Andriy Yarmolenko gives gifts to Ukrainian refugee children after final West Ham home game

Andriy Yarmolenko during a lap of honour after the draw with Manchester City

Andriy Yarmolenko gave gifts to Ukrainian refugee children in his final act before departing West Ham’s London Stadium for the last time on Sunday.

Yarmolenko’s four-year spell with the Hammers will come to an end this summer, and he played his final home game as West Ham drew 2-2 with Manchester City. The 32-year-old has become a popular figure in east London and came on as a substitute in the final minute to an ovation from the crowd. Afterwards he posed for pictures on the pitch with his wife and two sons besides a Ukrainian flag.

And the winger, who has 106 caps for the Ukraine national team, was then filmed giving gifts to children who have fled the Russian invasion of their homeland.

Among the children was a six-year-old boy living with the government’s transport secretary Grant Shapps, according to the MP, who tweeted Yarmolenko: “That was incredibly kind of you and he was super excited to meet you 🙂 @WestHam gained a new fan today!!!”

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At the time of the initial invasion, Yarmolenko was giving time off by the club and made an emotional return to the team in the following weeks.

He was widely hailed by West Ham fans on social media after Sunday’s match. “Andriy Yarmolenko has been a very good servant for West Ham in his four years at the club,” Dan Woddenden tweeted. “He’s come up with some special goals, saving us from relegation and sending the club to European dreams. True professional.”

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