PANTHERS star Matt Burton was a hero in his home town of Dubbo after his hat trick against Souths last weekend – but his stocks have risen even higher after a random act of kindness towards a local youngster who was cruelly attacked after the game.
Charlie Sutton, just 13 and nursing a broken hand from a football injury, was smiling from ear to ear when Panthers centre Stephen Crichton handed him his boot after the game.
But no sooner had young Charlie received the boot than a man in his mid 20s wearing a Souths jumper snatched it off him and ran off.
“We couldn’t believe it – for a grown man to do that to a kid with his arm in plaster who was over the moon one second and shattered the next – it was disgusting,” Charlie’s aunt Amanda Short told WWOS.
“A couple of onlookers even chased after the guy and one grabbed hold of him by the Souths jumper – he just wriggled out of it and kept running – hopefully Karma will get this p—k.”
Charlie went home downcast – but Amanda was determined to find a way to make things right.
She posted details of the incident on Facebook – and by the magic of social media they happened to be seen by Burton’s mother Lisa.
She told her son about the incident – and Charlie is now the proud owner of a pair of Burton’s boots – autographed by the man himself.
“Charlie couldn’t believe it when the boots arrived – it restored his faith in life,” Amanda said.
“Matt even apologised for not being able to meet Charlie and present him with the boots himself because the team was already back in Sydney.
“Matt Burton, you are a hero – not just for that fabulous hat trick but for showing such compassion to a little kid whose heart had been broken – it means the world to him.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!