Declan Rice delights a tearful young fan with kind gesture

How it should be done! West Ham captain Declan Rice delights a tearful young fan after their win over Man United… and gives him his shirt that he’d promised to Marcus Rashford!

  • Declan Rice spotted a young supporter crying after West Ham’s win on Sunday 
  • The midfielder gave the fan his shirt which he’d promised to Marcus Rashford 
  • It comes after Leeds and Arsenal players were criticised for ‘snubbing’ fans 

Premier League players have recently come under criticism for ignoring their supporters, but West Ham captain Declan Rice showed how it should be done after their victory over Manchester United.

Rice had originally intended to hand his shirt to opponent and England team mate Marcus Rashford, after the Hammers took a giant stride towards safety with a 1-0 victory.

However, the 24-year-old showed his class by giving an overjoyed young supporter his match-worn shirt.

The delighted young fan was tearful during the exchange at meeting his hero, and Rice’s kind gesture left him a memory that he will treasure.

It comes after Arsenal stars were branded ‘rude’ for ‘snubbing’ an eight-year-old as they signed her shirt, and following criticism thrown at Leeds players who ignored fans who were waiting to greet them at a hotel in Bournemouth.

Declan Rice spotted a young West Ham fan crying in the stands and asked him if he was alright before holding out his hands for the supporter and giving him a hug

After the young fan asked for his shirt, Rice generously handed it over to the young fan and told him not to show others as he had promised to give it to Man United’s Marcus Rashford

Rice spotted the youngster crying in the stands and said: ‘Are you alright, brother? Why are you crying?’

He then held out his hands to the young fan before giving him a hug.

The young Hammer then asked for Rice’s shirt to which he replied: ‘You know what, I did promise it to Rashford.

‘Don’t show them lot (other fans) because I’ve just told them I’m going to give it to Rashford, but I’ll give him another one.’

Rice then handed the youngster his shirt before giving him another hug and telling him: ‘I love you mate.’

Unfortunately, the West Ham fan didn’t have a pen for Rice to sign the shirt, though the midfielder is willing to sign it at a later date.

He tweeted: ‘Seeing your boy made my night. This is what it’s all about. Would be a pleasure to sign it for you.’

The footage has gone viral on social media, with scores of fans applauding the West Ham captain for his generous act.

The West Ham fan didn’t have a pen at the time though Rice has agreed to sign it at a later date

One person commented: ‘Love this @_DeclanRice. I’m not a West Ham fan but I’m a fan of decent human beings with big hearts. Class act mate.’

Martin Sanders wrote: ‘Absolute class! After what we saw with Leeds players a few weeks ago this is an absolute breath of fresh air. You can see Rice is a role model for any player.’

Scott Walsh also tweeted: ‘Top man. He realises he’s in a position to give back and it means so much to some.’

Last month, Arsenal players faced criticism after the club posted a video which showed players signing a mascot’s shirt, without acknowledging the young fan as they walked past.

The video prompted criticism from celebrities including Laura Woods, Piers Morgan and Nick Knowles, who told Arsenal to ‘give your players another go at being decent human beings’. 

The father of mascot Olivia Murray did go on to defend the club as he tweeted: ‘My daughter had a lovely time as Mascot for @Arsenal. There was only a small window to meet the players and she enjoyed it very much. Odegaard is her favourite player so to hold his hand onto the pitch was very special.’

Arsenal players including the side’s captain Martin Odegaard appears to ignore a young mascot in footage shared by the club at the weekend

Olivia’s father shared a photo of her holding Odegaard’s hand as he defended the stars

Woods, who is an Arsenal fan, admitted she felt uncomfortable watching the footage and reached out to the club afterwards. Speaking on talkSPORT, she explained their response.

‘To add a little bit of context, I actually messaged the club because I think they thought “they all stopped and signed the shirt, this is great”, Woods said.

‘Maybe that in itself is the problem that there’s now a disconnect between what you’re meant to do for those kinds of mascots. The club did say it’s part of a matchday experience so that’s not the only interaction she had with the players.

‘She was a mascot, she went out on the pitch with them, she would have been on the pitch with them during warm-ups.’

‘I think there’s a lot of things we don’t see, but that’s not excusing that video because I watched it a couple of times over and in my head thought “oh wait, was it cut off afterwards, maybe they did [acknowledge her]?”

‘And I went back and watched it, and they didn’t.’

Meanwhile another clip posted on social media showed members of the Leeds first team blanking supporters who had waited in the hotel lobby to say hello. 

Leeds United players were filmed ignoring fans who had gathered in the team hotel to say hello

Despite a number of young fans waving and shouting the players’ names, nobody responded

The players were filmed walking towards the hotel’s entrance in complete silence, despite numerous supporters trying to get their attention.

The majority of the Leeds team were wearing headphones and avoided eye contact as they headed for the door.

A younger member of the small crowd gathered to greet the team was seen waving at the departing Leeds players, but nobody even looked in his direction.

Morgan led the criticism of the Leeds squad, labelling the players ‘selfish arrogant p****s.’

Leeds’ players later apologised in a statement on the club’s website and admitted ‘there’s no excuse’ for the way they ignored their fans. 

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