Little Leeds United fan in tears of joy as Raphinha takes home sign he held up all season at Elland Road

An eight-year-old Leeds United fan who has diligently held up a sign in homage to his favourite player Raphinha was left in tears of joy on Sunday - after Kalvin Phillips took it over to him during a poignant moment of reflection.

By Daniel Sheridan
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 4:12 pm

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Archie Waite made the sign prior to the start of the season and could be spotted in the stands every game throughout the year.

However, it was after Sunday's late draw with Brighton that Archie's dreams came true.

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Archie Waite made the sign prior to the start of the season and could be spotted in the stands every game throughout the year.

Following the match, Kalvin Phillips returned to the pitch with Raphinha.

Phillips immediately headed to embrace fans who had stayed behind and he spotted the sign - emblazoned with 'Raphinha Make Me Smile'.

Archie and his sister Ruby, 14 - whose favourite player is Phillips - asked Phillips if he would finally show Raphinha the sign.

The star midfielder rushed over to show Raphinha the sign, as he sat reflecting in the goal mouth of Elland Road.

(Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

The sign brought a smile to the face of the winger and a picture captured the moment he tucked it under his arm to take home.

Archie's mum Rebecca, from Boroughbridge, said he was left in tears by the moment.

She said: "He has held it up all season, every single match at the front of the stands.

"Raphinha is his favourite player.

Archie Waite made the sign prior to the start of the season and could be spotted in the stands every game throughout the year.

"It seemed like a goodbye and was very poignant.

"You can imagine Archie's response when Kalvin took the sign."

The moment went viral across social media following the match.

Raphinha is believed to have taken the sign back to his car according to fans.

Archie Waite made the sign prior to the start of the season and could be spotted in the stands every game throughout the year.

"It means so much to the kids", Rebecca said.

"The players have such a close connection with the fans.

"It made it all worthwhile for Archie.

"He will have to make another sign now!"