An Aussie rules match in Townsville has left an indelible impression on the Australian sporting landscape after a wonderful gesture for a disabled player went viral on social media.
The best of sport was on show in the northern Queensland city as the Hermit Park Tigers and Northern Beaches Suns locked horns in the local Townsville competition.
Mobile phone vision captured several beautiful moments during the match, with the hearts of fans melted as a photo of one of the players tying the shoelaces of his disabled rival spread online.
Today our great game in @AFLQ was put into perspective when a young man with a disability playing in the Townsville reserves comp had his shoe laces tied by his opponent mid game. He also kicked a goal and both teams got around him #AFLQfooty #inclusion #outstanding pic.twitter.com/RFGnptuHHL
— Barry Gibson (@GibsonBarry) June 23, 2018
This is the Australia I love ❤️
— DJ (@_CharleeGirl_) June 24, 2018
The first photo is my favourite sporting photo of the year
— Paul Lenaghan (@paul_plenaghan) June 23, 2018
Gives hope to humanity after all… Great story.
— Brendon oliver (@bmoliver74) June 24, 2018
Perhaps the most touching moment came later in the match, when the player was swarmed by teammates and opposition rivals after he booted a goal.
Bravo to both sides, especially the opposition for doing this. Your actions have probably shaped a young life for the better. Respect.
— Justin Flynn 🐯 🏆 (@justin1flynn) June 24, 2018
And this is why I’m involved in AFL. Absolutely brilliant. Well done fellas this made my day.
— Mick Smith (@MickSmi85527065) June 24, 2018
So proud of Townsville right now
— Mark Fleming (@markflem_ing) June 24, 2018
Northern Beaches president Kylie Thomas said the Townsville competition deserved praise for giving the young man the opportunity to play the sport he loves.
“They’ve enabled us to allow him to play football,” Mrs Thomas said.
“We’re allowed to name him as our 23rd player each week, and then we’ve worked with the clubs from there. Just to allow someone to be able to play footy every week is amazing.
“And then to see what happened yesterday was really, really special. It brings tears to your eyes.”