Footballer Billy Sharp, 25, last night returned to the pitch, just three days after the death of his 2-day-old baby son, scoring a goal dedicated to his boy, Luey Jacob Sharp.
After scoring the opening goal for his Doncaster Rovers side against Middlesborough, the team captain lifted his shirt to reveal the message “That’s for you, son”.
Praise was given to referee Darren Deadman for not booking Billy, as is normal procedure when a player celebrates a goal by revealing a message on a t-shirt underneath their kit.
Before kick-off, Billy requested a message be read out to fans before a minute’s applause.
“This is a minute’s applause to celebrate the short life of Billy and Jade’s son Luey Jacob Sharp. Born 27th October, taken by the angels on the 29th. Sleep tight son,” the message read.
“My goal tonight was the most important of my career dedicated to my brave boy Luey Jacob Sharp. I love you son. I was crying during the minute’s applause. Thanks to both sets of fans,” Billy later tweeted.
Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand, former England star Stan Collymore and Doncaster manager Dean Saunders were amongst thousands of wellwishers applauding Billy Sharp for returning to the field so soon.
“He rung me and asked if he could play – he wanted to play. He wanted to score a goal for his son and his family and he was ready to go. When he said that to me I couldn’t really refuse,” said manager Dean.
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