New Zealand’s centre Sonny Bill Williams has been presented with a second Ruby World Cup winner’s medal after he gave his first one to a young fan after the final on October 31.
The generous gesture has attracted a lot of publicity and Williams was called on stage at World Rugby’s awards ceremony to be given a replacement medal by All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw.
15-year-old Charlie Lines was tackled by stewards as he attempted to run onto the pitch and celebrate with the All Blacks players after their 34-17 victory over Australia.
Lines was helped to his feet by Williams and, having escorted him back to the stands, Williams took off his medal and gave it to the teenager.
Williams said: “I was walking around doing a lap of honour with the boys and a young fella came running out and he got smoked by the security guard, like full-on tackled.
“It was pretty sad, he’s just a young fella obviously caught up in the moment.
“I just picked the kid up and took him back to his old lady, and tried to make the night more memorable for him.
“Better for it to be hanging around his neck than mine, I’m sure he’ll remember it for a while. His mum was pretty happy. He had an All Blacks jersey on, so he might be a future All Black. ”
And one of his closest friends, boxer Anthony Mundine, says a huge part his generosity down his conversion to Islam.
“He went through times when he was young and made bad mistakes but who doesn’t? But then he changed his life around and found Islam…and it’s been nothing but serenity for him now.”
Mundine, a fellow Muslim, believes the pillars of the religion have helped bring out the best in him.
“I know from a hands on point of view because it had the same affect on me when I reverted back to Islam and chose to learn the fundamentals of it,” he said. “If you really delve deep into Islam you’ll see you have to be pious, you have to be humble, you have to be generous to your fellow human beings.
“He had those qualities anyway but it (Islam) just reinforces those qualities.”