Sharks visit a special young fan

Eight-year-old Ryder Gerkins is a big Sharks fan.

From Hay in south-western NSW, where he lives with mum, dad and younger brother Ollie, Ryder plays for the Hay Magpies, loves his footy and supports the Sharks from afar, citing Paul Gallen and Wade Graham as his favourite players.

Unfortunately, Ryder is doing it a little tough at the moment, having recently been diagnosed with Leukemia, so in a bid to lift his spirits a contingent of Sharks dropped into Ronald McDonald House to pay him and his family a visit.

Sharks Have Heart representatives and injured NRL player Jack Williams, who like Ryder hails from regional NSW, met the Gerkins family, surprised him with a visit and presented him with a jersey signed by the entire 2018 Sharks NRL squad.

Paul Gallen, who had training commitments the day Williams attended Ronald McDonald House, sent Ryder a personalised video message.

And such is Ryder's fanatical support of the Sharks, earlier in the week he refused a Sydney Swans hat, reasoning he was waiting for the Sharks visit.

He will also be a special guest at the game on Sunday when the Sharks play the Knights, where Ryder and his family will be looked after by the Sharks before meeting the players in the dressing room post-game.

Men of League Foundation, who do outstanding work in the community for rugby league families, organised the visit, which was then facilitated by Sharks Have Heart.

The MOL have provided ongoing support to Ryder since his diagnosis.