Quaden Bayles, a 9-year-old Australian boy who won the support of well-wishers around the world after being bullied for his dwarfism, has led out a rugby league team in front of thousands of cheering fans.
Bayles walked out with the National Rugby League’s Indigenous All Stars team ahead of an exhibition match against the New Zealand Maoris on Saturday.
He had been invited by the entire team in a video posted online, in which captain Latrell Mitchell told him: “We’ve got your back. We’re here to support you, bud.”
Earlier in the week Bayles’ mother Yarraka, from the Australian state of Queensland, posted a heartbreaking Facebook Live video to raise awareness of the impact of bullying. In the video, she said her son had previously attempted suicide.
“This is what bullying does,” she said in the video. “Can you please educate your children, your families, your friends?”
The video was viewed millions times after it was posted on Tuesday, with Bayles receiving a massive outpouring of support from around the world — and hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised to send him to Disneyland.
The Maoris went on to defeat the Indigenous All Stars 30-16 in the game at Cbus Super Stadium in Australia’s Gold Coast, with Bayles getting a pitchside view.
Among the other famous faces to reach out to Bayles was Australian actor Hugh Jackman, who posted a video message to Twitter telling Bayles: “No matter what, you’ve got a friend in me.”
“Quaden, you are stronger than you know, mate,” Jackman said. “Everyone, let’s just please be kind to each other. Bullying is not OK, period.”
Manchester City coach, Pep Guardiola, loses mother to coronavirus
Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, has lost his mother to the coronavirus.
Dolors Sala Carrio passed away in Barcelona, aged 82.
In a statement on Twitter, the English club said: “The Manchester City family are devastated to report the death today of Pep’s mother Dolors Sala Carrió in Manresa, Barcelona after contracting coronavirus. She was 82 years old.
“Everyone associated with the club sends their most heartfelt sympathy at this most distressing time to Pep, his family and all their friends.”
Dolors was married to Pep’s father, Valenti, and was also mother to the Man City boss’s two older sisters and younger brother Pere, a football agent.
She saw Pep enjoy a hugely successful playing career, mostly with Barcelona, where he won six Spanish titles and the European Cup.
COVID-19: Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev match to be postponed
The chaos causes by the Convid-19 virus may affect the Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev
The match could be delayed until July due to the world pandemic disease, promoter Eddie Hearn said on Tuesday.
Joshua is due to fight Pulev at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20.
But the British star could be forced to give up that date if Tottenham need the ground for a potential extension of the Premier League campaign.
All top-flight football matches have been suspended until early April at the earliest due to the pandemic, causing speculation that the season will be finished in the summer.
Euro 2020 has been pushed back a year to 2021, which has opened up room in the schedule to play domestic matches in June and July if possible.
Hearn, whose Matchroom organisation earlier confirmed the postponement of all boxing events in March and April, has dismissed the prospect of any of his major bouts being staged behind closed doors.
Referring to Joshua’s June 20 date, Hearn told Sky Sports News: “At the moment it’s still in place.
“Obviously with the news of the Euros being cancelled and the possible extension of the Premier League season, Spurs may need that stadium in June.
“We do have an option to run that fight in July as well at the same stadium. Everything now is really a case-by-case situation and a day-by-day situation of trying to think on your feet.
“June 20 is a long time away. It’s still in our plans and we have been speaking to Tottenham to make sure we’re all on the same page and that we know we have the same strategy moving forward.”
Tears Roll in as Nasarawa United player, slumps, dies during match
It’s being a harvest of tears as Chieneme Martins of Nasarawa United FC on Sunday, slumped and died during the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match day 23 in Lafia.
According to reports, Martins slumped at the center of the pitch while a match between Nasarawa United and Katsina United was ongoing.
Immediately that happened, the medics rushed to the pitch to try and resuscitate him but all efforts to do that failed.
Also a Peugeot 406 ambulance stationed at the match venue refused to start but the governor’s press crew bus was used to convey him to the hospital but he was already died before he was taken off the pitch, a source said.
Prior to his death, Martins had played for FC Abuja, Gabros, then FC Ifeanyi Ubah before he joined Nasarawa United.
Nasarawa United’s 3-0 win over visiting Katsina side was overshadowed by Martins death as the players, coaches and officials of the club cried profusely after the final whistle.
It would be recalled that a similar incident had occurred in 1992, when Samuel Okwaraji slumped and died during a World Cup qualifier against Angola in Lagos.
Netizens have however come hard on the government and management of the league, calling for the NPFL to be scrapped until the right amenities are put in place to avoided future occurrence of such a sad incident.