Will Fahey spent the last six years on the bench for the Wellesley (Mass.) High wondering if he'd ever get the opportunity to take the field and fulfill a lifelong dream. On Saturday, that dream came true, after Fahey, who has cerebral palsy, suited up for the team and took the field for a play early in the first half.
As the Wellesley Townsman reported, the strong bond between Fahey and the Wellesley High football team started six years ago when then starting quarterback Brendan Brooks, who was a family friend, invited Fahey to come watch the team play. But according to Fahey's mother, Liz, Will passed on the opportunity because it would've been tough to watch the game and not be able to play.
Brooks, knowing how much Will loved football, wanted to find some way to get him involved so he felt like a part of the team. After talking it over with Wellesley's coach, the team offered Fahey the chance to sit on the sidelines for games. Since the offer was extended, he's been on the bench for almost every game over the past six years.
"He became their 'superfan,'" Liz Fahey told the Wellesley Townsman. "He went to team dinners, the banquet, had a jacket...but Will wanted to be on the roster - he wanted to be a player. That was a struggle for him."
While the chance to cheer the team on from the sidelines was nice, Will still had aspirations of suiting up for a game. Wellesley made his dream possible on Saturday during a game against Brookline (Mass.) High, as Fahey put on pads, helmet and a Wellesley jersey and took the field to a standing ovation from the fans in attendance.
But Fahey's dream day wasn't done. Early in the first half, the team put Fahey in the game at running back, handed him the ball and watched as he ran to the sideline for a first down. It was a moment Fahey said he'll remember for the rest of his life.
Wellesley went on to win the game to improve to 6-4 on the season, but when the final whistle blew, the only thing that really mattered was the special memory Will Fahey was able to make during the game.
"It felt great to be part of this," Fahey told the Wellesley Townsman after the game. "I won't forget this."