NRL star Trent Hodkinson has been praised for giving a gravely ill teenager a “perfect night” at her school formal.
The Newcastle Knights skipper runs a ‘Trent’s Kick For Kids’ initiative, which means at each game he writes the name of a sick child on his kicking tee. He also gives the kids gift packs and visits many of them personally.
It means Hodkinson often strikes up friendships with children in hospital, and on Wednesday evening he partnered 15-year-old girl, Hannah Rye, to her school formal at Kurri Kurri High in NSW’s Hunter Valley.
Hannah is a massive Knights fan and had her name written on Hodkinson’s tee for a match last year, which ignited a friendship between the pair.
Hannah, who has terminal cancer, in the form of the rare and aggressive Ewing’s sarcoma, wrote on Instagram that she had “the most magical night”.
She added: “He [Trent] is the most genuine man you could possibly ever meet.”
Hannah’s mother told The Daily Telegraph that “it was like Cinderella and her knight in shining armour”.
Mrs Rye said: “It was absolutely a magical moment when Trent turned up with a big bunch of flowers at our house. A perfect night.
“No girl could have asked for a better date. He was a perfect gentleman. He stayed for as long as she needed and helped cut the cake.”
Trent Hodkinson, take a bow!! Hannah is a huge knights fan!! She has terminal Ewing Sarcoma, cancer found in bones or soft tissues. We're sure she was very surprised and ecstatic to hear her date to her high school formal would be no other then @trent_hodkinson. Swipe through the photos to see the incredible night. Trent scrubs up pretty good, but Hannah you looked amazing ❤️
A post shared by Titan_Sports_Management (@titan_sports_management) on
Hodkinson’s manager, David Riolo, said his client was a bit embarrassed by all the attention.
“He doesn’t want kudos for this – he’s not that type of guy,” he told The New Daily.
“He doesn’t want all this recognition – there’s a young girl here, Hannah, and that is the story.
“They formed a bond during a tough time and if Trent can use his profile to build awareness, that’s a positive.”
Riolo said the gesture summed up Hodkinson’s nature.
“It sums up who he is,” he added.
“He had a great night and enjoyed going to the formal. I think it was a bit of a throw-back for him.”