Joe Worrall hailed his uncle ‘a true hero’ following his tragic passing last week.
Sergeant Graham Saville, a response officer based at Newark Police Station, sadly died after being hit by a train while trying to rescue a man in distress.
The 46-year-old was a father of two and a close member of the Nottingham Forest captain’s family, with Nottinghamshire Police hailing him as ‘a brave and selfless’ man.
Despite the shock and grief that Worrall and his family endured, the 26-year-old still summoned the strength to lead his club out in the Premier League clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge at the weekend – a clash they won 2-1 in a huge boost for their season’s ambitions.
But according to Worrall, football is very much secondary after a ‘horrible’ time for his family.
Speaking to Jim White on talkSPORT, Worrall said: “As a family, we’re very strong and together and me as a football player, that’s all I am.
“At the end of the day you’ve just got to crack on with it.
“What happened with the family over the last 10 days was horrible but we’ve all stuck together and I’m very, very proud of my family and sticking together in the way that we have.
“Thinking about him and his life is something that we’ll do behind closed doors and privately but like I say, it’s very strange how it’s in the news because he’s a policeman and the circumstances but I’m very, very proud to be a Worrall and a Saville and a Henshaw and all of the other last names we have and have shared as a group.
“Football took a back seat and coming out against Chelsea and playing the way that we did and winning the football match just shows that as a family and a football club we’re doing things right.”
Steve Cooper heaped praise on Worrall after the Chelsea match, saying: “He has been incredible. I knew what was going on before it became public and he has put himself second for the football club. It has given him a release.
“The guys showed him a huge amount of respect for what he has been through and I cannot speak highly enough of the man he has been this week or so.
“I know how important this will be today. It will give him and his family some respite. Nothing can make what happened any better but at least it gives him some nice feelings for a while. A lot of that result today was for them.”
But responding to Cooper’s praise for making himself available, Worrall said: “It was his decision to pick me!
“Like I say, it’s football. If somebody dies in your family then you go to work the next day. I think it’s just something that you have to crack on with, whether you’re a footballer or not.
“We’re very lucky and privileged to be in the position that we are in. Sometimes to our detriment as well with stuff in our private lives with things getting leaked and all that stuff, but this isn’t the cause here because of his occupation and the way that it happened.
“Chelsea away was just such a fantastic day for the Forest family and for my family as well to see us get the three points that we needed away from home.
“Standing there and seeing the fans, the family, my girlfriend and all of my mates stood there at Stamford Bridge was special.”
Responding to White saying Worrall’s uncle was a true hero, the Forest star said: “Of course. There’s a lot of good people out there and particularly people in the police force, the ambulance service and the NHS and these people need to be celebrated.
“It takes such tragic circumstances for people to be celebrated and I think that these people are the real heroes.
“You talk about role models with footballers and Instagram influencers, TikTokers and even you guys at talkSPORT – people listen to you and take inspiration – but you understand that when you’re in a position like we are and my uncle was then you are a role model and I’m very proud of the position I’ve got to and the position my uncle did as well.”
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