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How good is rewarded: man who volunteered with Ukrainian refugees substituted to score penalty goal in Everton-Dynamo match

Paul stratton2
Paul Stratton scores the goal into Dynamo’s gates, 29 July 2022. Photo: @brfootball/ twitter
How good is rewarded: man who volunteered with Ukrainian refugees substituted to score penalty goal in Everton-Dynamo match
Article by: Oleksii Bratushchak
During the Everton-Dynamo football match on 29 July, a fan was subbed on to score a penalty into the Ukrainian team’s gates. This was Paul Stratton and that was his reward for volunteering to help Ukrainian refugees. Here is his story.

At the end of yesterday’s Everton-Dynamo football match, this man entered the field. He is an Everton fan. But he didn’t run out into the field, like fans sometimes do. He came out to substitute. The trainer gave him instructions. Ukrainian football commentators could not understand what is happening, because a man with an obvious beer belly was being called as a substitute) But the entire stadium was greeting him!

The player came out and went to the gates of Dynamo with confidence. He even got advice from the main judge of the match. And scored a goal into Dynamo’s gates. And afterward the man ran out to the tribunes of Everton’s fans and kneeled on the grass like a real football star! And the fans greeted him again. Then he was embraced by the players of his favorite club. A moment of glory! Moment of happiness!

What happened? Why did the video of him scoring the goal gain hundreds of thousands of views?[…]

This is 44-year-old Paul Stratton. Of course, he’s not a player of Everton. The club decided to reward their fan in this way. And it’s very important for what.

It was March. The man took his annual leave at work – he works in the city council as a fraud investigator. For his vacation, he went to the Ukraine-Polish border and greeted Ukrainians who were fleeing from war. Each evening, he spent several hours handing out chocolates to Ukrainians.

“We were standing right at the border, so the first thing that kids see when they enter Poland is us. They have a smile on their face and take as much chocolate as they want,” Paul told in March.

First, Ukrainians were skeptical of Paul and his brother, and were cautious in taking sweets. He remembers that the kids were so polite that they took only one chocolate bar even though Paul offered as much as they wanted. And if kids took two, their mothers would drag them away. So the Englishman found a life hack.

“We had to start learning Ukrainians to say ‘no, it’s OK.’ And we learned the words for Mom, so the kids got a small portion of chocolate, and the mom – a large one,” Paul says.

In this way, the Englishman gifted moments of happiness to Ukrainian children.

He didn’t stop there but continued to help.

And in a couple of months, the kindness returned to him. The thing that millions of fans all over the world dream about happened to Paul Stratton: he came out to the stadium in the T-shirt of his favorite team and scored a goal! The goal of his life.

Yes, it was our favorite Dynamo. But for such as story, it’s OK to let this goal pass. Because we live for moments like this. And we are fighting for moments of happiness like this.”

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