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21st Apr 2018

Ryan Shawcross refuses compassionate leave after father’s death to play against West Ham

He went beyond the call of duty

Reuben Pinder

Not many of us could have done this.

Ryan Shawcross led Stoke City out for their crunch match against West Ham on Monday night, just a day after his father suddenly passed away.

The centre-back declined the opportunity to take compassionate leave, prioritising his club’s fight for survival in the top flight.

Stoke boss Paul Lambert has since spoken about his captain’s decision, saying it was beyond the call of duty.

““I found out the day before the game that something catastrophic had happened, and his performance on Monday night epitomised what this club is built on”, said Lambert.

“I said to him after that his mum and dad would’ve been proud of him for what he did there.

“It’s an emotional thing – you’re never quite sure what to say to people when they lose a parent”, he added.

Despite the bereavement, Shawcross put in a solid display in a hard fought 1-1 draw at the London stadium.

“I think his performance was colossal,” Lambert said. “He wanted to play in the game. We had one or two little chats the night before.”

Shawcross cemented his legendary status at Stoke on Monday night, not that any fans would have berated him had he chosen not to play.