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The touching meaning behind Jack Grealish's World Cup celebration

Jake Massey

Published 
| Last updated 

The touching meaning behind Jack Grealish's World Cup celebration

Jack Grealish was among the scorers in England's opening game battering of Iran - and his eye-catching celebration was more meaningful than you might have thought.

The Manchester City player waved his arms around in a seemingly daft fashion after scoring the Three Lions' final goal in their 6-2 win, but it was actually a touching tribute.

See why here:

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The celebration was requested by a young lad named Finlay, who has cerebral palsy and idolises the 27-year-old.

Finlay, 11, had written a letter to his favourite player, and when they met, he requested that Grealish dedicate a goal to him by celebrating with the worm.

Grealish was taken aback by the request and said he can't actually do the worm, so the compromise they reached was what we all saw on the pitch in Qatar today.

Grealish's celebration was a tribute to Finlay. Credit: Sportimage / Alamy Stock Photo
Grealish's celebration was a tribute to Finlay. Credit: Sportimage / Alamy Stock Photo

Having reached the semi-finals four years ago and finished as Euros runners-up last summer, the Three Lions arrived among the favourites despite a six-match winless run and Nations League relegation.

England ended that wait for a victory in style as superb Saka scored twice in his first major tournament appearance since missing his spot-kick in last year's European Championship final defeat to Italy.

Marcus Rashford has not represented the national team at all since missing his attempt in that shootout and netted within minutes of coming on in a thumping win that Jude Bellingham, Raheem Sterling and Grealish also scored in.

It was a remarkable way to start the tournament, with the Group B opener a win to savour given the challenging build-up to a tournament mired in controversies and questions about hosts Qatar's suitability.

FIFA cited a technicality to prevent England wearing a rainbow armband in a country where homosexuality is outlawed, while the governing body's care for fans and players is sure to come under further scrutiny.

There were empty seats at the Khalifa International Stadium due to its shoddy ticketing system and the fact Iran goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand was able to continue before leaving with suspected concussion stunned viewers.

The 6-2 scoreline flattened Iran. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
The 6-2 scoreline flattened Iran. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

As a result of that, there was 14 minutes of stoppage time at the end of a first half to cherish for Southgate's side in Al Rayyan.

Teenager Bellingham expertly headed home his first international goal, before Saka smashed home a stunning strike, complemented by Sterling.

Saka added another before Mehdi Taremi scored for Iran, who were relieved that the Three Lions only managed to add two more through substitutes Rashford and Grealish.

England were on course to match their biggest World Cup win, only for Taremi to score a last-gasp penalty.

The Three Lions' next game is against the USA on Friday, kicking off at 7:00pm UK time.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Premier League

Topics: Sport, Football, World Cup

Jake Massey
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