Brad Jones thanks Liverpool fans for support since death of son

Brad Jones
Brad Jones

Goalkeeper Brad Jones dedicated Liverpool's 3-2 win at Blackburn to the fans who have supported him since the death of his son.

The third-choice keeper saved one penalty with his first touch and was beaten by another, having come off the bench to make his Premier League debut for the Reds.

"It's been a difficult 18 months and the result was thanks to the fans for their support," said 30-year-old Jones, whose five-year-old son, Luca, died of leukaemia in November.

Jones added that his partner, physiotherapist and model Dani Lawrence, had recently given birth to a son, Nico.

"With the birth of my son, Nico, on Wednesday, this has now been a good week," said the Australia international.

Lawrence tweeted a picture of the couple's baby on Tuesday night,external-link accompanied by the message: "Me and Nico are so proud of you. Luca is watching. #rip."

"Luca is with me every day," Jones told the Liverpool Echo.external-link "I carry him everywhere. His face is on my washbag and his toys are in my travel bag. In that sense I've got someone looking over me.

"It's been difficult not being involved and with everything that has gone on. But I've trained as hard as I can and hopefully that will stand me in good stead."

Jones came on in the 26th minute at Ewood Park after reserve goalkeeper Alexander Doni - himself a replacement for Pepe Reina - was sent off for a foul on Junior Hoilett.

Jones saved the resultant penalty from Yakubu, but the former Middlesbrough player was beaten from the spot by the Rovers striker in the second half after being penalised for pushing the Nigerian.

With Doni and Reina suspended, Jones - a £2.3m signing from Middlesbrough in August 2010 - is set to make only his second Liverpool start in Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against Merseyside rivals Everton at Wembley.

"It hasn't sunk in yet, it's been a bit of a shock - not something I was expecting," said Jones. "Now it's a case of getting focused and ready.

"It's a big game at the weekend and we just have to be prepared."

Eighteen-year-old academy goalkeeper Danny Ward, who joined Liverpool from Wrexham in January and is yet to make a senior appearance for any club, is likely to be on the bench.

The Reds' only other senior keeper, 21-year-old Peter Gulacsi, is on a season-long loan at Hull City.

Liverpool were leading 2-0 through two Maxi Rodriguez goals when Doni was sent off, but Blackburn fought back to level through Yakubu's brace.

Andy Carroll's stoppage-time header ended a run of four games without a win for Liverpool, securing only their third Premier League victory of 2012 in the process.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish refused to discuss Doni's red card, or Jones's foul on Yakubu that led to a booking for the substitute keeper.

"We'll leave talking about the other incidents until we look at them," he said. "To get a man sent off and come away from here with a victory speaks great credit for the players. It's been a smashing day for us."