Amid the furore about Ryan Shawcross’ leg-breaking tackle on Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey, one important fact seems to have been missed.
While almost all other players (including Arsenal) were either turning away from an admittedly horrific injury, berating Shawcross or remonstrating with the referee, one Stoke player remained calm, and behaved in an impeccably sporting, caring and helpful manner. Glenn Whelan knelt down on the pitch next to poor Ramsey, cradled his head in his arms, and called immediately for the physio to treat the player.
He then stayed with the player, holding him and talking to him in an attempt to take his mind off the pain. He held Ramsey’s head up to try to prevent him from looking at his broken leg. He remained with Ramsey throughout his treatment until the player was carried from the field of play on a stretcher.
Few, if any, commentators seemed to notice this, let alone commend Whelan for his behaviour. So I’m writing this as a small token of recognition for his selfless act. When everyone was losing their heads, Glenn Whelan kept his. He deserves widespread praise. Perhaps, when everyone has finally finished playing the blame game for this unfortunate incident, he’ll get some.