James Maddison defends referee's yellow card after taking shirt off in tribute to Norwich's Sophie Taylor
PUBLISHED: 11:51 17 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:24 18 March 2019
Former Norwich City player James Maddison has defended the decision of the referee to give him a yellow card during Leicester's match against Burnley.
Former Norwich City player James Maddison has defended the decision of the referee to give him a yellow card during Leicester’s match against Burnley.
It comes after the attacking midfielder removed his shirt after scoring for his team in Saturday’s match and revealed a t-shirt paying tribute to city girl Sophie Taylor.
The t-shirt read “RIP Sophie I love you” underneath.
Maddison became five-year-old Sophie’s “best friend” as she battled cancer and was left heartbroken by her death in January .
Maddison first struck up a friendship with Sophie after she was a mascot for Norwich City and the player has kept in touch with the family.
He visited the Sprowston youngster in a hospice in her final days and after her death posted the pictures to thousands of followers on Instagram and Twitter with a message saying “Rest In Peace my little Angel. I love you always & forever.”
Following Saturday’s heartfelt tribute to the youngster, Maddison was shown a yellow card for removing his shirt, as per Fifa rules, but referee Michael Oliver then gave him a pat on the back afterwards.
Maddison later took to Twitter to defend Oliver. He posted: “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.”
Maddison was also a pallbearer at Sophie’s funeral and gave a reading at St Faith’s Crematorium on February 13.
Sophie’s family are fundraising to help other families in her memory.