Liverpool Fans Rally Around Petrinja Earthquake Victim for Saving 'This is Anfield' Sign

By 7 January 2021
Liverpool Fans Rally Around Petrinja Earthquake Victim for Saving 'This is Anfield' Sign
Official Liverpool Supporters Club Croatia

January 7, 2021 - Petrinja earthquake victim and Liverpool supporter Bruno Lončarević is in the international spotlight for recovering one special memento from his damaged apartment. A 'This is Anfield' sign. reports that the story of Bruno Lončarević, a radiologist from Petrinja and a faithful Liverpool fan, whose family was left homeless in the earthquake, has spread far beyond Croatian borders.

It was not only broadcast by Liverpool fan media but also by the masses like the Daily Star. Liverpool fans' associations from the Balkans and around the world joined a fundraising campaign - and the news even reached former Liverpool player Dejan Lovren.

Lončarević is a radiological engineer who has been working at the Zagreb Clinic for Infectious Diseases "Dr. Fran Mihaljević" for almost a year and has thus been on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19. His apartment was destroyed in the Petrinja earthquake last week, from which he only saved some clothes and fan props of his beloved Liverpool, a plaque with the coat of arms and the inscription "This is Anfield," which stands at the exit of the tunnel leading to the pitch of the cult football stadium.

"After the earthquake, all I could think about was how I was going to get into the apartment, take some clothes and this sign that was in a special place in the apartment," Lončarević said for RTL.

Thus, the official association of Croatian Liverpool fans launched a fundraising campaign and opened an account to raise money for Bruno.

"Everything just needs to be resolved from the accounting side," said Antonio Krizmanić from the Official Liverpool Supporters Club Croatia fan association. He and Edin Tanević, another Liverpool fan, are leading the initiative.

"Edin, with the help of Nike Fleiss, legally received a video from RTL, which we subtitled in English, and tomorrow we will send it to e-mails, social networks, and directly to the club. 

We did not want to send it until everything was ready to receive donations from abroad, but two groups from the Balkans, Italy, and Turkey, joined the action. We are in contact with the club via intranet, which connects all fan associations worldwide. We asked them for a signed jersey that we would put up for auction, but they already had a lot of such requests due to the pandemic, so they said they had to consider the request," Krizmanić said.

"His family's house was destroyed by the first earthquake. He was just preparing his Petrinja apartment for renovation, for which he had just taken out a loan, and then it was destroyed by an earthquake the next day. By the end of the week, he and his family were accommodated in an apartment in Zagreb. Still, they had already received a lot of offers for the future and accepted one from their close family friend, so they will live in their apartment in Zagreb for free for the next year," he explained.

The association has already contacted former Croatian Liverpool players Igor Bišćan and Dejan Lovren, who, immediately after the earthquake joined in to help the victims. Lovren even offered his hotel in Novalja to affected families. 

"He reportedly heard the story while serving lunch in Novalja. He knows about Bruno's situation, but he has a lot of calls currently," said Krizmanić, adding that Bruno is shy about the media attention.

"He's a really good guy; I'd say too modest. He didn't want this to go that far, but look, buddy, it's Liverpool."

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