Cliff Forrest covets a college education, but the 10-year-old already excels at life lessons.
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The Pittsburgh boy recently showed he knows how to weigh the value of compassion vs. cash when he returned a Super Bowl ring to former NFL standout William “Refrigerator” Perry.
Forrest took $8,500 out of his college education fund to buy the Super Bowl XX ring that once belonged to Perry and then returned it to the Fridge on Saturday morning, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
It just seemed like the right thing to do, Forrest told the newspaper.
“I Googled Mr. Perry and saw that he had a disease and had to sell it because of rough times,” he said. “He only played in one Super Bowl. I thought he would want it more than I did.”
Perry was a member of the 1985 Chicago Bears, who gained notoriety for their defense and colorful “Super Bowl Shuffle” video en route to a 15-1 regular-season record and eventual 46-10 trouncing of the New England Patriots in the NFL title game on Jan. 26, 1986.
Perry would not disclose why he and the ring went their separate ways, whether the trinket was lost, stolen or sold to the highest bidder.
A former defensive lineman who made $138,250 in salary for the 1985 season, the Fridge has piled up extensive medical bills in his well-publicized fight with Guillain-Barre syndrome, an auto-immune disorder that damages nerves, causing weakness and paralysis.
Forrest and his family flew to Chicago to return the ring to Perry, who appeared Saturday at the Ace Hardware Spring Convention.
According to the Sun-Times report, “Perry was overwhelmed by the gesture.”
Because of his disease, Perry uses a battery-powered scooter to get around and he’s losing his hearing, according to the newspaper.
However, “I’m doing a whole lot better,” the Fridge told the Sun-Times. “I’m up and moving around. I’m doing what I like to do best — fishing.”