'One thing could complete my dad's priceless possession'

John Lawrenson with his son Johnathan, when he was just a baby
-Credit: (Image: Hayley Lawrenson)

John Lawrenson had been going to watch his team play since he was just a little boy.

His love and passion for Liverpool FC only grew as he did. Sadly, in April 2018 John, 70, died after a long battle with cancer. But one part of John's passion lives on, an impressive piece of memorabilia which recently appeared in the Liverpool FC Museum.

The memorabilia in question dates all the way back to 1974, when Bill Shankly was manager and John snuck in to meet him, as he handed the title over to Bob Paisley.

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He got the legendary manager to sign a pound note - which has been signed by every Liverpool boss since, except Jurgen Klopp. The family is now appealing to "finish their dad's football journey" by getting the last reigning manager he saw to sign the historical note.

John's daughter, Hayley Lawrenson, 42, from Wallasey, told the ECHO: "My dad has been a life-long Liverpool supporter, he went to games with his dad when he was a little boy and continued throughout his life. Then he took his son - my brother John - I went as well, he is very dedicated.

"He was a massive fan, and a very good man. He has three kids and two of us came out as Liverpool supporters and one was the black sheep and supported Man U. I remember when I was a kid and him having no babysitter so he took me with him and I sat on his knee.

"He used to pay pounds on the door to get in and had been going since a kid. He is part of history. He drove my mum mad with all his Liverpool antics."

Hayley with her dad
Hayley with her dad -Credit:Hayley Lawrenson

John "lived and breathed" football his whole life. His passion started when he met Bill Shankly, and has since gone on to watch 12 bosses manage his team. Each one has signed the same pound note - a piece of Liverpool FC history John started all the way back in the mid 70s.

His proud daughter, Hayley, said: "In 1974 when Bill Shankly was manager he went and met him, the lads wanted his signature. The pound notes had just come out and that is all my dad had on him that he could sign. So, my dad got his pound note and asked him to sign it, he willingly signed it then told him off. He said he was soft because it was a waste of money. He always used to say he 'got a lecture' off Bill Shankly.

"He had it [the pound note] signed by every manager since then, but unfortunately he passed away in 2018 and the last manager he watched was Jurgen Klopp, he had tried to get it signed, we are season tickets holders, but you can't get anywhere near to get it signed.

The famous pound note which has been signed by 12 Liverpool managers and ended up in the museum
The famous pound note which has been signed by 12 Liverpool managers and ended up in the museum -Credit:Hayley Lawrenson

"All we want is a signature. He has had it signed by everyone but Jurgen, and we would just love to get it signed for him to end his football journey.

"The football commentator said he would try and get it signed for us, but he would have to take it off us to give to him, but we don't want to part with it. It means so much to us. It's priceless. It makes us so proud, it would be so lovely for us to get it signed."

The pound note has now been passed down to Hayley's brother, Jon, she added: "I love the fact it is still going, I love that my brother is now keeping it going and I just want to get my dad's story out there. It would mean so much to us as a family, we are so proud."

John had been a football coach himself in Wallasey and was the secretary to Ashville FC, and even his diagnosis of terminal cancer didn't stop him turning to the football. His daughter says he "lived and breathed football." She said: "He literally used to go there when he was so poorly and still supported and did his job, he has been a referee, and has seen it all.

"He was at Hillsborough. When I was eight he went to Hillsborough and I remember everyone was panicking because they didn't know where he was and when he turned up him and his mates were just quiet, they were so shocked.

For John's 65th birthday the family did a stadium tour
For John's 65th birthday the family did a stadium tour -Credit:Hayley Lawrenson

"My dad was a BT manager, and was one of the first people to have a car phone, he was letting people phone their families to say they were safe. My brother always went to the games and that day he said he didn't want my brother to come to Hillsborough, there was something that made him not let him go that day, he had said he didn't like it and thank god he didn't."

John sadly died just a few months after his 70th birthday - his family had organised a huge surprise party for him. Hayley added: "He had a rough time with the cancer.

"As a family it would just mean so much to get it [the pound note] signed by Jurgen, it would just be his journey complete. It might not mean anything to anyone else but to us it is priceless. He was one in a million for us."

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