Australian goalkeeper Brad Jones paid tribute to his late son Luca after he made his first Premier League appearance for Liverpool on Tuesday.
In a match they won 3-2 at Blackburn, thanks to Andy Carroll’s injury time header, Jones was introduced after just 25 minutes.
He had little time to warm up after second-choice ‘keeper Alexander Doni – standing in for the suspended Pepe Reina – saw red for bringing down Junior Hoilett inside the penalty area.
But the Aussie goalkeeper denied Yakubu from the spot and pointed to the heavens in recognition of his son, Luca, who lost his fight against leukaemia last November.
And Jones, who spent time together with Yakubu during their time at Middlesbrough, said he knew his former team-mate’s style.
“I remember many a Friday on the training pitch at Middlesbrough,” Jones said.
“We used to practice penalties a lot so I knew his (Yakubu’s) style and what he does. I had a guess and luckily I made the save.”
The Socceroo was in the thick of the action again when he conceded a penalty of his own, and was perhaps lucky not to follow Doni down the tunnel.
Yakubu converted the resulting spot-kick – which was his second goal of the game – to draw Blackburn level after Maxi Rodriguez had given Liverpool a 2-0 lead.
Jones’ partner Dani gave birth to a baby boy last week and, speaking after the game, he admitted it has been tough since death of his son.
“It has been a difficult 18 months with my son passing away. That was for him and obviously for the supporters as well for giving me the support they have. My girlfriend gave birth to a little boy so it has been a big week,” he said.
The 30-year-old is now likely to start against Merseyside rivals Everton in a FA Cup semi-final clash at Wembley on Saturday, with the club’s first and second choice keepers now suspended.
“It is (semi-final) not something I have been thinking about to be honest. But it’s a big game and it is about preparing for that and making sure I am focused.”