A seriously ill Everton fan is hoping one of his fellow Blues might be able to save his life in a desperate race against time to find a bone marrow donor.
Richard Bollard, 33, was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis - a very rare blood disorder - in December.
Dad-of-two Richie thought he just had the flu, but his condition quickly deteriorated and he was dealt the devastating blow about his condition after being taken into critical care at Aintree Hospital.
Richie's father, 62-year-old Richard Bollard Snr, said his son now needs a life-saving bone marrow transplant to 'take out the bad cells and replace them with new ones'. © Trinity Mirror Shared Services LimitedRichard Bollard with his children George and Lily in hospital where he has been since November
However, despite two previous drives to try and find a 'donor match' who could help Richie, the family failed to find someone.
Everton Football Club has stepped in to try and help the family by organising an event aimed at finding a lifesaving donor for Richie. © Trinity Mirror Shared Services LimitedRichie Bollard with his wife Helen and children George and Lillian
Dad thought he had flu - but it turned out to be life-threatening blood disease
The club will be holding a registration event on Friday, June 15 at the Liverpool Quaker Centre on School Lane in Liverpool City Centre.
Welcoming potential donors between 11am and 7pm, the event holds the potential to find a lifesaving match for Richie or someone in a similar position.
Richie is a lifelong Blue, watching his first match at Goodison with his dad when he was just five-years-old. © Trinity Mirror Shared Services LimitedRichard Bollard, 33, desperately needs a bone marrow transplant after being diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis - a very rare blood disorder - in December
Speaking to the ECHO, Richard Snr said: "Richie's followed Everton all his life. I started taking him at five years old and he's 33 now. He's a Blue through and through.
"The Club has been absolutely fantastic to be honest. Richie's already met Graham Stuart who came down to the hospital.
"We can't thank them enough. Everton in the Community have been amazing. He was in the programme, it's been announced at Goodison - they've really pushed the boat out to find him a match." © Trinity Mirror Shared Services LimitedRichie Bollard with Graham Stuart when the former Everton player visited him in hospital
Girl, 6, had 'ticking time bomb' growing inside her
Despite their own battles in recent months and the ongoing struggle to find a match for Richie, the family have managed to find donors for other people in the same position.
Two previous events organised to try and help Richie ended up finding matches for four other people who could be saved by a bone marrow transplant.
Richard Snr said: "While they haven't found a match for Richie, we've found a match for other people. It's not what we want - we want the match - but knowing there's people out there going through the same thing... we've found four people their match." © Trinity Mirror Shared Services LimitedDad Richard Bollard Snr with his 33-year-old son Richie
© Trinity Mirror Shared Services LimitedRichard Bollard, 33, is in a race against time to find a bone marrow donor
Richie has since been moved from Aintree Hospital to the Royal, but has only been able to see his children a handful of times since being admitted.
Dad Richard Snr said all he wants is for his son to get better and be able to return hope to his young family.
Richie's wife Helen has been a 'rock' throughout his illness, and his children George, three, and 10-month-old Lillian want to see their dad back home. © Trinity Mirror Shared Services LimitedRichard Bollard Snr with his three-year-old grandson George
Mum's 'stress headaches' turned out to be a crippling brain tumour
Richard Snr said: "All we want is for him to go home to Helen and the kids.
"It's been the toughest seven months of my life - what it's been like for Richie and Helen... I don't know."
He added: "He gets the occasional home visit and George is still weary that his dad has got to go back to hospital. Helen has been a rock for our Richie."
In partnership with blood cancer charity DKMS, Everton Football Club is asking Blues, Reds and anyone else who might be able to help to come and register at their event on Friday. © Trinity Mirror Shared Services LimitedDad Richie with three-year-old George
Anyone in the UK aged between 17 and 55 and in good general health can register with DKMS.
To register, the charity asks potential blood stem cell donors to give consent and a three-minute swab sample from the inside of their cheek.
This is done at one of their donor recruitment events or via requesting a kit from their website.