Gary Ablett's wife Jordan has thanked Geelong captain Joel Selwood for his beautiful gesture for her son Levi at the AFL grand final.
On Friday, Selwood revealed plans to run out with Jordan and former teammate Gary's son, Levi, before Saturday's AFL decider against Sydney at the MCG.
“I think it’s only fair that an Ablett is performing on grand final day and it’s Gazza’s turn to cheer on his little son," Selwood told SEN WA Breakfast with Gilly & Goss.
“That will be pretty special for the Ablett family but also the Geelong faithful.”
Joel Selwood walks out with little Levi Ablett ❤️ pic.twitter.com/nek7XaPcg0
— 7AFL (@7AFL) September 24, 2022
Levi was diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease that the retired AFL legend and his wife Jordan revealed in 2020.
The three-year-old's heartbreaking condition means he will likely never speak and has a short life expectancy.
There were emotional scenes when Gary handed Levi to Selwood on Saturday as Cats players ran onto the MCG.
Jordan could be seen in tears during the heartwarming scenes as Levi broke into a huge smile as Selwood ran onto the field with him.
Jordan had earlier taken to social media to let the Cats skipper know just how much the gesture meant to the family.
“It’s hard to put into words how beautiful of a gesture this is but know that our family is beyond grateful for you and your big heart,” she wrote.
“You’re a champion off the field just as much as you are on it.
“It’s our absolute joy to send our son out with you today.”
Melbourne Demons superstar Max Gawn was among many in the AFL world to admit Selwood's gesture left him moved.
“Ok, Selwood has got me good with the Ablett gesture,” Gawn wrote on Twitter.
One of the most inspirational & greatest things I have seen before a @AFL game! @joelselwood14 carrying young Levi son of Gary Ablett Junior through the banner! Congratulations to @GeelongCats 👏 🙌 https://t.co/E4Pu8WtcFg
— Brendan Joyce (@Brendan_Joyce12) September 24, 2022
You'd need a heart of stone not to be moved by Joel Selwood carrying Levi Ablett through the banner.
— Daniel Cherny (@DanielCherny) September 24, 2022
Already crying. Ablett. Levi. Selwood. 💙💙💙
— Rebecca Maddern (@Rebecca7Maddern) September 24, 2022
Awww, Levi Ablett. ❤
Well done, Joel Sellwood.#AFLGF
— Keithea Schaedler-Hildebrand, Port Douglas realty (@portdouglas) September 24, 2022
Selwood with Ablett’s little boy….my god! Yes I am crying!
— Shane Bennett (@66Benno) September 24, 2022
Moments like this next to Levi Ablett this is why I love this football club. 💙💙
— matthew craig (@whatmsees_rmf) September 24, 2022
This moment at the end and that extraordinary gesture with Levi Ablett at the start. And a GF in between. A true champion. https://t.co/xobXFtPSWq
— Barrie Cassidy (@barriecassidy) September 24, 2022
Just last month, Jordan Ablett revealed that the three-year-old Levi had been rushed to hospital shortly after a family holiday.
She said he was struck down with respiratory issues after they returned from a family getaway to the Gold Coast.
“Not the return we anticipated," she wrote on Instagram.
“Little man was taken to hospital yesterday morning after almost 3 weeks of struggling to fight something.
"Turns out his little body has been hit with TWO respiratory illnesses at the one time. He’s been resting up and is being cared for by amazing doctors.
"He had a great night sleep (not poor dad though) and is doing better. Our little champ!”
Geelong destroy Sydney in AFL grand final
Geelong emphatically silenced their critics who doubted their ageing list would win a premiership, thrashing Sydney by 81 points in the AFL grand final.
The Cats fielded the oldest team in the league's 126-year history on Saturday but were full of running in a 20.13 (133) to 8.4 (52) victory in front of 100,024 fans at the MCG.
It was the first decider at the home of football in three years after two seasons affected by the global pandemic.
The Cats' 10th flag was their second under Chris Scott and first since 2011, following a heartbreaking run of five preliminary final defeats and a grand final loss two years ago.
"They're so hard to win," Geelong captain Joel Selwood told the Seven Network.
"Every side says it, but I think we deserved one. (We've) just been bashing away.
"We don't apologise for being up there, having a crack at it each year ... this has been built over five or six years."
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.