Excellent story & pictures: Kim Kallstrom consoles frightened autistic boy before Sweden v Germany

The picture above has been doing the rounds and deserves plenty more coverage with Swedish midfielder Kim Kallstrom proving that footballers can be an incredible force for good.

Sweden and Germany played their second excellent match of World Cup qualifying last Tuesday, this time the home side were beaten, in the main thanks to a hat-trick from Andre Schurrle.

But with the top two spots in Group C decided weeks ago, arguably the story of the match came before kick off.

Eleven children with Williams syndrome had the pleasure of being mascots for the game at the 50,000 capacity Friends Arena.

For Max, who was led out by Kim Kallstrom, it was a massive day in his life for which he had prepared for but Williams syndrome causes problems with concentration and relating to the outside world.

So, walking out in front of so many people was potentially very risky for many of the kids who led out the Sweden national team.

Max, thankfully, was cajoled and helped along by Kim Kallstrom who in the days after the game, received a heartwarming letter from the boys father.

“Because of your actions my son was able to experience exactly the same feelings as everyone else: pride, a sense of being special, wrote Max’s father who added expressions like “I did it” and “the joy,” which Max had exclaimed after kick off.

Max’s father continued: “I am writing to you because I’m not quite sure if you understand how much of a difference you’ve made to us. Tuesday saw my son Max do something very special, for other children, it’s really about 15 minutes of concentration and nervousness as well as an incredible joy of having been able to meet the national team.”

Kim Kallstrom then replied in a Swedish newspaper: “Of course I’m pleased that Max’s dad appreciated what I did during the field entrance, but what’s more gratifying is that, despite Max being a little nervous in the players tunnel, together we were fortunately able to make it a very positive experience.”

Kallstrom continued: “In a situation like this I act more like neighbor and parent than as the footballer I just happen to be. I realize I have a responsibility to the parents, who probably themselves are a little apprehensive about staying in the stands, but also to the children who enter with us. I try to be calm and comforting and it is usually enjoyed by kids.”

This story has been doing the rounds in Sweden on social networks over the past few days, we found it via Reddit.

If anyone has video let us know in the comments…

Why you need a VPN?
Cut chords:
Watch everything (Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu) online using a VPN.
Unlock geoblocking:
A VPN gives you access to the best content from anywhere in the world.
Privacy & security:
A VPN keeps your information private, activity encrypted & data anonymous.
Just $6.67 a month + 3 months free!
Click here for more Premier League betting tips