Five Sports Stars Who Care

Author: Andy Drozdziak

Picture: Sportsdollar Wordpress

Five Sports Stars Who Care

Andy Drozdziak takes a closer look at Jermain Defoe and other sports stars who are trying to live out their faith and make a difference.

1.      Jermain Defoe

Former Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe is no stranger to grief and suffering after several family losses. In 2017, many were struck by the friendship Defoe struck up with 6 year old Sunderland FC fan Bradley Lowery, who suffered from neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer. Defoe kept in regular contact with the 6 year old and his family, regularly going the extra mile to bring joy to the terminally ill boy. Defoe broke down when speaking about the deterioration of the young boy's condition:


Defoe has spoken openly about his Christian faith and wrote a moving tribute after Bradley’s death: “Your courage and bravery will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life. You will never know what a difference you made to me as a person. God has you in his arms and I will always carry you in my heart.”

2. Eniola Aluko

Aluko, a Chelsea and England football player and lawyer, is an ambassador for Football Beyond Borders (FBB), an education charity that uses the power of football to inspire young people. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Aluko articulated her Christian faith and explained her motivation to be a positive role model for young girls: "I have a strong faith in God. I want to create a legacy that inspires other people. I want to do the best I can for England, for Chelsea and off the pitch. There are a lot of girls out there who don't have any self-worth and are looking at Instagram and Twitter for role models and they are all false perceptions. Look at a real person. Be inspired by a real person." Here she speaks about her journey and wanting to inspire young women:



3.      The Brownlee Brothers

In September 2016, exhausted triathlete Jonny Brownlee was struggling to reach the finishing line in humid conditions in the Triathlon World Series in Mexico. Jonny was on the verge of collapse when his brother and fellow racer Alistair carried Jonny and pushed him across the finishing line. Alistair, who gave up the opportunity to win the triathlon himself by carrying his brother, was praised by Jessica Ennis-Hill for his “incredible” actions. It was a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by Jesus Christ, sacrificing his life so that others could live. The scene left commentators struggling to find words:

4.      Neymar

After Brazil defeated South Africa in Soweto in 2014, a South African boy was stopped by a security guard when he tried to meet the Brazilian team. Brazilian striker Neymar freed the boy from the guard's grasp and had pictures taken with him, as well as lifting him high and making his day. Neymar, who regularly wears a headband bearing the slogan “100% Jesus”, has said “Life only makes sense when our highest purpose is to serve Christ.” His actions echoed the welcome Jesus gave to children: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs.” (Matthew 19:14) 

5.      Daniel Sturridge

The motto of Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13) Whenever he plays, Sturridge hands his jersey to a fan in the disabled section of Anfield at the end of the match.

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