A YOUNG football player has been praised by Grassroots Football UK for consoling an opposing player after he scored an own goal.

Archie Milham has been praised by the organisation, which aims to be the voice for all non-professional and non-elite football, for his sportsmanship.

The 13-year-old, who plays for Wantage Town U14s consoled a player earlier this month after they scored an own goal and was moaned at by his own team.

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He said: “I told him that it happens to every defender and to keep his head up and keep playing.”

Oxford Mail:

Archie has seen received thousands of comments online praising him and was even offered to walk the Wantage Town FC First Team onto the pitch next weekend and complete the coin toss.

Archie’s mother, Rachael Milham, said the response to Archie’s actions has been ‘completely overwhelming’ and said the act itself was ‘heart-warming’.

“I didn’t expect this reaction,” she said. “Archie has been on the receiving end of it before and for him he knows what it feels like and he didn’t like seeing someone else upset.

“Archie really helped him and it’s not the first time he has done something like this either.”

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The incident happened at a game earlier this week on November 6. Archie, who has been playing football since the age of eight, had taken a shot at the opposing team’s goal.

The defenders tried to jump to save it and it touched it with his foot but it carried on into the goal.

Oxford Mail: Archie and his grandadArchie and his grandad (Image: n/a)

Miss Milham said: “His teammates, as boys d sometimes, got very cross with him and some nasty things were said.

“Archie saw the boy was crying so he wants over and wrapped his arm around him. The boy then wiped his tears away and carried on playing.

“At the end of the game, he went back over to Archie, shook his hand and thanked him and they walked off with their arms around each other.”

A photo of the pair was then shared on Grassroots Football UK and now has over 6,000 likes. The organisation said: “Shoutout to number 7 - you could see it really made the blue player feel better.”

 As a result, Clark’s Barbershop in Wantage got in touch and offered Archie a free haircut and said it would be ‘an honour to meet him’.

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Miss Milham said: “It’s something I’ve always tried to instil in my children, showing them to treat people how they want to be treated – that’s my boy.”


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This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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