Doncaster Rovers striker Billy Sharp captured the hearts of football fans nationwide last night as he made a goalscoring return to the side just days after the tragic death of his two-day-old son Luey.
Sharp, who was also made captain for the night, scored the opening goal in the 3-1 defeat to Middlesbrough with a sublime dipping volley that was worthy of gracing any game.
The euphoria was clear to see around the entirety of the Keepmoat Stadium as Sharp lifted his shirt to reveal the message ‘That’s for you son’ as he wheeled away in celebration.
Manager Dean Saunders adhered to the 25-year-old’s personal request that he was ready to play and was glowing with praise for his courageous striker when he spoke to the Daily
Even more poignant were the words of opposing manager Tony Mowbray who was similarly left in awe of Sharp’s incredible bravery: “Taking the professionalism out of it, I’m delighted for the boy that he’s scored such a fantastic goal on such an occasion for him.
“It’s amazing to think for anyone who’s had children the emotional drain that must have been with him – I couldn’t put it into words. For him to score a wonder-goal, your headlines should be there really – a goal from heaven.”
Tributes and messages of support also flooded in on social networking site Twitter with Manchester and England striker Michael Owen tweeting Sharp: “@billysharp10 Well done Billy. Puts football into perspective. I’m sure he will be very proud of his Dad.”
In a past few weeks that has been dominated by £250,000 a week star Carlos Tevez and his alleged refusal to play the self proclaimed ‘Fat Lad from Sheffield’ has surely restored faith in the beautiful game that we all know and love.