Updated: September 28, 2021 10:16:25 am
An English football side is winning hearts online after they celebrated a goal with a 13-year-old differently-abled fan. A video of the players coming near the stands to hug the young fan has gone viral.
Fulham FC players were seen celebrating Aleksandar Mitrovic’s goal against Bristol City by running over to Rhys Porter, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and epilepsy and had been the victim of bullying on social media.
The poignant moment, caught on camera by spectators, was shared online and has so far amassed over 2.5 million views on Twitter alone in less than 24 hours.
Watch the sweet moment here:
— Mark Twomey (@markjtwomey) September 25, 2021
Ported had received vile messages and abusive comments on TikTok after he posted a few videos of him playing for Feltham Bees football club, a disability sports club associated with Brentford. But Porter didn’t let the experience bog him down. Earlier this week, he raised money for Scope, a disability charity, by taking part in a goalkeeping challenge that is part of their ‘Make it Count’ campaign.
“It made me feel quite sad, but I try and get over it and I try and make the positives come out of the situation,” the resilient teenager told Sky Sports News. For the cause he did about 20 saves a day while raising awareness for differently-abled people.
His story went viral when US men’s national team and Fulham defender Tim Ream surprised Porter during an interview on British morning television show, BBC Breakfast.
“What he’s doing is more of an inspiration than anything that any of us could ever do.”
🥺 Watch as footballer, Tim Ream surprises Fulham fan with cerebral palsy, Rhys Porter, who suffered abuse online after uploading a video of him playing football.https://t.co/qkEO2Uy0e6 pic.twitter.com/w8hpJ670bM
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) September 23, 2021
Porter told BBC Breakfast he didn’t want to go to football training after reading the hurtful comments but was grateful for the support he received online. As his story went viral, the young boy was invited to Wembley Stadium to train with the England cerebral palsy squad.
Fulham fan Rhys Porter, who has cerebral palsy, suffered awful abuse online after uploading a video of him playing football.
Now Fulham have added him to the first team squad on their website and given him a full profile!
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) September 24, 2021
Fulham also included him in their first-team squad by uploading his full player profile. They had also invited him to train with goalkeepers Paulo Gazzaniga and Marek Rodák.
— Hugo Oliveira (@HgO_Official) September 24, 2021
Taking a step towards inclusivity, as Fulham players went above and beyond to make Porter feel welcome, and they have been earning plaudits online.
Just show’s there is still some humanity left in this country. Well done Fulham FC and Rhys Porter you are an inspiration to all.🙌🙌👏👏👏👏
— Mark #FBPE 🍊💙🇪🇺🌈NHS 🌹 (@markeverett1977) September 26, 2021
I don’t care what club you support, this is what it’s all about right here! Class act.
— Fattness C-137 (@IPlayWithTrucks) September 25, 2021
Leading the way @FulhamFC 👏 👏 thank you for sharing this! This is what football ‘is’. ❤️
— Cher (She/Her)🧜♀️🇨🇮🇬🇧🌈 (@RMN_CherBear) September 25, 2021
This was TRUE CLASS AND SPORTSMANSHIP the way this team embraced this inspiring young man. Fulham made a fan out of me today.
— Rick (@shadow_041) September 25, 2021
A fantastic action from these Fulham players leaving this exceptional young person with fantastic lifelong memories. Well done those players!😀
— John Poyner (@poynej62) September 25, 2021
Abusing someone with cerebral palsy? FFS, what’s the world coming to?
Well played Fulham and love and hugs to Rhys.
— Tr5m5ndo (@TremendoHendo72) September 25, 2021
My daughter has CP so this is a incredible video. well done Fulham. Keep playing Rhys your a inspiration young man.
— RT (@QPRTaylor25) September 25, 2021
Abusing someone with a condition like cerebral palsy. What a sick world we live in. Empathy can go a long way in making someone feel better. Thanks for sharing this, friend. ♥️
— Anirudh Nagraj (@Anirudh_Nagraj) September 25, 2021
Incredible gesture from Fulham. But I can’t get over the fact Rhys has had to put up with vile trolls and bullying. Why would anyone do that to a kid who’s doing something he loves and enjoys. Makes me mad. They’ve got nothing better to do than bring other people down.
— charline adams (@charline84) September 25, 2021
This is what it’s about – well done Fulham- support this kid all the way , hes the real hero – battling against adversity and then having to contend with abuse – shames the abusers and shows they won’t win x Keep supporting your team Rhys and you win either way.
— Paul Blackett (@wingus3632) September 25, 2021
Who’s cutting onions here? pic.twitter.com/k1wrdJAxpp
— Car*d bhoy in Dublin (@Gmck_73) September 25, 2021
I’m not crying pic.twitter.com/uFuTqnKevP
— Mr Wonder (@Peopleschamp78) September 25, 2021
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