every other club. I got phone calls and everything. I can’t remember a few of them because I was so groggy but everyone was fantastic.”