James Maddison has revealed the special Puma boots he will wear as a tribute to late five-year old Norwich City fan Sophie Taylor.
The 22-year old formed a special bond with Sophie when he played for the Canaries and she was the mascot for a game in April 2018. He kept in touch with the family and went out of his way to spend time with his “best friend”.
Sophie lost her battle with a rare type of bone cancer in January but Maddison will never forget the brave youngster. The former Coventry City player has had a custom pair of boots made for the upcoming Under 21 European Championship.
Made by Puma, the cleats have a picture of Sophie, as well as a picture of Maddison paying tribute to her with his goal celebration last season. “There is a new angel in heaven” is the message which graces the front of the boots.
In March, when Maddison curled in a stunning free-kick in the 2-1 win over Burnley, he dedicated the goal to Sophie by lifting up his shirt to reveal a top with the message “RIP Sophie, I love you”.
The gesture was wholly appreciated by Sophie’s family.
“We speak to James [Maddison] a lot and he’d told us he couldn’t wait to dedicate his next goal to Sophie,” Sophie’s father Alex told the BBC.
“We were checking the scores and were so elated for him, because he genuinely loved Sophie. Football needs more people like James.”