- James Collins apologises to young fan Ryan Evans after hitting him with a wayward shot
- Six-year-old was watching warm-up ahead of Wales' international with Moldova
- Collins contacted Ryan's father Darren and has sent a package of West Ham United goodies
Giant defender James Collins has shown his softer side apologising to a young Wales fan he accidentally hit with a wayward shot.
The Ginger Pele was warming up for the Dragons’ FIFA World Cup qualifying tie with Moldova at Cardiff City Stadium when his awful effort caught little Ryan Evans in the face.
The West Ham United star, who is ironically in the running to win the Hammers’ August Goal of the Month award for his strike at Chelsea, immediately went to Ryan’s aid in the stand.
Gentleman Collins handed over a shirt donated by his friend and Wales captain Gareth Bale and posed for a photograph, with six-year-old Ryan looking understandably shocked by the experience.
Collins himself posted the photo on his Instagram page asking for help in contacting Ryan to check on his wellbeing, and the young fan’s father Darren quickly responded to the request via Twitter.
Newport-born Ginge, who earned his 50th cap in the 4-0 victory, has now got in touch with the Evans family and will be sending a package full of goodies back to his homeland.
“I’m so glad to hear Ryan is OK,” former Cardiff City star Collins told whufc.com. “I’m very sorry because it was an awful shot!
“I’ve got three kids myself so I understand how concerned it must have made Ryan’s family feel and how upset Ryan himself must have been. I should probably stick to defending rather than shooting!
“I’ve been in contact with Darren and have got Ryan’s clothes and shoe size, so I’ll be sending a few West Ham and Wales bits out to him to say ‘Sorry’.
“Despite the shock of being hit by one of my shots, I hope Ryan and his family enjoyed the game on Tuesday night. Their support was fantastic and we’ll be doing all we can to get to the World Cup in 2018.”
“Ginge came straight up into the stands to check on him and then said he'd be back with a shirt.
“I didn't know if he would but he came straight back with Gareth Bale's shirt, gave Ryan a hug and had his picture taken with him. It was a lovely thing for him to do and we just want him to know Ryan is fine. He actually wants a James Collins shirt now as well!
“You often hear that footballers don't care but he was great.”