Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will auto-play soon8CancelPlay now
Sign up here to receive our grassroots football update
Invalid EmailSomething went wrong, please try again later.Sign UpWe use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time.More infoThank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy notice
Oliver Wilson – remember the name.
He might not be as famous across Wales as soccer superstar Gareth Bale, but Oliver is a little legend in his own corner of the Principality.
Our kids' football newsletter Kick N Mix was alerted to some wonderful video clips of the nine-year-old football fanatic this week and it sums up the essence of what the grassroots game is all about.
Oliver Wilson, who has cerebral palsy, in action for AFC Penrhiwceiber. Oliver, aged 9, recently scored his first goal for his Welsh team to spark scenes of joy among his team-mates. (Abbie Allsopp Photography)
Oliver, who lives in the village of Penrhiwceiber in the Welsh valleys, was born with cerebral palsy. If you thought living with the condition would stop this brave young hero's obsession with football, however, then think again.
"He drinks, eats, sleeps football," beamed Ryan. "When he comes back from school he wants to go outside to play football, when he comes back from playing football, he wants to go outside to play football again!
"If he's not got a ball at his feet he's not happy, unless he's watching football on TV. He can't get enough of it."
When Oliver's passion for football first materialised a couple of years ago, Ryan and his wife Melanie started looking for disability teams for him to get involved with.
The joy on Oliver Wilson's face is plain to see as the nine-year-old football fanatic enjoys a kickabout with his team-mates at AFC Penrhiwceiber (Abbie Allsopp Photography).
Instead a relative who runs AFC Penrhiwceiber, their local kids' club, invited him and twin brother Thomas along to train and play with their team.
The duo have never looked back. Coaches Gareth Jones and Jason Keepin have welcomed the siblings into the team with such enthusiasm that Oliver has become something of a local hero in the tight-knit community.
Upon Oliver's diagnosis of the condition as a baby, Cerebral Palsy Cymru supported him with intense physiotherapy. That enabled him to learn to walk, to run and now to enjoy his passion for playing football each and every week.
'That's for you, Dom' – Team's brilliant tribute to boy who killed himself on Christmas Eve
Grassroots football is back – and coach who helped kids through lockdown sends brilliant message
In return, last year Oliver embarked on a six-mile sponsored walk, raising money for a cause so close to his family's hearts, as part of a charity drive fronted by Heart radio presenters Amanda Holden and Jamie Theakston.
So let's tell you all about that viral video that has already generated thousands of likes on the social media sites of Grassroots Footbal l.
Earlier this month, Oliver, who plays wearing leg splints, was still awaiting his first goal in an actual match. His coaches and team-mates make sure he gets plenty of game time every weekend and he tends to play up front because of his limited mobility.
Several AFC Penrhiwceiber teams were on a club tour in Saundersfoot, near Tenby, a couple of weeks ago and with their third game tied at 1-1, the stage was set when Oliver was fouled in the box late on.
The opposition manager, bless him, had a quiet word with his goalkeeper ahead of the penalty, but he needn't have bothered because Oliver struck his spot-kick so sweetly that it flew into the net without any favours from their rivals.
"When he stepped up to take it, I thought 'oh-no, he's going to miss this' because he sometimes puts his shots here, there and everywhere, but, no, he absolutely smashed it in!" says Ryan.
Cue the amazing scenes you can see in the video at the top of this story as Oliver is swamped not only by his jubilant team-mates but by players from the club's under-11s side who raced on from another pitch to share in the celebrations.
Oliver was then carried shoulder high from the field to the changing rooms as his proud friends chanted the club's name at the tops of their voices.
"My wife Melanie is filming the video where all of his mates pile on to the pitch to congratulate him and you can hear her getting a bit emotional," adds Ryan.
"It's the same with everybody who watches it. You can't help it, it gives you a lump in the throat.
"It's grassroots football at its best. Our community is one of the most poverty-stricken areas of Wales but the football and the community around it brings everyone together.
"There's so much love, support and respect for everybody – and our Oliver is at the heart of it, because he's known as a Little Legend by everyone around here!"
And Oliver's goalscoring didn't end there. Having not scored in several years he made it two goals in a week during AFC Penrhiwceiber's next local match.
"The ball came to him and because his control's not that great it rolled through his legs, but he turned and just swung at it and it flew into the top corner," added Ryan.
"Everyone jumped on him again and lifted him up again. You'd have thought we'd won the Euros! He loved it. It's been brilliant for his confidence in every day life. He thinks he's the King now!"
All hail The King. Oliver Wilson!
To find our more about Cerebral Palsy Cymru and the brilliant work they do, visit their website here.
To get our weekly KickNMix newsletter delivered free to your inbox, leave your email address in the box above or via this link.