Footy player saves toddler in ‘scary’ incident
The footy community is singing the praises of a local Victorian footballer after his quick thinking rescued a toddler from a dangerous situation on the field of a weekend game.
St Bernard's player Alex McLeod has been recognised for a moment of sporting heroism after he put the safety of a stray toddler ahead of his Victorian Amateur Football Association Premier Division match at St Bernard's College on Saturday.
Video of the incident shows McLeod choosing to protect two-year-old Pippa Biggs rather than chase after a loose ball as a number of players dart towards him and the free Sherrin.
His actions to pick up the child instead of the football and carry her to safety close to the sideline, allowed Pippa to stroll from the field happy as Larry.
The incident happened during St Bernards' loss to Old Melburnians on Saturday and the footage is beginning to roll across Australia.
The man at the centre of the drama, McLeod, has told foxfooty.com.au the incident is one of the strangest things he's seen on the footy field.
"There are always plenty of kids down at St Bernard's on a Saturday but I've never seen one so close to the boundary line - let alone having a run around with the seniors," McLeod said.
"Initially (I) thought that someone on the boundary would grab her, but she made a run for it and ended up on the half forward flank.
"Being the closest on the field I thought it was best to pick her up and get her out of harm's way, the ball actually bounced towards her so there were a fair few players in the area.
"[I] was relieved that I didn't drop her as I'd been fumbling the football all game!"
Pippa's dad David described his daughter's streak onto the field as "cheeky".
"I was standing next to her at the time and then all of a sudden she was gone," Biggs said, according to The Herald Sun.
"She is very active, she's a bit of a cheeky one."
"Before I knew it there was a little girl in a red jacket running around and I thought it was the footy," he said.
The VAFA initially posted the incident on the league's Facebook page, where they confirmed Pippa was safe and sound.
"A scary moment at the Snake Pit yesterday when a toddler ran onto the ground before fast-thinking St Bernard's star Alex McLeod came to the rescue," the association posted.
We can report the little girl left the game safe & sound as she looks forward to donning the Snow Dogs women's jumper in about 15 years...