There was high drama in the stands at Wimbledon on Tuesday when tennis star Jack Sock chucked his towel to a young supporter – who then had it snatched out of his hands by an older man.
Sock caught wind of the scuffle and appealed for help to find the boy, prompting fans on social media to step in and track him down.
— HAG (@HiDizzle20) July 4, 2017
It is a Wimbledon tradition for players to throw their official towels into the crowd for fans to keep as a souvenir.
But when Sock chucked his towel, BBC footage captured a tug-of-war between the boy who signalled for it and caught it, and the man sitting in front of him who grabbed a handful and wouldn’t let go. The older man triumphed while the boy was left empty-handed.
If anyone knows the kid that unfortunately had the towel ripped out of his hands…tweet his name at me and I'll be sure to get him one ????????
— Jack Sock (@JackSock) July 4, 2017
The player’s agent said on Wednesday that the young fan, who has not been named, had been found.
“The boy messaged Jack directly on Instagram and is from Ireland,” Mary Jane Orman said in a statement.
“He is gone home now but Jack invited him to his matches and said he will send him a towel.”
The incident provoked plenty of outrage online, with Judy Murray telling the man he “should be ashamed”. Some defended the man who may not have known the towel was intended for the boy when the sweaty fabric hurtled towards him, while others have called him an outright jerk for his tussle with the lad.
If ur the bloke in the blue polo shirt and hat, you should be ashamed…… https://t.co/KlZ250NCQP
— judy murray (@JudyMurray) July 4, 2017
At least now it seems the boy will be inundated with all the towels he ever wanted. The US Open replied to Sock on Twitter: “If you find out, we’d like to send him a US Open towel. Australian Open, Roland Garros, maybe send one of yours as well for a Slam sweep?”
The Australian Open responded: “No sweat”.