Anti-terror cops bring down statue as safety concerns gripped Liverpool-City match

By Mirror: Monday, January 15th 2018 at 08:55 GMT +3 | Gossip & Rumours
Virgil Van Dijk's prank statue that was erected by Bookmaker Paddy Power at Anfield [Photo: @PaddyPower]

Anti-terror police were called to Anfield just hours before Liverpool took on Manchester City on Sunday - to tear down a statue erected as a prank.

Bookmaker Paddy Power placed a suspicious statue of Virgil van Dijk outside the ground on the morning of the vital Premier League clash.

But police swooped at around 9am on Sunday amid concerns that the statue could be dangerous.

Mirror Football understands Paddy Power presented relevant safety paperwork.

But the authorities were still concerned that it could have been something more sinister and were told to remove the statue hours before kick-off.

Despite having all the forms, it is understood that police feared there could be a bomb inside of the statue.

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The bookmakers had placed the 30ft Van Dijk statue outside the Main Stand at Anfield at around 4:30am on Sunday.

It was accompanied by a banner reading: "Finally, a player worth his weight in gold (to scale)."

Van Dijk completed a £75million move to Liverpool from Premier League rivals Southampton earlier this month and has since made his debut.

He will, however, sit out of the game against Manchester City due to injury.

Mirror Football has contacted Merseyside Police for comment.