Castleford Tigers winger Justin Carney has quickly become a fans favourite at the Wish Communications Stadium for his powerful, no-nonsense displays in his first season at the club, but ‘The Beast’ was tamed at the Tigers last home match against Hull KR when he gave away his boots to a young fan.
Kenan Wilkes is an 11-year-old who has cerebral palsy, but as a huge Tigers fan he goes to as many matches as he can with his family and was in the disabled section of the Main Stand earlier this month to watch the Tigers clinch their third Super League victory of the season.
The Tigers claimed a hard-fought 32-24 victory and Carney powered his way to two fantastic tries. However, it was his heart-warming show of generosity at the end of the match that will be remembered by young Kenan.
Kenan said: “As soon as the final hooter blew Carney clapped all the fans, took off his boots and started to come towards the tunnel near where I watch the match from.
“I shouted ‘well done’ and then he came over to me with his boots and gave them to me. He’s one of my favourite players so it was brilliant.”
Kenan’s mum, Sam, said: “I saw Justin coming over to us and I said ‘what is he doing?’ and he just gave my son a little hug and his boots as a thank you for his support. It’s a fantastic gesture from Justin.
“What he has done by giving my son his boots is something that he will always remember.
“We saw him shopping earlier in the week and he came over and chatted and joked with us too. He’s such a lovely man and I’m proud to say that he’s a Tiger.”
Carney said: “I saw Kenan and his family after the match and they were cheering the boys and me on because we had just won.
“I thought I would take off my boots and give them to him as a thank you. Our fans are the best in Super League and it really is the least I could do to thank Kenan for his support.”