Arsenal in Australia: Aaron Ramsey meets Sydney fan who credits him with saving his life – showing him large tattoo of Welsh hero

PUBLISHED: 14:17 11 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:17 11 July 2017

Aaron Ramsey and Rohit Padmanabhan

Aaron Ramsey and Rohit Padmanabhan


Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey has met an Australian fan who credits the midfielder with saving his life – proudly showing him the tattoo he had inked his honour.

Rohit's tattoo of his hero Ramsey that he had inked in his honour Rohit's tattoo of his hero Ramsey that he had inked in his honour

The Welshman met passionate Gunners fan Rohit Padmanabhan during the club’s pre-season tour of Australia this week – and shared his touching story that could have ended so differently were it not for Ramsey’s football talents.

Arsenal’s arrival in New South Wales at the start of their pre-season tour has made many of the club’s legion of loyal supporters Down Under extremely happy – none more so than Sydneysider Rohit.

But Rohit, 23, had suffered a severe bout of depression that left him in despair in 2014. He went through a rough patch after his long-term partner left him.

He also had to cope with the death of his beloved grandmother, as well as other family problems and admitted depression had hit him hard three years ago.

Aaron Ramsey's autograph that is now Rohit's latest tattoo Aaron Ramsey's autograph that is now Rohit's latest tattoo

However, when Ramsey’s last-gasp extra-time winner ended Arsenal’s nine-year trophy drought in the 3-2 win over Hull City during the 2014 FA Cup Final the depression that gripped him suddenly evaporated.

So when Rohit’s hero Ramsey turned up at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport at 5am on Tuesday to greet his heroes when they touched down in Australia he grabbed the chance to speak to him and share his moving story.

Rohit told the Islington Gazette: “When Aaron Ramsey told me to walk with him and tell him a little bit of the story behind the tattoo I couldn’t believe my luck. My emotions were all over the place but luckily I got him to sign his autograph right under my tattoo – and immediately got that as another tattoo as well.

“I told him that he does change lives and that even if he’s vilified by many I think there’s no-one quite as special as him.

“He actually said to me: ‘No-one’s done this before’ and asked me what made me decide to get it.

“He just seemed touched and I was just happy to get my moment with him.”

Meeting his hero – whose actions he acknowledges helped pull him through such a dark time – was a dream come true for Rohit, with Ramsey listening intently to the touching tale.

Rohit added: “I got the first tattoo done last week because I wanted to commemorate the fact that Ramsey was going to be in Sydney.

“I wanted to meet him to let him know the context behind my devotion.

“The great thing was that after we first met at the airport it was he who offered his hand to me and not the other way around.

“I felt privileged.”

Rohit also explained movingly of the moment Ramsey’s 2014 FA Cup Final winner helped shift his depression.

He said: “I felt a surge of unexplainable happiness.

“I felt I could believe in life again and that hope is one of the most marvellous things to grace this earth.

“That’s why I got the tattoo – to remind myself that fate can always have something good in store for you even in the darkest of times.”

Elia Eliopoulou, who is part of the Arsenal Sydney supporters club said of the heartwarming story: “It literally brought us all to tears.

“One Aussie Gooner who found inspiration from an Arsenal player to get him through a tough time and ends up fulfilling his dream to meet him.”

Arsenal play Sydney FC on Thursday in their first game of their pre-season tour to Australia and China.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

Yesterday, 16:04

Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere has revealed Arsene Wenger told him he could leave the club last summer.

Yesterday, 15:51

Reports from Germany indicate Arsenal are ready to pay Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno’s buyout clause.

Yesterday, 15:49

Teachers were celebrated for their contributions to pupils’ academic and personal achievements during an awards night.

Arsenal legend Liam Brady has aimed stinging criticism at Manchester United pair Jose Mourinho and Alexis Sanchez.

Yesterday, 14:00

With tickets only £5 for this weekend’s game, it is worth finding out more about the story of ex-Woking midfielder Damon Lathrope

Yesterday, 13:52

Rogue landlords who leave tenants living in appalling conditions will have to bring their homes up to scratch or pay tenants back up to a year’s rent under new measures passed by Hackney Council.

Yesterday, 13:00

Clapton boss Jonny Fowell wants his side to show him they are winners as they face Takeley in the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy semi-final.

Yesterday, 13:00

Hackney songwriter, producer and talent developer Darren Martyn has spent two thirds of his life in music. Now he is publishing a book to share his expertise and experience


To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists