As a lifelong supporter of Liverpool Football Club, a phone call on 18th March from the Club left Dunloy man Darol O’Kane over the moon as he landed his dream job.
Having gone through a tough time with few job prospects locally, Darol applied for the position of graphic designer at Liverpool FC despite believing he had little chance of getting the job.
“This time last year I was finishing my final year and after I graduated with a First I went to New York to try and make my way there. I did some intern work but I wasn’t making enough money to even cover my rent so had to give up and come home. I was desperate for work and very few jobs were being advertised so I hand-delivered my portfolio to a selection of design firms in Belfast and although they were impressed they couldn’t offer me any work.
“Then in November I was looking online and came across a posting for an experienced graphic designer to join Liverpool FC. As a graduate I thought I have no chance but I have to apply for it. I heard nothing until February, and had forgot all about it, when I received an email inviting me over for an interview. Even then I thought I’ll go over and have a nosey through LFC HQ but I still have no chance.
“Again some weeks passed and I heard nothing. Then another email inviting me back for a second interview. This time with more senior members of staff who followed up the interview by sending me on a tour of Anfield. I thought that was a good sign and it was the first time I really let myself believe I could get the job.
“The first time I was over they said there were hundreds in for it and I had made the final 10 and that three or four would be called back for a second interview so to even get that far came as a shock. Fitting, I guess, that after my struggles in New York and at home to find a job it’s the club that’s been part of my life for as long as I remember that have given me this incredible chance.”
Based at large city centre offices, Darol works on a wide range of projects for Liverpool FC. “I’m part of a team of designers, working on loads of different projects” added Darol. “I walk into the office, past the Liverpool badge everyday, and I still can’t believe I am here. The first match I went to was in 1999, in Steven Gerrard’s debut season, if someone told me then that I’d be working for the Club in his last season I would never have believed them.”
Darol’s father Paul, also a lifelong Liverpool fan added: “I am so proud of Darol. he is a very talented and unassuming lad and I can hardly believe that he is now working for the Club.”