Liam Fitzgerald, the young hockey fan who became an Internet sensation when a video showed him sitting on the Bruins bench before a game, fist-bumping the players as they headed to the locker room after finishing warm-ups, has been named the recipient of the Most Inspirational Fan Award at The Globies, the Boston Globe’s new sports awards program.
“It just goes without saying, he’s an inspiration,” said Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid. “Originally, when we talked about the idea of trying to reach out to him and bring him in for a game, we didn’t even realize to the extent of what he had been through. Then you meet him and see how personable he is, the loving personality that he has.”
The Most Inspirational Fan Award is given to someone who embodies the spirit and passion of Boston sports fans.
Fitzgerald, who is 9 years old, was treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2010. He has recovered from his treatments. He also has Down Syndrome.
“I think everyone goes through their ups and downs and we get caught up in things,” said McQuaid. “You meet him and realize what he’s been through and what he has dealt with and what he deals with on a daily basis, and you see how happy he is and his approach to everything.
“It’s hard not to have your spirits lifted when you’re around him and feel happy.”
Fitzgerald is the third of four Editor’s Choice award winners that will be revealed in the weeks leading up to The Globies Presented by Mercedes-Benz Oct. 6 at House of Blues.
Peter Frates, the former Boston College baseball captain who played a leading role in raising awareness for ALS with the Ice Bucket Challenge fund-raising phenomenon last year, was named the recipient of the Community Hero Award last week. Prior to that, the late Thomas M. Menino, Boston’s longtime mayor, was named the recipient of the Boston Pride Award.
Tickets for the event are available on The Globies website.Amalie Benjamin of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Follow Andrew Mahoney on Twitter @GlobeMahoney