After he picked up his ACL injury at Old Trafford last season, Rob Holding received many messages of support from what he calls the ‘Arsenal family’.
Former Gunners Philippe Senderos and Ian Wright were in touch to wish him well in his recovery, but it was a surprise text from now teammate David Luiz that took him aback most.
The Brazilian was then a Chelsea player, but took time to send a message of encouragement to the centre-half – and that gesture of kindness has been something Holding is keen replicate for others going through their own injury struggles.
“David Luiz messaged me out of the blue and I was taken back by it,” he said.
“He just said that it happens and that I’ve got a great career ahead of me. He told me that I just need to focus and I’ll be all good, so I felt if he was doing that for me why I can’t I do that for someone else, because it may give them a little boost.
“I never played in the England Under-21s with Lewis Cook, but because we had the same injury at the same time and we had surgery on the same day, we’ve sort of kept in touch with each other.
“I remember when Sol Bamba for Cardiff did his injury too, so I also sent him a message.
“When you go through an injury like that and you’re out for nine or 10 months, football and rivalry is put aside and you’re just getting behind each other.”
The world is too often a depressing place at the moment, so these random acts of kindness shine a little light on that.
Fair play to Luiz, and to Rob for paying it forward.