PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — William “The Refrigerator” Perry, from the Chicago Bears in 1980’s, has been reunited with his Super Bowl XX ring, thanks to a thoughtful 10-year-old from Fox Chapel.
Young Cliff Forrest bought the ring at Mickey Mantle’s restaurant.READ MORE: The Search For Kodiak, The National Aviary's Steller's Sea Eagle, Continued On Sunday
“I saw that in New York and I really wanted the ring, and I took the money out of my savings account,” he said.
He took $8,500 out of his college fund, which his father says he would not have approved.
“I would not have permitted the purchase myself, but his mother is a little more soft-hearted,” said Cliff Forrest Sr.
The boy had heard about the ’85 Bears team and admires Perry, and he clearly has a soft-heart, too, because he had an idea as soon as he heard about how Perry had lost the ring.
“I saw that he had a disease and that he had to sell it because of rough times, so I asked my dad if I could give the ring back to Mr. Perry.”
“He said he wanted to give it back to him. He deserved it. He only won one Super Bowl. I thought that was a great, great thing,” said Cliff’s dad.READ MORE: Son Of Carnegie Mellon University President, Thomas Jahanian, Dies After Being Pulled From Monongahela River
But it was easier said than done. Ten-year-old Cliff started making calls, but was told he couldn’t meet Perry.
“The guy basically laughed at me and said no,” he said.
Eventually, his mom got on the phone, and after some work, Cliff met Perry before an autograph session in Chicago.
“He was very appreciative and he said, ‘Thank you’,” said Cliff. Perry gave him two autographed jerseys that read: “The Fridge, Thanks!”
The 10-year-old also has the satisfaction of knowing he gave something special back to a sports hero who gave plenty to his fans.
“I asked Mr. Perry jokingly if he could still do the Super Bowl shuffle and he said, ‘Oh yeah!'”
Perry was diagnosed in 2008 with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. That’s when the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system.MORE NEWS: Curtains Up: Live Performances Return To Cultural District With Safety Precautions In Place