So many fans look up to worldwide soccer stars as heroes.
We see them go out on the park and do things that very few can.
To us, they’re special. Unique. They make us proud to support our clubs.
However, at the end of the day, they’re all just like you and me.
They’re trying to make a living, just like the rest of us.
Which is why them and the clubs they represent understand so immensely why it’s so crucial to give back to the community.
We see many instances of young, hospitalised children getting the chance to meet their heroes.
Often, some of these children have critical illnesses, some of which cannot be treated.
Recently, English striker Jermain Defoe was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his charitable work when he was at Sunderland.
Jermain Defoe received his OBE today and dedicated it to Bradley Lowery! ❤ pic.twitter.com/lXzNFiKrT5
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) November 16, 2018
He became close friends with a child named Bradley Lowery, a young Sunderland fan who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma.
Bradley tragically passed away on July 7, 2017 at just six years old.
Since his passing, Defoe has helped set up the Bradley Lowery Foundation, an establishment that aims to assist families who are trying to raise funds for treatment of their loved ones.
Also recently, an annual charity match was set up between fans of fierce rivals Newcastle United and Sunderland.
Over the past three years, the charity matches have helped to raise nearly 20,000 British Pounds for the Foundation.
What an amazing fundraiser for Bradley 💙https://t.co/s0SmfTQ6BS
— Sunderland Echo (@SunderlandEcho) July 27, 2019
It goes to show that there are things that are bigger than soccer.
Cheering on your side against your closest enemies is part of what makes the game great.
But there is more to life than soccer. It is, at the end of the day, just a game.
It is truly great to see when clubs come together in a fight against cancer. It’s more than just contractual community work for some.
When it’s all said and done, soccer clubs are, as FC Barcelona’s motto states, ‘Mes que un club’ (more than a club).
They are all big families, doing what’s best for each and every family member.
Whether it be the star signings, the fans or the long-serving janitors. Everyone is a member of the family that is their respective soccer clubs.
Is there anything you wouldn’t do to help your family?