It’s easy to think of football players simply as athletes who run out on the field every weekend to the sounds of 30,000 adoring fans. It’s easy to think they have an easy life, with worries that don’t extend beyond the next big game.
And we think this because rarely do we see what goes on behind the scenes. We don’t see the hours of charity work they front up to each week and we don’t see the acts of goodwill they give to the community.
But it’s stories like Sam Arnold’s that allow us to view footy players in a whole other light.
Sam Arnold, who despite battling cancer, is only concerned that he is unable to afford a present for his son, Sydney’s sixth birthday. When he contacted the Melbourne Football Club asking for a kids’ supporter pack to give to Sydney, he had no idea just how good of a birthday present his son was about to receive.
My name is Sam Arnold.
I am a 43 year old lifetime supporter of the Melbourne Demons Footy Club. I was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma blood cancer. I’ve been struggling with this illness for a several years, having much chemotherapy, blood transfusions and a blood marrow transplant at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
I’m always a single father of a five year old boy called Sydney. Due to my health I’ve been unable to work for quite some time so I cannot afford to even buy a present for my son. I was wondering if the Melbourne Footy Club might be able to donate a kid’s supporter pack for my son’s sixth birthday. It would really mean a lot to both myself and my son during my recovery.
Not only did the Melbourne Football Club answer the call, but they went above and beyond what even Sam could ever imagine.
When Nathan Jones and Jack Watts turned up on the steps of the Arnold’s house, six-year-old Sidney was rendered speechless with excitement. His dad too looked on with a sense of disbelief.
And the present only got bigger and better from there onwards for Sydney, as Jones pulled out a Demons uniform for the boy to wear the following weekend. A weekend where he would get to run on to the ground holding Watts’ hand as he broke the banner squealing, ‘This is awesome!’.
And while for the two players it may have simply been a small gesture, it’s a safe to say that it’s something Sam and Sydney Arnold will remember for the rest of their lives.