Joao Cancelo grabbed the attention of everyone watching the broadcast of Manchester City‘s match with Aston Villa on the final day of the Premier League season, though it had nothing to do with his celebrations.
While fans swarmed the pitch after City clinched the Premier League title, the Portuguese defender took time to look after a boy that was left all alone. Following a statement from the boy’s mother, it turns out 10-year-old Ollie Gordon is autistic and needs constant supervision.
Ollie was at the match with his father, and followed him onto the pitch after the final whistle, before being temporarily separated.
“Ollie took off running, he’s got autism and not aware of dangers or anything so got excited and started running,” Lauren Gordon told the Manchester Evening News. She added that she was at home watching the game and saw her husband take to the pitch alone, which worried her.
Cancelo took care of him
After trying to contact her husband, Lee, she watched as Cancelo hugged and took care of Ollie as fans stormed the Etihad. The Portuguese defender stayed with him until his father arrived, an act which Lauren was very appreciative of.
“That man should have been running around screaming and celebrating his win, but instead took time to stop and look after a little boy,” she added. “He was being mobbed himself, you’d expect him to try and get off the pitch.
“He completely stopped to look after this little boy who he has no connection to. He probably won’t see it as a big deal, he would have been trampled if not.”
Lauren sent Cancelo a message of thanks given his act of kindness, as well as confirming that the he’s now Ollie’s favourite player on the team.
“He was his second favourite player before, he’s definitely his first now,” said Lauren. “I don’t think there are words to thank Cancelo. He probably doesn’t see how important that was.”