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Declan Rice Breaks Promise to England Teammate Marcus Rashford, but Don't Worry, It Was for a Good Cause
Rice had helped guide West Ham to a 1-0 victory over Manchester United, but that wasn't close to the biggest impact he'd make on the day.
With the Premier League season barreling toward its dramatic conclusion, with 35 out of 38 rounds officially played, the margin for error is as razor thin as ever as clubs battle to put precious points on the board. Despite tension continuing to mount as determined teams claw their way toward the finish line, the dizzying race to the top (or the bottom) will never trump or overshadow the ultimate gift that sports like football and the stars who play it can provide fans: a chance to connect with their heroes.
In a heartwarming display of premier character after his brilliant performance helped lift the Hammers to a 1-0 victory over Manchester United Sunday, West Ham United captain and midfield enforcer Declan Rice comforted a young fan who was beyond overcome with emotions that a player of Rice’s caliber would stop by the stands after the match to speak with him, but Rice took it a step further.
Instead of just a casual wave, a coveted selfie or a couple friendly words of encouragement, Rice, who could clearly tell how much the boy wanted to interact with him, happily approached the young Hammers supporter, according to the Manchester Evening Standard. The joy of being acknowledged by one of the brightest stars in Premier League proved all too much for the boy, and he broke down in tears. Still, Rice seized the opportunity to make even a bigger impact on the lad.
Genuinely caring for the boy, Rice could be seen on the boy’s father’s Twitter video, asking of the boy, “Are you alright, brother? Are you good? Why are you crying?” As tears continued to stream down the young fan’s cheeks, Rice pulled the boy in close for a meaningful hug, saying, “Come here. Good lad.”
After a couple moments in Rice’s warm embrace, the boy managed to eke out an ask for Rice’s in-game jersey to which Rice, who appeared equally moved in the moment, had the perfect response already cued up.
“You know what, I did promise it to [Marcus] Rashford,” Rice said with a cheeky smile sweeping across his face. “Don't show them lot [other fans] because I've just told them I'm going to give it to [Marcus] Rashford, but I'll give him another one, so here you go.”
Exuding pure class during a period this season, the 24-year-old midfielder peeled off his jersey and gave it to the boy. Though he landed the most cherished prize for a fan, the ecstatic boy still managed to politely thank his hero as Rice pulled him in for one final embrace.
“Good boy,” Rice told his adoring fan. “I love you, mate. Love you.”
The boy’s father captioned his Twitter video of the special moment by saying, “What a hero you are @_DeclanRice thanks so much. If anyone can help me get this signed please as I didn’t have a pen.”
While the touching footage was busily going viral, Rice’s thumbs got to work as he responded directly to the boy’s dad.
“Seeing your boy made my night,” Rice tweeted in his response to the video. “This is what it’s all about. Would be a pleasure to sign it for you.”
Take heed, players and leagues from around the globe. As Rice said, this is, indeed, what it’s all about.
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