Hospital visits and the old-fashioned meet and greet are tried and true ways of athletes and celebrities maintaining touch with their communities.
While our footballers are often going above and beyond, it goes without saying what Trent Hodkinson did for a young girl named Hannah Rye took the entirety of rugby league’s breath away.
LISTEN TO THE HODKINSON PODCAST BELOW!
IF YOU'RE READING ON THE APP AND WANT TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST - CLICK HERE!
Hodkinson incredibly offered to take Hannah to her school formal in July 2017. Hannah was terminally ill with cancer.
“I’ve been able to do some good things on the field, whether it be playing a grand final or representing New South Wales, it is the things off the field I’ll take with me the most,” Hodkinson told the Our Town Our Team podcast.
“I was a very lucky person to be able to reach out and be able to meet Hannah and her family.
“Moments like that… it’s still very humbling and gets me quite emotional to be honest.”
Hannah made an immeasurable impact on Hodkinson’s career, with the recently retired No.7 still holding on to the moment they shared back in 2017.
Even more touching than the story itself is how it all came to be.
“I used to do Trent’s Kick for Kids, and write the kids name on my kicking tee.
“If the kid could come to the game I’d give them the tee and my jersey, if they couldn’t then I’d see them in hospital the following week.
“Hannah was one of the kids on my kicking tee that season or late in the previous season, she’d been on the up and been on the mend, I met her under the sheds and gave her the tee and met the family.”
It was at this meeting that Hodkinson connected with Hannah and led to them forming a close bond.
“I tried to keep in contact with everyone, and it was a few months later the Head of Community up there reached out to the club and told us Hannah was going south very fast and the schools brought forward the formal for her,” Hodkinson said.
“I just asked whether she’d be willing to take me as a date, and they got back to us and said yes.”
The photos alone from the night are enough to make anybody’s heart melt, with Hannah obviously stoked at her super-star date.
She unfortunately passed a few months later, much to the sadness of everybody who knew her, including Hodkinson.
“It’s moments like that which really pulled everything into perspective, and it’s something that’ll hang with me forever,” he said.
JOIN THE TEAM: SIGN UP AND BECOME A MEMBER BY CLICKING HERE!