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Remarkable Joao Cancelo 'Could've Saved The Life' Of Young Manchester City Fan During Pitch Invasion

Daniel Marland

| Last updated 

Remarkable Joao Cancelo 'Could've Saved The Life' Of Young Manchester City Fan During Pitch Invasion

Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo has been told he could've saved the life of a young boy following their final day win against Aston Villa.


City were crowned Premier League champions on the final day after a 3-2 victory over Villa and immediately after the final whistle, thousands of fans flooded onto the Etihad Stadium turf.

10-year-old Ollie Gordon had been separated from his father after following fans out of the stands and onto the pitch.

Per Manchester Evening News, Ollie has autism, dyspraxia, plus other developmental and co-ordination conditions and it could've been a bad situation if Cancelo didn't get involved.

He helped the youngster stay safe before reuniting him with his family. Stewards quickly ushered them away, but the family have now publicly thanked the full-back for his kindness.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

"He took off running, he’s got autism and not aware of dangers or anything so got excited and started running," his mum Lauren explained.

"He goes to the stadium with his dad quite a lot, especially recently. I was watching on the telly and saw Lee running across the pitch but not Ollie. I was panicking and trying to get hold of his dad."

Lauren said Ollie was close to that incident and immediately made a beeline for Cancelo, who is ironically his second player after Jack Grealish.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

She continued: "He saw the Aston Villa keeper getting hit a foot away, you can see him on the videos. It scared him a bit and he saw Cancelo and headed towards him.

"Cancelo pulled him in, both arms around him like a bear hug, kissed the top of his head and was pushing people back.

"It was quite quick but people were pushing and shoving. My son was terrified. He can’t be on his own, has to be supervised, it was unfortunate he got on the pitch before his dad and took off.

"He said if it wasn’t for Cancelo, who didn’t just hug him, he kept his arms around him which gave his dad time to get there. If he hadn’t, especially the size of the men.

"He’s pressed up against Cancelo’s chest with all these men crushing up against him. It could have been a completely different story, a little boy on his own on the pitch.

"That man should have been running around screaming and celebrating this win, but instead took time to stop and look after a little boy."

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

Cancelo was a key part of City's title-winning campaign, registering seven assists and scoring once in 36 league appearances.

His intervention that afternoon could prove to be the most important part of his entire career, though.

"Even Ollie says ‘I could have died that day, it was so busy.’ It’s true, he could have, the size of the people around him, he wouldn’t have stood a chance," Lauren added.

"From the bottom of our hearts, there aren't words to thank him for what he did. I can’t bear the thought of what could have happened to him."

Cancelo is currently away with Portugal on international duty and helped them to a 4-0 win over Switzerland in the Nations League on Sunday.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Manchester City, Joao Cancelo, Premier League

Daniel Marland
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