Kenyan referee Tabitha Wambui Njoroge on Friday surprised guests by breaking down in tears moments after meeting Arsenal football club legend Thierry Henry.
The whistle blower who won the best referee’s award in Kenya in 2014, broke down moments after she had started reading her speech at the ‘Made of Black’ event as she stood alongside Henry.
Struggling to hold back tears, she later explained the honour of meeting a player she described as ‘one of the best footballers in our generation’ had weighed down on her.
“I’m sorry about that… please… I just can’t believe I’m meeting Henry,” she told the hushed audience.
Immediately, Henry who won a World Cup, European Championship and UEFA Champions League walked up from his seat and went to comfort the referee.
“You are okay? Are you sure?” said Henry while holding her shoulders.
Later Henry hailed Tabitha, a widow, as a role model of women in the game for entering a male dominated field best with challenges and coming out tops.
“I watched the video of Tabitha and I must say she is an inspiration to many. While success is looked at from different perspectives by different people, her story is encouraging to many,” said Henry.
Henry is in Kenya for a two-day visit and is set to to mingle with supporters at RFUEA grounds on Saturday evening during the English Premier League game between Arsenal and Newcastle.