After one of the most incredible World Cup finals ever played, Black Ferns flyer Ruby Tui was left celebrating the victory late into the Auckland night without a gold medal around her neck after she passed it on to a young fan.
Taking part in a fan engagement event earlier in the week, the Black Ferns star would meet the young girl who had passionately followed the New Zealand team throughout the tournament and was lucky enough to have secured a ticket to the sold-out final at Eden Park on Saturday night.
Speaking to the young fan, Lucia, Tui asked what her dream was, "to become a Black Fern" was her answer. Moments later, after the young girl had stepped away, her father would approach Tui, to let her know his daughter had recently recovered from Leukemia.
The moment stuck with the 30-year-old, so as she celebrated her side's historic 34-21 victory over England on the field, she spotted the young fan in the crowd and placed her World Cup winners medal around her neck.
It was a moment not captured by the many cameras around the stadium, but a story relayed to two journalists, who happened across Tui without the medal early on Sunday morning. The moving tale was later confirmed by the Black Ferns.
For Lucia, the young fan, it was an unbelievable surprise.
"After the game, I hung around waiting for her," Lucia said to Newshub. "She gave me a hug and took off the medal and gave me the medal."
"I was in shock and I was crying."
But another moment between Tui and two young fans was captured, with the Black Fern giving one crying girl a big hug before filming a short video to send to her friends.
Posting a 'thank you' tweet to the many New Zealand fans with a photo, Tui can be seen without her winner's medal, with many more celebratory shots flooding social media overnight.
One of the most loved Black Ferns players, and not afraid to steal the microphone, Tui led the 42,000 strong crowd in a rendition of a vintage Maori waiata Tutira Mai Nga Iwi following the match while she also passionately pleaded with the thousands of fans to continue embracing the women's game.
Ruby Tui is box office and Eden Park is loving it 🍿 pic.twitter.com/9xpSHOgblk— SuperSport 🏆 (@SuperSportTV) November 12, 2022
An enthralling battle from the opening kick-off, the Black Ferns would come out victorious to secure a record sixth World Cup title in front of the largest women's World Cup crowd ever.