WILFRIED ZAHA led the Crystal Palace tributes to tragic teen Damary Dawkins by dedicating his two assists against Huddersfield Town to the late Eagles youngster.
The 13-year-old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2014 and passed away this month despite undergoing a stem cell transplant in the new year.
Zaha, who first earned the penalty from which Luka Milivojeic netted the opener, then provided a cutting through ball for Patrick van Aanholt to seal a 2-0 win.
Although the match will largely be remembered for Huddersfield’s relegation from the Premier League, classy Zaha took the opportunity to commemorate Dawkins.
The 26-year-old winger tweeted a picture of himself with the young Eagles fan alongside the caption: “That was for you Damary. Rest in peace.”
Palace fans at Selhurst Park also showed their heart, displaying a touching banner before engaging in a rapturous minute’s applause in memory of the schoolboy.
GONE TOO SOON
Raheem Sterling had also dedicated his second goal against the Czech Republic to Dawkins in England’s Euro 2020 qualifying match at Wembley last week.
The Manchester City star had made a huge effort on social media to appeal for stem cell donors to help and unveiled a heartwarming t-shirt to the starlet’s family.
The 24-year-old lifted up his shirt to reveal a commemorative shirt for the schoolboy with the words: “May your soul rest in peace.”
The England hero revealed after the match that he “thought (he) had to do something for the family, give them something to smile about.”
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Damari was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when he was nine-years-old and when he relapsed in 2018, a stem cell donor became his only chance of survival.
They then succeeded after an appeal from the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT), Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson and Sterling.
But after a successful transplant, Dawkins, who was a member of Palace’s elite development squad, relapsed two more times before passing away in March 2019.