Professional footballers these days seem so out of reach to supporters, that its rare any interaction other than when goals are scored is seen.
It doesn’t allow for the true personalities of the players to shine through and, ultimately, they are a product of what their PR company want people to see.
It’s almost as if the human element has disappeared.
Back in the early 1990s, supporters could still wait outside grounds for their favourites to emerge after games, and grab a photo or a coveted autograph.
However, it seems that ever since the advent of the Premier League in 1992, players have become commodities and have, at times, appeared aloof.
That interaction has all but disappeared, and unless you are lucky enough to have a connection to the club you support, there’s next to no chance that you’ll ever get to meet your hero.
It’s a sorry state of affairs, quite frankly, though the players themselves are absolutely not to blame.
We only have to look at the way in which Declan Rice spoke with fans after David Moyes’ West Ham side had been sent tumbling out of the Carabao Cup at Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night.
Just a brief interaction, a genuine, warm smile and greeting, was all it took to make one supporter’s evening.
Handing over his match shirt no doubt made the supporters night, but it’s the fact that he took the trouble to be himself and took time out of his day to make the effort which will continue to make him a diamond in the eyes of Hammers fans.
Declan Rice…..unbelievable player…..even better bloke!
Class act ?? #Rice
— Adam Smithy (@AdamJSmithy) December 22, 2021