10:13AM, Thursday 08 October 2020
Right photo credit: Alex Migl
One of the biggest stars in the football world has written a letter to a Maidenhead schoolboy to help him with his anxiety.
Liverpool Football Club’s manager Jurgen Klopp wrote a letter of encouragement to Furze Platt Senior School pupil Lewis Balfe when he found out he was nervous about starting at a new school.
Over the summer Reds fan Lewis, who sometimes struggles with nerves and anxiety, was worried about starting at secondary school, so the 11-year-old decided to write to his idol to ask if he gets nervous before matches, and what he does to deal with it.
At the weekend, Lewis received a touching letter from the Liverpool boss explaining how he handles the nerves he feels before a football match.
The letter said: “Hello Lewis, can I start by telling you a secret? I get nervous.
“To be totally honest, I would be worried if I did not get nervous because when it happens it gives me the chance to turn that energy into something positive.
“You asked me what I do when my players feel this way and the answer is simple – I remind them of how important they are to me and how much I believe in them and I have no doubt that it will be exactly the same for your family with you.”
The letter Lewis received from Jurgen Klopp.
Speaking about how her son reacted to receiving a letter from his idol, which she has now got framed, Lewis’s mum Milena described his reaction.
“He was over the moon,” she said. “He had been asking after the reply for a long time, and I was trying not to get his hopes up too much because on the website it says the players and manager can’t reply to every letter.
“Lewis has always been a bit nervous and anxious, and he was a bit worried about starting school. He wrote the letter over the summer holidays and over the weekend we got a reply.
“I thought they might have sent something over that was just signed, but it was actually quite a thoughtful letter.
“He’s got a sense of pride that he’s received it. I hope that he’ll reflect on it and read it at those (nervous) moments, that he’ll call back on it.”
The UK has voted to leave the European Union in yesterday's referendum - and while the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead fell into the remain camp, Slough voted to support a Brexit.