Heroic Joao Cancelo saved terrified ten-year-old from being trampled during Man City title celebrations with ‘bear-hug’
MANCHESTER CITY star Joao Cancelo saved a 10-year-old boy from being trampled during title celebrations at the Etihad with an unseen moment of kindness.
Thousands of ecstatic City fans invaded the pitch at full-time after the hosts came back and defeated Aston Villa 3-2 to seal the Premier League title in their last match of the season.
Among them was young Ollie Gordon, who has autism and was separated from his dad Lee before quickly finding himself in a dangerous situation as tensions ran high.
So much so that Villa keeper Robin Olsen appeared to have been assaulted by a small section of City fans.
According to Ollie's mum Lauren, however, Cancelo noticed her son's predicament and quickly picked him up to protect him from the crowd with a "bear hug".
The mother, who was watching from home, thanked the full-back who also pushed people away in order to get her child safely back to his father amid the ongoing chaos.
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Ollie wrote to the Portugal international to thank him for his heroic actions last month.
Lauren told Manchester Evening News: "He took off running, he’s got autism and not aware of dangers or anything so got excited and started running.
"He goes to the stadium with his dad quite a lot, especially recently. I was watching on the telly and saw Lee running across the pitch but not Ollie.
"I was panicking and trying to get hold of his dad. He saw the Aston Villa keeper getting hit a foot away, you can see him on the videos.
"It scared him a bit and he saw Cancelo and headed towards him.
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"Cancelo pulled him in, both arms around him like a bear hug, kissed the top of his head and was pushing people back.
"It was quite quick but people were pushing and shoving.
"My son was terrified. He can’t be on his own, has to be supervised, it was unfortunate he got on the pitch before his dad and took off.
"He said if it wasn’t for Cancelo, who didn’t just hug him, he kept his arms around him which gave his dad time to get there.
"If he hadn’t, especially the size of the men. He’s pressed up against Cancelo’s chest with all these men crushing up against him.
"It could have been a completely different story, a little boy on his own on the pitch.
"That man should have been running around screaming and celebrating this win, but instead took time to stop and look after a little boy.
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"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.
"He was his second favourite player before, he’s definitely his first now. I don’t think there are words to thank Cancelo. He probably doesn’t see how important that was.
"Even Ollie says ‘I could have died that day, it was so busy.’ It’s true, he could have, the size of the people around him, he wouldn’t have stood a chance.
"From the bottom of our hearts, there aren't words to thank him for what he did. I can’t bear the thought of what could have happened to him.
"For a minute everything stopped. Once he put his arms out for his dad, Cancelo pushed a guy away to clear a path back to his dad.
"He went about his business, we had no way to thank him, no way for him to know how grateful we are for what he did.
"We’re too quick as a nation to go to the papers to complain about everything but never to highlight anything good. We should recognise things like this."
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