Player's gesture for disabled rival melts hearts of fans

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.

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.

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.

A Hermit Park player ties the shoelaces of his disabled rival. Pic: Twitter@GibsonBarry

“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.”