This is the heart-warming moment a Kirriemuir girl hugged a Scotland rugby star in front of thousands of fans at Murrayfield.
Eight-year-old Caitlin Wilkie was invited to present the match ball for the game against Italy on Saturday.
The youngster lives with Bardet-Biedl Syndrome (BBS), a rare condition that threatens to take her eyesight before she becomes a teenager.
She walked onto the field and handed the ball to captain Rory Darge, who gave the youngster a cuddle.
Since Caitlin’s diagnosis in 2017, her parents have raised thousands for research into the condition.
They recently led a Scotland team in a challenge called Carry the Gene.
It was as a result of that initiative – which saw a baton transported by runners, walkers and cyclists from John o’ Groats to the Borders – that led to the Wilkies being invited to Murrayfield.
An honour to welcome you to Scottish Gas Murrayfield 💙
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) July 29, 2023
Speaking to The Courier afterwards, mum Ashley said: “The whole day was absolutely immense.
“The highlight would be taking the match ball out and handing it to Rory Darge.
“Caitlin gave him a big hug which we managed to capture and it’s a really good picture.
“After the match we got to go down into the tunnel and there was a meet and greet with all the players, it was really special.”
‘Really special’ day for Kirriemuir girl at Murrayfield
Ashley was full of praise for fellow Kirriemuir natives, brothers Matt and Zander Fagerson, who she said showed great interest in their fundraising efforts.
“Both of them made a big deal of Caitlin and Matt actually gave her his top that he played in,” she added.
“It was really special.”
Dad Liam said: “Seeing Caitlin’s condition highlighted on the big screens in front of 60,000 people, you can’t buy awareness like that.
“The whole day was phenomenal from start to finish.”
Despite the daunting task of walking out in front of a capacity Murrayfied crowd, Caitlin, who is member of Strathmore Rugby Club, took the experience in her stride.
Ashley said: “We went for lunch just before we headed to Murrayfield and Liam and I were quite nervous, we weren’t able to eat that much.
“We said to Caitlin, ‘How are you feeling about this afternoon?’ And she said, ‘It will be great but this tuna mayonnaise sandwich is delicious!'”