Essendon forward Matt Guelfi's touching act for AFL fan as Bombers score upset win over GWS

Guelfi won over the football world with his goal celebrations in the win over the Giants.

Matt Guelfi has won the hearts of the AFL world after keeping his promise to a young fan on Saturday. The Bombers star stole the show in Essendon's incredible 20-point comeback win over the Giants at Marvel Stadium.

While the Bombers' performance had fans tongues wagging, a lot of attention was on Guelfi's unusual goal celebrations. The 26-year-old kicked three goals and each time celebrated by raising his hands and showing off his red-painted fingernails. And the origin of the celebration has made fans' hearts melt.

Pictured Matt Guelfi
Matt Guelfi slotted three goals and each time celebrated by raising his hands and showing off his painted fingernails, a tribute to a young girl named Alexis at the Children’s Hospital. Image: Getty

Earlier this week the Bombers visited the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne ahead of their Tackling Childhood Cancer game against the Giants. Essendon's social media page uploaded a video of Guelfi visiting a young girl named Alexis, who painted his nails red.

And Guelfi told the young fan that he would perform a celebration showing the nails she painted if he kicked a goal. "I gotta play well now so you can see my nails on the TV," he told the young girl.

"You’ve got to watch on the weekend so if I kick a goal I can do this (showing off his nails). That’ll be my celebration. I better kick a goal now," he continued. And Guelfi kept his promise, celebrating all three of his goals by showing off his painted nails to the cameras.

Guelfi told the ABC after the game that it was a special moment for him and he felt pressure to make sure he nailed at least one six-pointer for her. “We went to the Children’s Hospital and, lucky enough, Alexis painted my nails and I said I’d kick a goal for her," Guelfi said.

"Lining up for that first one, I remembered her saying ‘I believe in you’." And the AFL world was quick to note his touching act.

The Bombers clearly did their homework on the Giants, with Guelfi playing a crucial defensive forward role on Lachie Whitfield. He successfully put the clamps on the talented Giant, finishing the game with six tackles - the equal-most made by an Essendon player.

The Bombers ran away with a 12.10 (82) to 9.8 (62) victory on Saturday, with Brad Scott’s men now going five matches without a loss - with a draw on Anzac Day against Collingwood the closest they have gone to dropping a game since their loss to Port Adelaide in Round 4.

The win sees Essendon move into the top four at the expense of the Giants, who have lost three of their last four after starting the season with five wins. And after notoriously going without a finals win since 2004, the Essendon faithful and their coach are starting to believe a flag is in sight.

"That electric feeling ... I'm in an air-conditioned, climate-controlled, soundproof coach's box, but I could hear the Essendon fans," Scott said. "It sounded to me like they had real pride in their team and I said to the players, that's as good a reward as you can get.


"They probably get a sense of what's possible with the Essendon fans' excitement, of what that could be." The Bombers will next take on the bottom-placed North Melbourne on Sunday at Marvel Stadium.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 11: Matt Guelfi of the Bombers celebrates kicking a goal during the round nine AFL match between Essendon Bombers and Greater Western Sydney Giants at Marvel Stadium, on May 11, 2024, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)
Matt Guelfi celebrated all three of his goals by showing his painted nails to the cameras.

with AAP