AFL Grand Final: Collingwood youngster melts hearts in Nick Daicos medal presentation

On a day when most Collingwood players were being feted up and down the country, a youngster just about stole the show during the AFL Grand Final medal ceremony.

In a classic decider in front of just over 100,000 people on a sunny day at the MCG, the Pies got in front in the dying minutes and stayed there for a famous four-point win over the Brisbane Lions.

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Bobby Hill was an unexpected Norm Smith Medallist for his career-best four goals and the ex-GWS forward gave a short, tender speech thanking everyone at Collingwood “for making me and my family welcome here”.

But the emotions hit a whole new level when the younger Daicos brother went up on stage to receive his premiership medal.

While Collingwood’s Beau McCreery was torched for his callous snub of a child’s handshake, Daicos was involved in one of the most heartwarming moments of the day.

The 20-year-old Daicos starred for the Pies in just his second game back from a knee injury, but earned more plaudits for the care he showed on the podium.

A youngster in a wheelchair was helped onto the stage, with Daicos quickly walking over to him and asking: “How are you going?”

“Good,” the young man is heard replying.

“You good? You good?” Daicos asks as the youngster puts the medal around Daicos’ neck.

“Thank you,” Daicos utters.

Then the youngster, whose name is being sought by, produces one of the most mature, assertive moments seen on any victory podium when he states earnestly: “You should be very proud.”

Wow! How about that? So should this impressive kid’s parents.

“Thank you so much, I appreciate it,” Daicos replies before putting both arms in the air and screaming out “yeeeeeaaaahhhhsssss!” in a new version of the words “yeah” and “yes”.

One who relished the moment was wheelchair tennis great and 2022 Australian of the Year, Dylan Alcott.

Alcott was filming in the stands and zoomed right into the big screen as Daicos received his medal.

“Best part of the granny for me,” Alcott wrote on Instagram. “Inclusion done right.”

Another that cherished the moment was former Collingwood captain Tony Shaw.

“How good was the interaction (between) Nick Daicos and the wheelchair kid. I shed a tear,” he tweeted.

As is typical on social media platforms, there was some minor negativity around the moment, with cynics wondering why the kid had a microphone in his vicinity and others digging into Shaw for his use of the term “wheelchair kid”.

But for the most part there was plenty of love and goodwill around the incident, with countless people applauding the youngster.

“It was a beautiful moment,” was one reply to Alcott on Instagram.

“That nearly made my heart explode,” wrote another. “Unphased (sic) by the huge audience. Beautiful words. So wise.”

Others just wished all the Collingwood players had shown as much care and interest as Daicos and his young companion.

“He did good. Real, REAL good,” was one reply to Shaw’s tweet.

“A couple of other players… not so good. How hard is it to shake a kids hand?”

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