Matt Pike was a very special guest at Adelaide Crows training recently, thanks to the Crows Children's Foundation.
The 13-year-old from Happy Valley, and his family, were invited to watch the team train and then meet the entire squad for photos and a chat at Adelaide Oval.
It’s been a tough few weeks for the Pike family, who watched their family home get destroyed by fire last month.
The Adelaide Crows members managed to get their two dogs and cat out safely, but lost everything else, including their members tickets and all their much-loved Crows merchandise including signed 1997 and 1998 Premiership posters and signed team jumpers.
Matt, who plays for Happy Valley Football Club, had no idea what was planned when he arrived at Adelaide Oval, he thought he was collecting new members tickets.
However, he twigged something was up when he was escorted through the Crows changerooms and up the players race, onto the hallowed turf of Adelaide Oval where his favourite player Richard Douglas asked him to join him for a kick!
While Matt was on the boundary, Tom Lynch waved to him from the forward pocket and called out, “Hey Matt, I’ll see you when we finish!”
True to his word, Lynch sought Matt out after training and took him down to the changerooms where he took a pair of 2017 finals worn boots from his locker, signed them and gave them to Matt.
Andy Otten also dipped into his kit bag and gave Matt some shorts and socks too.
Matt returned grinning from ear to ear, the first time his parents had seen him smile for a while.
“What an awesome way to brighten up Matt’s life after a pretty tough time of late,” Matt’s dad, Darren Pike, said.
“It has raised all of our spirits after a horrid few weeks.”
Matt wore the shorts and socks to footy training at Happy Valley that night and proudly showed his team mates the signed boots from Tom Lynch.
“It was such an amazing day,” Matt said.
“One I will never forget. I still can’t believe the players knew my name and were waiting for me!”