'Special' night for Sharp

Rovers striker thanks fans for helping him through emotional game

Billy Sharps: Has described his goal against Middlesbrough as the most important of his career

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Billy Sharp has thanked the Doncaster and Middlesbrough supporters for the part they played in an emotional night at the Keepmoat Stadium on Tuesday.

Rovers striker Sharp took part in the midweek fixture just days after the death of his newborn son.

Doncaster announced on Tuesday that Luey Jacob Sharp had passed away on Saturday aged just two days old.

Sharp made himself available for the meeting with Middlesbrough and was handed the captain's armband by manager Dean Saunders.

He also led a fitting tribute to his son prior to kick-off, with both sets of players and supporters commemorating his life with a minute's applause.

Proud

An emotionally-charged evening then saw Sharp break the deadlock on 14 minutes and, despite being unable to prevent Rovers from slipping to a 3-1 defeat, he has thanked those in attendance for helping him through a 'special' night.

He wrote on his Twitter account: "My goal tonight was the most important goal of my career dedicated to my brave boy luey jacob sharp I love u son sleep tight.thatsforyouson.

"To captain the side tonite was an honour and a pleasure,the minute applause I was crying meant so much to me thanks to both sets of fans.

"My goal had to be something special tonight for my special boy. I'm so proud of him, and his mum @jadecarlie86."

Sharp's girlfriend Jade Fair also tweeted: "@billysharp10 & I are grateful for the love and support we have received. Daddy did Luey proud tonight.Sleep tight angel."

After scoring, Sharp lifted his shirt to reveal a t-shirt which read: "That's for you, son", and referee Darren Deadman has been praised for not issuing the standard yellow card for such a celebration.