We bow down to you, dad of the year.
We bow down to you, dad of the year.

We’ve found the Dad of the Year

PEOPLE reckon you play sport for the enjoyment factor. The fitness. The camaraderie.

They're partly right, but there's something missing from that list.

Sometimes you play sport for the purpose of winning your father's love.

And while occasionally it may look like dad is sitting on the sideline with his brow furrowed, head buried in the newspaper and denying to everyone you are his son or daughter as you spill another catch, slip off another tackle, drop another mark or miss the free-throw to win the game - sometimes the old man can really step up to the plate.

Enter, this guy.

At a nondescript park on a grey and dreary Saturday morning in Wales, a sporting contest that carried an interest only to family members and the odd passer-by was playing out.

The Bow Street FC Magpies and Ysgol Llanilar Under-8 football teams were up and about early that day, playing for the love of the game but also, no doubt, eyeing off a win.

Some of the kids were probably just there to have fun. Some of them might have been there because they knew after the match they'd follow the time-honoured tradition of being taken to McDonald's for a Saturday treat. And some of them are probably already eyeing off bigger things, dreaming of turning pro and gracing Wembley or The Bernabeu.

Heck, the left-winger in the video at the bottom of this article is already perfecting his step-overs - accidental or not - and while the cross he whipped in with his right peg may not be up to David Beckham's standard just yet, it was a damn good effort for a boy still in primary school.

The left winger was all class.
The left winger was all class.

And it's because of that right foot we have been blessed with the greatest thing you'll see on the internet today.

Chris Wilkins, the father of one of the players, was on the sideline filming the action, possibly in case the referee awarded a dubious penalty and VAR wasn't on hand to confirm the decision. Or, more likely, to preserve the precious memories of his offspring.

And thankfully, Wilkins later uploaded this video to Twitter for the world to see.

In one particular passage of play captured on camera, Ysgol Llanilar had possession and were on the attack as the brave Magpies swooped back in defence. The plucky No. 8 with the ball held his defender up nicely then went the direct route, going straight for goal. And hopes were high, because it was on target.

There was just one problem - the goalkeeper. But oh no! Wait, the keeper wasn't even looking! He had drifted outside his near post and, as the ball was struck, had his eyes on his dad who was, God love him, standing next to the goal offering him some fatherly advice.

This was tense. The ball was snaking along the turf, goalbound. The diminutive shot-stopper was distracted. He wouldn't be able to turn around and react in time. It was going to be a goal for Ysgol Llanilar, surely.

You could see the drama waiting to happen.
You could see the drama waiting to happen.

But the goalkeeper's dad had other ideas. Sensing the danger with slightly more urgency than his son, he did the only thing he could think of. He extended his arm and pushed his son to the turf.

It sounds like grounds for a future court case, but trust us, this was an act of heroism, not violence. His son fell backwards and, in his now horizontal state, stopped the ball from crossing the line. It wasn't quite out of the Alex Ferguson playbook, but it was effective all the same.

What a play, what a dad.

But unfortunately this piece of parenting brilliance didn't have a happy ending. The ball rebounded off the Magpies keeper straight to the feet of an opposition player, who slotted the ball in the back of the net.

Dammit, thought the dad, as he turned away and raised his arms in despair.

Don't worry mate, there's always next Saturday.

 


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