James Maddison has revealed a special pair of Puma boots that he will wear as a tribute to late five-year-old Norwich City fan Sophie Taylor.
Sophie was a mascot at a Norwich game back in April 2018 and built quite the relationship with Maddison when he was a player for the Canaries.
Sophie sadly lost her battle with bone cancer in January but Maddison is doing his bit to make sure she lives long in the memory.
The 22-year-old celebrated his goal against Burnley back in March with a touching tribute, by lifting his shirt to reveal a message that simply read: ‘RIP Sophie, I love you’.
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The boots have a picture of Sophie’s face as well as Maddison during that emotional celebration.
“There is a new angel in heaven” is the message that graces the front of the boots, in what was a complete surprise from Puma to Maddison according to the midfielder.
Sophie’s family were very touched by Maddison’s actions three months ago and were quick to praise the youngster on social media.
“We speak to James [Maddison] a lot and he’d told us he couldn’t wait to dedicate his next goal to Sophie,” Sophie’s father Alex told the BBC.
“We were checking the scores and were so elated for him, because he genuinely loved Sophie. Football needs more people like James.”
In a sport where negative press usually takes centre stage, it is nice to see a player using his high profile to pay tribute to a young fan.
Maddison and the nation will be hoping that the special boots prove to be a lucky charm in the European Championship.
Either way, this is just another reason why football is called the beautiful game.