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Racchi was there for teammate Kelly at sad end of Kilmarnock's League Cup final triumph

Kilmarnock's Danny Racchi has spoken of the aftermath of Sunday's League Cup final win which ended in heartbreak for one of the clubs young players.

Liam Kelly's father, Jack, had a heart attack in the main stand at Hampden Park at the end of the match and later died in hospital and Racchi, who was not in the squad for the victory over Celtic, has told his story about helping his 22-year old mate through a very difficult time.

"For me, it wasn't about getting a medal, lifting the trophy and celebrating with my mates. "It was about making sure my team-mate was all right so I tried to keep him away from it," Racchi said.

"But there was nothing much I could say. I was literally on my knees with him in the tunnel for 20 minutes or so. We didn't know exactly what was going on but it was a very difficult moment.

"At that moment in time, I did what I felt was the best for Liam. I didn't want him to see his father in the way he was.

"I just thought because he was so young, and if I was in his position I wouldn't want to see a relative in that situation. I just tried to keep him isolated from it.

"When the final whistle went, I started to come down to celebrate with the lads, that is when his dad collapsed.

"Straight away, there was a bit of a problem. At first I didn't realise who it was until someone mentioned it was Liam's father.

"Liam was still on the pitch at this point but we didn't want to make him aware of it. We knew though he'd know roughly where his parents were sitting."

Racchi added: "The club won the trophy but then you realise it is only a game of football. Family and loved ones mean a lot more than lifting that trophy.

"I am sure every one of my team-mates would take everything back to change things.

"Now we have to help Liam through the rest of the season and hopefully him and his family are okay.

"Liam is just a kid, a year younger than me. I can't imagine what he is going through right now. We as a club have got to help him through it whenever he comes back to training.

"Obviously we have got to give him a bit of time to deal with it but we will all be there supporting him.

"But at the moment, it is all about giving him a little bit of space to let him deal with it with his family."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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