I was going to have a bit of a moan after what’s been a pretty rubbish weekend for me personally. We were beaten 4-1 by my former club Dundee United and in the process I picked up another injury which I’m currently trying to shake off in time for our game against Hibs this Saturday. But the death of Doncaster Rovers’ forward Billy Sharp’s two-day-old son has given me a massive reality check and puts things into perspective. We’re all aware that there’s always someone worse off than us and I’m not saying we’re not allowed a grump and a groan when things aren’t going our way, but it strikes a chord when it’s a fellow player who’s going through something I can’t even imagine. Sharp asked to play only three days after the tragedy and scored the opener in his side’s 3-1 defeat against Middlesbourgh, revealing a t-shirt that dedicated the wonder goal to his little boy. Rover’s manager, Dean Saunders revealed that Sharp had pleaded to play as he wanted to score a goal for Luey, and what a goal it was!
I can understand his motivation for wanting to play again as soon as possible. When I was at Dundee United my Aunt, who I was very close to, died the day before we played a match and while I’m not trying to equate the two situations in any way, playing in the game was really important to me. It was weird but I had a strong feeling I’d score that day and with the support of my teammates, did manage to get a goal for her which was a special moment for my family. The dipping left foot volley Billy Sharp scored for his son was a fitting tribute from a player who wanted to do something positive when he would’ve easily been forgiven for taking a bit of time out.
I don’t think we should be comparing Sharp’s attitude with that of Carlos Tevez like so many in the press and on social networking sites have been doing. In my opinion his effort stands alone and is incomparable, it needn’t be put into any context. However, the outpouring of goodwill and support for him and the recognition of his unbelievable character should be celebrated. It’s increasingly rare that the world of football gets the opportunity to display it’s humane side since we have become accustomed to hearing about players’ negative behaviour. But in this instance the football community as a whole has shown all that’s good in the game by acknowledging Sharp’s display of such genuine courage in difficult circumstances.
“Absolutely brilliant to see support & admiration fans of all clubs showing for Billy Sharp tonight. Our thoughts are with him & his family.”
“Thoughts are with Billy Sharp and his wife tonight after losing 2 day old son. Delighted to see him score. Very brave to play. #RIP”
“Billy Sharp – fine example of a man,father & sportsman.Not forgetting ref Darren Deadman’s show of humanity in the situation.RIP Louie Sharp”
Billy, you’re an inspiration.