Football is a sport of emotion. From the ecstasy of winning to the heartbreak of losing, emotions are always running high. Often players, managers and of course fans let emotions get the better of them, but sometimes you have a perfectly good reason for letting it all out. Billy Sharp is a prime example of this.
If you missed the football news from earlier in the week, Doncaster striker Billy Sharp lost his son Luey on Saturday, when he died after just two days. One can only imagine what is going through your mind when you experience a tragedy like that, and while Sharp will have been going through the ringer on the inside, on the pitch he showed just how strong a character he is.
That Billy Sharp even put himself up for selection for Doncaster’s Championship match at the Keepmoat Stadium last night against Middlesbrough says all you need to know about him. Manager Dean Saunders explained that “Billy rang me and said he wanted to play because he wanted to score a goal for his son,” and that’s exactly what he did.
His son was rightfully given a minute’s silence before the game, and Billy posted on Twitter later that “the minute applause I was crying meant so much to me thanks to both sets of fans.” The goal was really special, with Sharp saying “My goal tonight was the most important goal of my career dedicated to my brave boy luey jacob sharp I love u son sleep tight. thatsforyouson.”
This is a perfect example of how we can make the world a better place through sport. While many stories in the press don’t always paint competitive sport in a good light, this one shows the power that sport does have. In Billy’s case it can help you through the toughest of times; it can bring communities together and break down barriers.
We should be supporting grass-roots projects to get kids playing sport and experiencing what it is like to be part of a team. Sharp will need the support of his teammates now more than ever and we can always strive for more. This is the message Nike are trying to get across…