Little Ollie Horwood wore his bandaged wrist like a badge of honour around Lottoland yesterday.
Whether it be meeting the players, the Fox League team, having a photo with ‘The Big Marn’ Daryl Brohman, to talking to Home and Away actors, Ollie’s wrist became a story of its own – one the nine-year-old can now share with his school friends in his home town of Figtree.
Proudly wearing his Manly gear, Ollie and his family were special guests of the Sea Eagles after the club heard how he was struck by the football in the loss to St George-Illawarra Dragons in Wollongong a fortnight ago.
“Ollie raised his hand to protect his face but in doing so, the ball hit him directly on the face and arm, breaking his glasses and hurting his hand,’’ said Ollie’s Grandma, Michelle Wasson.
“After noticing Ollie was in a little discomfort, I took him to the first aid volunteers to ice it and wrap it. Even though it was hurting, Ollie wouldn't leave the ground until fulltime.
“X-rays later revealed a fracture and sprain to his hand, and a bruised nose, but after treatments of lasering, he is doing great.
“Ollie suffers from Sensory Processing Disorder. He has been through a significant amount for a young boy but through a lot of determination, he continues to strive.”
Upon hearing of what happened to Ollie, Manly player Jackson Hastings sent him some Sea Eagles gear and posted a special message to his young fan on social media.
Following the victory over the Roosters, Ollie and his family were invited in to the post-match function where he had plenty of photos taken with the players.
“I would like to thank the Manly club, especially Jackson Hastings and Media Manager Wayne Cousins for their support of Ollie,’’ Michelle said.
“This has had a major impact on him and he has vowed to stay a Sea Eagles supporter for life now.”