London, Ont., soccer superstar Jessie Fleming leaves mark with awestruck 9-year-old fan

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Jessie Fleming gave one of her Women’s National Team Celebration Tour jerseys to Logan Wallis, 9, who was wearing a replica jersey at the Ottawa match against New Zealand. (Submitted by Canada Soccer and Nigel Wallis - image credit)
Jessie Fleming gave one of her Women’s National Team Celebration Tour jerseys to Logan Wallis, 9, who was wearing a replica jersey at the Ottawa match against New Zealand. (Submitted by Canada Soccer and Nigel Wallis - image credit)

London, Ont.'s Jessie Fleming is a Canadian household name.

Her long-standing tenacity with the national women's soccer team has garnered her much praise, and after this week so has her appreciation for fans.

The Canadian national women's soccer midfielder was instrumental in bringing the team to a gold medal victory at the summer Olympics in Tokyo this year after she scored late in the semi-final match against the U.S.

"When Jessie converted the penalty kick, it was awesome," said Nigel Wallis, who was at Ottawa's game against New Zealand on Saturday with his family.

"She's just nerves of steel."

The team has returned to play on Canadian soil, more than 29 months since they last played at home. The Olympic champs made their long-awaited return twice victorious, winning both Saturday in Ottawa and Tuesday in Montreal against New Zealand.

Submitted by Nigel Wallis
Submitted by Nigel Wallis

Surprise gift from Fleming

Wallis and his daughter Logan, 9, headed down to the fence with a Canadian flag after Saturday's win in Ottawa.

Logan was wearing a replica Fleming No. 17 jersey her parents got her soon after the Olympics.

They got their daughter the jersey because she's a great role model, said Wallis. "She's not the biggest player, she's not the fastest player, but she's really tough. She's inspirational, she's super clever on the field."

Soccer Canada
Soccer Canada

Fleming spotted Logan in the stands.

"When they were doing their lap of honour, Jessie Fleming saw me in my jersey and ran across the field and got me one of her jerseys," said Logan.

"It was pretty cool."

"My daughter's eyes grew ginormous, the size of a saucer and she was struck mute," said Wallis. "Jessie just kind of smiled at her and threw the jersey over the railing and wished her well."

It wasn't just any jersey either, said Soccer Canada spokesperson Richard Scott. The team was printed special edition jerseys with gold lettering for their Canadian victory tour.

Fleming was given three on Saturday afternoon. A match-day jersey, one for the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame and a backup shirt.

"Jessie wasn't supposed to give away her backup jersey before Tuesday," said Scott. "But she got the OK from the equipment team who were able to produce another match-prepared jersey in time before Tuesday's kickoff in Montreal."

That's when Fleming ran across the field to hand off that backup jersey to Logan.

"It was really cool to see a professional athlete at that level have the emotional empathy to see a kid and know that by taking a little extra effort and taking the time out of her day, she could make her her day, her week," said Wallis.

"That was really, really nice to see from somebody who's such an elite level athlete."

As for Logan, her hallowe'en is now a no-brainer. She'll be going as Fleming.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting