England forward Jack Grealish has delivered on the pitch and on a heartwarming goal celebration pledge made to an 11-year-old who suffers from cerebral palsy.
Manchester City fan and cerebral palsy sufferer, Finlay, penned an emotional letter to Grealish earlier this year after learning the England star’s sister, Holly, also lived with the disorder.
When Grealish received the letter, shortly before jetting off to Qatar for the world cup, he made the time to link up with Finlay before joining the England squad.
Grealish, who had only scored one goal for Manchester City this season, made a promise, to Finlay, that he would dedicate a special goal celebration, the “waggle dance”, to him if he scored at the world cup.
He could have been forgiven for getting caught up in the moment and forgetting but Grealish kept true to his word after knocking the ball into the net on Tuesday (NZ time).
The uplifting moment that saw Grealish break into the “waggle dance” is now going viral around the football world.
In a Manchester City video filmed before the world cup that shows Grealish and Finlay meeting for the first time, the footballer said Finlay’s letter “really moved” him because it was so relatable.
Finlay, who plays in a disability league at City, got a major surprise when the England star arrived at one of his games. Grealish had also replied to his letter with a signed City shirt.
In his letter, Finlay said he loved that Grealish treated those with disabilities as normal people.
His first choice for Grealish’s goal celebration was the worm but the reluctant football star said even if he could do it, he might get injured, so Finlay chose the “waggle dance”.
In a world cup full of controversy, Grealish’s goal celebration has become the early frontrunner for the feel-good story of the Cup.