You know that saying about not being able to have it all? Well Ryan Colclough, a winger for English soccer club Wigan Athletic, isn’t familiar with the phrase.
On Tuesday, after scoring two goals in an eventual 3-0 win, Colclough left mid-game to race to the hospital. It wasn’t because of an unfortunate injury, which seems to happen all too often in sports these days. Instead, it was to be at his wife’s side as she gave birth to their second son. The best part? He was still in full kit when the baby arrived, and took in the moment with the musk of a two-goal game still lingering. Then again, there were clearly more important things on everyone’s minds.
Here’s the proud father following the arrival of his second child:
Congrats to Ryan Colclough who scored a brace tonight in our win before being substituted to make it in time to see the birth of his son! 👏🏼 pic.twitter.com/Efvjk9P3sw
— David Sharpe (@DavidSharpe91) November 21, 2017
It’s always great to see new parents have the opportunity to cherish that rare opportunity. As a parent of two, I can say with absolutely certainty that there’s no feeling like holding that bundle of newborn life in your arms. The first time they open their eyes and appear to stare right at you as if to say, “I’m home” — it’s like nothing else in the world.
Here’s what assistant boss Leam Richardson said of Colclough’s big day, via the Wigan Today’s Paul Kendrick:
At half-time we got the message that his missus’ waters had broken, his second child. As soon as the second goal he was off the pitch, because his head was somewhere else. We’re all men, we’re all individuals…some of the players wouldn’t have gone…they’d be still in the dressing room now! Others want to get straight out to support their partner, and you respect every individual in what they want to do. Obviously we all wish him and his family well, and we hope everything is okay.
I must also tip my hat to Wigan for allowing Colclough to miss game action, a topic which has been touchy at times in the sports realm.
Just take Daniel Murphy, who used to play for the New York Mets, for example. Right when the 2014 MLB season got under way, Murphy took a three-day paternity leave to witness the birth of his child. The decision fell under heavy criticism from sports pundits and radio hosts, including former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason.
Here’s what he claims he would have said to his wife had he been in Murphy’s situation (via USA Today):
Quite frankly I would’ve said ‘C-section before the season starts. I need to be at opening day. I’m sorry, this is what makes our money, this is how we’re going to live our life, this is going to give our child every opportunity to be a success in life. I’ll be able to afford any college I want to send my kid to because I’m a baseball player.’
Meanwhile, the Mets and manager Terry Collins took a much different tone than Esiason, instead ringing support for Murphy:
First of all, if you’re accusing Dan Murphy of not wanting to play — this guy played 161 games last year. Wore himself out. Played with all sorts of discomfort. The man had his first child. He is allowed to be there. The rules state that he can be there, so he went. There is nothing against it. There’s nothing wrong with it.
Honestly, it’s a bit ridiculous to insinuate that an athlete’s significant other should put themselves at unnecessary risk for a number of complications that can arise from a C-section. At the same time, it’s not the talking heads that make the calls — it’s the teams that always seem to take the supportive approach. That’s exactly what the Mets did for Murphy, and what Wigan did for Colclough.
Ryan Colclough of #WAFC netted twice for the home side before being substituted on 55 minutes, sprinting down the tunnel to join his wife in labour. (He had the option of whether to play or not) pic.twitter.com/GVNoJXW2JP
— Mike Minay (@MikeMinay) November 21, 2017
Some will say that there’s a big difference between playing for an MLB team and a third-tier English football club. While that may seem like a valid point, it all comes down to one thing — we’re all human. Especially in sports, there are some things more important than games. One of those includes the welcoming of new life into the world. Wigan Athletic knows that, as Minay above mentioned that Colclough could have skipped the game altogether. Instead, he had his cake and ate it too.
It almost makes you wonder if Colclough put those two goals in knowing what lied ahead in his immediate future. He wasn’t interested in waiting around until all 90 minutes had ticked away. Nope — he wanted to put his stamp on the game well in advance so that he could be at his wife’s side to bear witness to the miracle of life.
When all was said and done, Colclough took to Twitter to share the news and give his club a shoutout:
— Max Power (@mp_1825) November 21, 2017
You just know this day will forever be etched in Colclough’s memory for a number of reasons. He scored the brace and welcomed a new addition to his family, pulling off the ultimate hat trick all in a matter of hours. Most folks don’t experience that much excitement in one week, let alone in one day. Sounds like a pretty epic Tuesday if you ask me.
You better believe Colclough will be telling this story for years to come.