Now matter how good a footballer Melbourne young gun Christian Petracca proves over the coming seasons, a Hobart man believes he is an even better bloke.
Mick Peters rang radio station SEN to recount how Petracca had befriended his nine-year-old son Lucas, who has muscular dystrophy, and had offered to fly father and son over for Petracca’s AFL debut against St Kilda in Round 6.
”I was dumbfounded,” Peters told SEN’s afternoon show.
“He sent me a message straight away saying ‘look, I’ve been picked to play this week, and I want you guys to come over.”
Peters said the pair had first met when he took Lucas along to Demons training in November, shortly after the nine-year-old had undergone on operation his legs at the Royal Children’s Hospital.
“We lobbed down at Gosch’s Paddock where they were training .. and (afterwards) Jack Watts, Jesse Hogan and Christian all came over together and had a good yarn to him and took a few photos,” Peters said.
He said Petracca then ”took Lucas under his wing and said righto you’re coming with us” and took him on a guided tour of Melbourne’s AAMI Park base, introducing him to all of the players, coaches and staff. Lucas was given a treasured pair of autographed Hogan boots and had lunch with the team.
Petracca and several teammates kept in contact with Lucas through social media and connected again when the Demons played North Melbourne in Hobart in Round 3.
“We were blown away enough in November, but to follow up the way he has here (shows) that hes ‘nothing short of a very special person.”