THE brother of a Wirral goalkeeper who died in a tragic road traffic accident in 2019 has been awarded for his campaign which encourages community support and inclusion in grassroots football.

Liam Clark, known as Clarky to friends, died tragically after being involved in a car crash near Birmingham on Tuesday, September 10, 2019.

Liam, 21, a goalkeeper for North Wirral Saints Football Club left behind his foster family, teammates, girlfriend Olivia, and their three-month-old baby son Rauiri.

Liam’s foster brother, Zach Wilmer, 38, from New Brighton, founded the campaign ‘ClapforClarky’ after Liam’s death which began on social media.

Wirral Globe: Liam Clark, 21, tragically lost his life in a car accident near BirminghamLiam Clark, 21, tragically lost his life in a car accident near Birmingham

The campaign saw an organised a minute’s applause at Anfield during Liverpool’s Champions League clash with Red Bull Salzburg in 2019 on the 21st minute.

As a result of the campaign, Zach has been announced as the Nationwide Mutual Respect Award winner for March 2022.

The award, which was introduced last year, recognises outstanding contributions, achievements, and behaviour in grassroots football across the country by young players, coaches, teams, parents, and referees.

Zach told the Globe: "It is amazing to win the Nationwide Mutual Respect Award.

“I know through my own personal journey of battling bereavement, anxiety, and depression that grassroots football involvement can help contribute towards providing peer support for a sustainable recovery. 

Wirral Globe: Zach won the Nationwide Mutual Respect monthly grassroots football awardZach won the Nationwide Mutual Respect monthly grassroots football award

“So, my future goal is to use ‘ClapforClarky’ as a positive -  to help encourage, signpost, and motivate people to participate in grassroots football.

“My future grassroots football goal is to carry on getting coaching badges, whilst coaching players and teams within the local community. 

“My passion is caring deeply about mentoring players to thrive and have fun - in order to build a core value within themselves so they care for one another, treat others as equals, and promote mutual respect both on and off the pitch - all whilst keeping Clarky’s memory and legacy alive.”

After the reaction to the applause at Anfield, Zach felt that he should continue the momentum of ClapforClarky to help build a sports group that would help others battling bereavement, anxiety, depression, and those facing exclusion through the power of grassroots football.

Zach received a trophy, the accolade of being the Nationwide Mutual Respect Award winner, and tickets to a forthcoming England game.