Just saw this lovely story on the Echo website, and thought it was worth sharing. It's nice to see how inclusive our club is.
'It 100% increases my love for the club' - heartwarming moment for Liverpool fan at Anfield during Ramadan
Liverpool's victory over Manchester United saw a Muslim Liverpool fan who is currently fasting during Ramadan have a fantastic experience when he went to pray during the game.
Liverpool’s resounding 4-0 victory over Manchester United on Tuesday was a brilliant evening for everyone involved at the club. But on Wednesday an extremely heartwarming moment that happened in the stands was revealed.
Rahat Chowdhury, a Liverpool FC fan, tweeted about his fantastic experience of the game at Anfield when he went to pray. Chowdhury is a Muslim and is currently fasting due to Ramadan which this year began on April 2nd and ends on May 1st. During Ramadan, Muslims fast between dawn and dusk so they don’t drink or eat anything during the hours of daylight.
He tweeted: “I was fasting when I went to Anfield yesterday and after I broke my fast I needed a place to pray. I went to the stewards to ask for a place to pray and not only did they escort me to the prayer room outside the ground but they also guided me there, waited for me to finish so I was allowed back in.
“I’ve genuinely never met such helpful and respectful stewards like this and I feel they should be appreciated especially when they respect something so important as religion to someone like me. I was able to get one name and that was Sharon and her steward number was 738 at Anfield. @LFCHelp @LFC I hope you see this and take it into consideration.”
Chowdhury regularly attends Liverpool games and travelled up to the game from where he lives in Luton on Tuesday. Speaking to the ECHO, he explained: “As a Muslim we pray five times a day and it’s Ramadan right now. A lot of the players like Salah and Mane are also fasting. I went all the way to Anfield and met my friend. I took a meal deal into the stadium to break my fast and at sunset Liverpool were 2-0 up so we ate.
“To pray I usually have a portable prayer mat or just use my jacket and face towards Mecca - I have a compass on my phone. I went to a steward and just said is there any way I can pray now. I appreciated that the prayer room is outside the ground and we were in a football stadium and obviously the rules are once you leave the premises you can’t come back in so they said to give them a minute. Sharon came over and she walked me to the prayer room and was really nice and welcoming. She waited for me to pray and then afterwards took me right back to where I was sitting.”
For Chowdhury, having attended matches this season at other grounds, the experience at Liverpool was by far the best. He said: “I’ve been to Arsenal, West Ham and Luton Town games and even Wembley. No one is accommodating like Liverpool are. It 100% increases my love for the club. It’s a very community based club and they actually care about the fans. The fact they did what they did made it even more special.”
Liverpool got in contact with Chowdhury and said they would speak with Sharon’s manager. There were also two other male stewards that helped out but Sharon was the only name that Chowdhury noted.
This was an extremely uplifting story and is a far cry from a 2015 controversy when a Liverpool fans rounded on a supporter who tweeted a picture of two Muslims praying at Anfield and shamefully labelled it “a disgrace”. Chowdhury was delighted by the change in attitudes at Anfield. He said: “There was no prayer room back then and it is just great to see how the club has changed from that incident.”
The room that Chowdhury went to pray in is a multi-faith room and has been in operation at the club for a number of years. It is available for any fan of any faith to use it as they see fit. Liverpool FC stewards undertake training in how to support fans of different faiths and are educated all-year-round, including at particular times of heightened sensitivity such as Ramadan. This is part of the club’s attempts to be as inclusive as possible and make sure that fans of all faiths feel they belong at Anfield and are part of the wider LFC family.https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/it-100-increases-love-club-23769958