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Bella, 7, meets hero Aaron Mooy after flying to Huddersfield from Texas

Bella, 7, meets hero Aaron Mooy after flying to Huddersfield from Texas

Bella on the pitch at half-time

When you are seven, have had treatment for brain cancer and flown 7,500 miles to meet the man who helped you through it, little things like winning and losing are irrelevant.

But, boy, did little Bella cheer when Aaron Mooy scored his penalty for Huddersfield in their 4-1 defeat to Leicester on Saturday.

One arm raised, Bella, from Dallas, Texas, jumped in delight before getting a cuddle from her dad, Scott.

“We never get penalties,” said Mooy. “She gave us that luck today. I am glad she was happy that I scored.”

Bella met midfielder Mooy for the first time on Friday at Huddersfield’s Canalside training ground, just over nine months after she saw him on TV at home in the US after waking up in her father’s arms on the sofa.

She had fallen asleep watching Disney movies. Her dad Scott had switched channels as Bella snoozed, landing on a World Cup match involving Australia and the shaven-headed Mooy.

“I like him. He is like me,” Bella declared, pointing to her own head, shorn of what had been long, beautiful curls by powerful chemotherapy treatment.

Bella and Scott monitored Mooy’s fortunes in Russia, then, after Australia were eliminated, searched for his club team. It led them to Huddersfield, and interest turned to obsession.

It is fair to assume there are not many replica Huddersfield Town kits among the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks gear in the city’s sports shops.

Bella has one, though. Her story was posted on Instagram and the power of social media did the rest.

“It got blasted all over the world and found its way into Mr Mooy’s inbox,” said Scott.

“What has happened since is truly remarkable. I don’t know if words can fully express how much seeing Aaron helped her.

“At the time, we were wig shopping and we were worried about the self-consciousness of our little girl. Completely unbeknown to him, he helped her get to the point where she felt she didn’t have to wear a wig.

“He and Huddersfield have made a little Texas girl’s dreams come true.”

Huddersfield Town tweet: "Bella and Aaron Mooy walking out at the John Smith's Stadium this afternoon!"

After seeing her story, Huddersfield got in touch with Bella’s family, and with the involvement of a local West Yorkshire-based company, it was arranged for her to fly across the Atlantic to meet Mooy and see him in action.

Bella will stay in Yorkshire for a couple of days before returning home, but the memories will linger.

She walked out with the bald midfielder before kick-off, holding his hand tightly as they strode across the turf, with other Huddersfield players offering her reassurances that everything was OK.

She was carried off in the arms of a club executive, waving as she went to join her family in the main stand, from where they watched the game and Mooy’s goal.

Huddersfield lost. It has been a depressingly familiar feeling this season at a club destined for the Championship.

But what the Terriers have lacked on the pitch, they have made up for with generosity and human kindness. This showed the impact of the Premier League’s global reach in the most positive form imaginable.

“This is the privilege of the job,” said Mooy. “You can help in a lot of different ways.

“She got some sort of joy out of watching me play at the World Cup. Now she is a Huddersfield fan and she came to the match, which is amazing.

“This season has been tough for the club, but bringing Bella here has picked everyone up a little bit. That is the thing that made me happy today.”

Tweet by Huddersfield director Sean Jarvis: "Great to meet a superstar and her dad today #Bella"


234Radio is Africa's Premium Internet Radio that seeks to export Africa to the rest of the world.

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