The soccer friendship that moved the world
It was an image, and a story, that touched hearts across the world.
The famous photograph of Carson Pickett and Joseph Tidd’s post-match meeting – with both player and fan a picture of pure happiness – became a viral sensation.
"The look on my face, it was authentic,” Pickett, a left-back for Orlando Pride reflected later. "The best part of the photo is that it was so real and wasn't planned. We had an instant bond. For a kid that young, I didn't expect him to connect the way he did. It was amazing to me that it felt like he realized why we were bonded."
What connected them - beyond their passion for soccer, of course - was that both had been born without a left forearm. “When I was growing up, I was never allowed to say the word "can't" or "no" and back down to a challenge... it was like a cuss word in my house,” she said. “I think that drove me to never give up and never quit.”
That attitude has since taken Pickett to the heights of the professional game, where she has become a valuable player for US and Australian top-flight sides Seattle Reign, Orlando Pride and Brisbane Roar. As Joseph’s father, Miles, said: “Carson believes she can do anything, and that is the mindset we want Joseph to have as well.”
The inspirational impact on young Joseph is highlighted in FIFA’s Sheroes video, and provides a powerful reminder of one of the most life-affirming soccer stories of recent years.
"This is something that is much bigger than soccer,” said Pickett, who was a guest – along with Joseph and his family – at The Best FIFA Awards 2019. “It's just a gift to feel so much emotion from a little boy who understands you in a way other people can't. It's hopefully a lifelong friendship."