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Remembering a brave F1 fan
Remembering a brave F1 fan
Posted By:   |  01 Jul 2009   |  9:56 pm GMT  |  24 comments

You’ve probably not heard of Liam Fairhurst but he was a mad keen F1 fan and he died this week.

But there’s more to it than that. Liam was only 14 and he had been battling against cancer for four years. He thought he’d beaten it, but it turned out he hadn’t.

Liam was remarkable because when he was being treated the first time he made friends with another child who subsequently died. Upset by the loss of his friend, Liam was determined to raise money for Clic Sargent, the children’s cancer charity, of which Eddie Jordan and I are patrons, which helps children and their families through the struggle of dealing with cancer.

He raised over £320,000.

Liam had an indomitable spirit. Despite being wheelchair bound and through frequent rounds of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and operations, Liam went to a lot of fund raising events. He won a Pride of Britain award.

He was crazy about Formula 1 and was desperate to visit the McLaren factory, which he ended up doing more than once, because Ron Dennis got involved in a bet with him to see how many fish he could catch in the lake at the factory. That turned into another big fundraising initiative.

He was a brave little guy, who proved how much you can achieve if you are really determined.

It puts the struggles of the last few weeks in F1 into perspective really.

To find out more about Clic Sargent and donate please go to

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r.i.p, boy...


Amen and God Bless


Yes, I've heard of Liam and I remember reading about his visit to the factory when he was there a few months ago. I believe he caught something like 20 or 30 fish in McLaren's lake to everyone's surprise. James, I applaud you for posting this homage of Liam, a person of his quality should be recognized as a "true hero".

-Mark Tosa
Powerlynx Motorsports


Condolences to Liam's family and friends.

James, perhaps you could make the link to clickable to help folks who'd like to visit the site and make a donation?


RIP young fellow, you were an inspiration to all of us!


nice post James, im pretty sure i remember seeing/reading something about the fishing contest.


What an amazing young man. Cancer affects a lot of people, and I know that each and everyone of them (and their loved ones) who are battling this disease deserve our respect. What is exceptional is that he could put aside his own trials to do something positive to help his friends and people he wont ever meet. His parents can be proud of their son.

I think that Mclaren and Ron Dennis should get some credit as well. Firstly, for rewarding his efforts, and secondly for helping out with his fundraising. This isn't something that many of us were aware of, perhaps we should.

I wonder who caught the most fish though 🙂

Howard Hughes

Wow. Very, very moving tribute.


A person can be measured by their humanity and care for others. Liam is an inspiration to us all.


RIP young Liam.
My thoughts are with his family and the many people he captivated during remarkable and brave life.


What a brave chap. I lost my father to cancer last week. From the first visit to the doctor in April, it was all over in June. It has come as a terrible shock to us as a family and, being stuck over in New Zealand, we never had the chance to speak from the day he got back from that doctor's visit.

I can only say how difficult I have found it suddenly coming to terms with the fact that we aren't actually immortal - it may sound strange but until something like this happens to you, somehow you think you are.

It gives me but a small glimpse of what Liam must have been facing knowing that he wouldn't grow up to do some of the things others around him could or would do. To stay bright and happy and put effort into life faced with such a stark future must take a very special person.

My thoughts are with his family for whom I have no doubt times are very difficult at the moment. May they find peace in the knowledge that Liam has probably lived more than most of us will do in our longer life times - we should learn from his example.


Gianni Fasulo

Liam was frequently on Look East. Thankfully, his fund raising got plenty of airtime and his message was heard by millions.


Tobias Stuyts

Always so sad to hear about losses like this. As James rightly said, it puts things into perspective. While teams were fighting for their ego this boy fought a brave battle for his life.

R.I.P. young fan.


brave man, may god bless everyone


£320,000 raised by a 14 year old sufferer. What an incredible effort by such a brave guy.


Liam's so short life makes the pathetic fan dance of the F1 hierarchy seem what it really is; petty and arrogant and, in the longer term, utterly futile.

Whereas what Liam achieved is a beacon in long, dark and stormy night.


Gone but not forgotten.....

Francis Duffy

Liam was in my daughters year at Soham and everytime I saw him he had a smile,

God bless


I remeber liam. He was in my year when I lived in England now I moved to America and there are people in my town who are battling cancer but of all the people I know he had got to be the bravest person I have ever met. Most people who have cancer want to look after themselves but liam was raising money for people like him he's my age and its so sad to see some one so young die in such a horrible rest in peace liam<3


Amen - well said - RIP and God bless Liam


Thanks for that, Rob. I always find the Clic kids inspiring, but Liam was obviously someone who could achieve the seemingly impossible.

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