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Soccer player hailed as ‘absolute hero’ after heartwarming gesture for young club mascot

West Ham's Areola shared a touching moment with an autistic mascot, illustrating the strength of compassion and inclusion.

Soccer player hailed as ‘absolute hero’ after heartwarming gesture for young club mascot
Cover Image Source: Alphonse Areola of West Ham United gestures during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and West Ham United at Vitality Stadium on August 12, 2023, in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

People often underestimate just how difficult life can be for individuals with certain disabilities. They often have to go to great lengths to lead normal lives. Sometimes, certain individuals make simple gestures to let them know that they can try to understand what they are going through. Such was the case when West Ham goalkeeper, Alphonse Areola, joined his young mascot in putting on noise-cancelling headphones before the team faced Newcastle at the London Stadium.



 

A photo of the heartwarming gesture was shared on Twitter and has since gone viral. According to the Irish Mirror, the boy's father revealed, "This is my son, Charlie, who was the mascot that is with Areola. He is autistic and wears ear defenders to cancel out the loud noise. Areola was told prior to the game and wanted to wear them as well to put Charlie at ease. Great move by Areola and it made his day. Class act!"



 

Twitter user @lawrenzo7 applauded the player's gesture in a tweet that reads: "I, like many, am quick to have a pop at opposition players. But moments like this are so heartwarming and as a father of an autistic son, I love seeing acts like this. Class act." @Peckersliam commented, "This is such a small thing to do but makes a huge difference to someone. Well done Areola. This is a touch of class."

The boy will certainly remember the footballer's kind gesture for many years to come. Another wholesome story happened sometime back when a man put in the extra effort to help his blind friend enjoy a football match with him in real-time.

Image Source: Reddit | u/Joeyniles9
Image Source: Reddit/u/Joeyniles9

u/joeyniles9 shared the video on Reddit and viewers got to witness two friends enjoying a football match together. At the beginning of the video, we get to see the man describing the game to his friend. He gently puts his arm on his shoulder and can be seen giving him detailed explanations of how the game was progressing.

Image Source: Reddit | u/Joeyniles9
Image Source: Reddit/u/Joeyniles9

The video then shows the duo jumping in excitement as a goal is scored by their favorite team. The video goes to show just how much of a difference friends or loved ones can make for people who are disabled. The video has managed to get 23.4k upvotes and 195 comments on the platform. A Reddit user commented, "Arsenal has a special stadium - only audio commentary feed specifically for blind fans because if they used the normal radio broadcast, it'd be too far behind the game. But there's one longtime season ticket holder who has very bad tinnitus and can't wear headphones, so they employ one dude just to do this and provide commentary in real life."

Image Source: Reddit/u/Subparnova79
Image Source: Reddit/u/Subparnova79
Image Source: Reddit/u/ThenAndNowRetro87
Image Source: Reddit/u/ThenAndNowRetro87

u/femininefairy said, "Actually balling my eyes out right now. This is the most pure thing ever, but it also makes my heart for him that he can't watch it with his eyes too." u/JustADudeAccount said, "I had a blind swimmer teammate in college. Roomed with him on road trips a lot. Got good at being a narrator at life going on around us." Both of these incidents highlight how people can be more considerate towards disabled people.

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