Benni McCarthy has earned praise from Portsmouth fans.

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Benni shows he has a big heart

Posted: 21 November 2007 Time: 11:59

Bafana Bafana star striker Benni McCarthy has proved to fans that even though he has a high profile in the English Premiership, he is still a gentleman and has a heart filled with compassion.

The Blackburn Rovers’ South African international left an 11-year-old girl in agony after accidentally kicking the ball into her face during the away 2-1 Carling Cup victory against Portsmouth last month.

But as soon as he realised what had happened, McCarthy stopped playing to make sure Ellen Hatch was not seriously hurt.

The young girl’s family were so impressed with Benni’s concern that Ellen’s mother, Lynn, wrote to Blackburn Rovers to thank Benni.

And to Ellen’s surprise she received a signed Blackburn Rovers shirt which had an apology on the front and a photograph.

Ellen had been sitting in the north stand at Fratton Park with her father, Steve, when the accident happened.

“We had moved from behind the goal at half time, then in the second half I saw a ball just appear in front of me and it hit me on my head. My neck went right back and I cried.

“I think Benni McCarthy was clearing the ball when it hit me. He spotted that I was hurt straight away and came over to ask if I was OK. And then he waited until I was OK before he went back to play the game.

“I had a headache for a couple of days. It was my first home game I went to and I won’t forget it,” she added.

On the signed shirt, Benni had written, ‘To Ellen, sorry for hitting you with the ball and I hope you’re feeling better.’

She said: “I was really chuffed when I got the shirt and the photograph, and it was really kind of him. I’m a Blackburn Rovers fan now, but I said to my dad I’m still a Portsmouth fan too.”

Steve, a prison warder, said: “Much to his credit Benni made sure she was OK whilst the game was still going on, a point which was appreciated by both of us and many of the Pompey fans in that section.

“It goes to show that regardless of the bad press some footballers attract, there are still some gentlemen left in the game, and to me it proves that Rovers are a quality outfit both on and off the pitch.”

Previous comments on this story...

posted: 12:07 pm
well done benni u truely a great ambassodor for south africa
posted: 12:55 pm
Well done benni. you are a legend.
posted: 01:20 pm
thaks benni for representing the country well done
posted: 03:32 pm
dankie mfana kithi
posted: 08:12 pm
thats what africans are known for
posted: 08:50 am
i want to comment on the magnitude of the football sponsorship by nedbank. why are there no such funds also channelled to namibian football as they are doin biz in our country as well
posted: 08:54 am
Benni performance in the field has been making me very proud to be a South African and what he did after the insident with the young girl was a cherry on top, a true reflection of an African gentleman. As an Arsenal supportter i woul also like to say thumbs up Benny, you are a true ambassador of Africa. Keep up the good work both in and out of the field

posted: 03:42 pm
I think we need to give credit where it is due,it shows how africans care about other people regardless of race...that is how south africans are known for i.e Humanism
posted: 03:48 pm
I would like to say Benni you are a hero keep the south african flag high you learned from the best tata Madiba
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