Super Strong Sophie: James Maddison dedicates Burnley goal to Norwich girl
A Premier League footballer has used his goal celebration to remember a young friend and supporter.
Sophie Taylor, five, from Norwich, died early in January a year after being diagnosed with bone cancer.
Leicester City midfielder James Maddison, who met Sophie when he played for Norwich City, scored from a free-kick in Saturday's 2-1 win at Burnley.
The 22-year-old midfielder revealed he was wearing a top saying "RIP Sophie I Love You", but was shown a yellow card.
On Instagram, the footballer, who has previously been called up for international duty with England, said: "That was for you Soph, I know you were watching."
Sophie, who was a huge football fan, met Maddison in April 2018 when she was a Norwich City mascot.
Her father, Alex, said: "We speak to James [Maddison] a lot and he'd told us he couldn't wait to dedicate his next goal to Sophie.
"We were checking the scores and were so elated for him, because he genuinely loved Sophie. Football needs more people like James."
'Referee doing his job'
Under the laws of the game, set out by the International Football Association Board (Ifab), players who remove their jerseys in goal celebrations must be cautioned by the match referee.
Fans criticised Maddison's booking on social media, with one saying the officials "should have shown a little compassion".
However, the Leicester player defended match referee Michael Oliver's decision.
On Twitter, he wrote: "Regarding tweets about Michael Oliver, he's just doing his job and didn't have a choice.
"He didn't enjoy showing me a yellow and shared his condolences about the passing of Sophie which I thought was very respectful."