EXCLUSIVE: Look behind you, George – the pitch invader who wants a quick word is your Dad
22:45 GMT, 11 February 2013
07:53 GMT, 12 February 2013
When George North scored the match-winning try against France in Paris with only eight minutes to play, one supporter was so caught up in the moment that he simply had to celebrate it with his boy.
North’s father David was sitting only 20 feet from where his 6ft 4in son caught a bouncing ball, bulldozed over Francois Trinh-Duc and stretched over the line to score.
The 12th international try of his career was scored in the corner of the Stade de France where most of the travelling supporters were based.
Look behind you: George North was grabbed after his try against France, but it turned out to be his Dad
David had watched his son’s career every step of the way and, for a moment, lost himself in the excitement.
Speaking to Sportsmail, the 54-year-old said: ‘It was a freezing night and we were sat in that corner, right in front of where George caught the ball. I was just so happy and overwhelmed watching him score.
‘It was such an important game for the team and I know first hand how hard they have been working to get that victory. Before I knew it, I was on the pitch.
‘Thinking back, I know it was a silly thing to do, but I just got caught up in the excitement of it all.’
David revealed that as soon as he explained to the pitchside stewards who he was, he was allowed to return to his seat.
David may have been ecstatic that Wales had ended their eight-match winless streak, but George was too focused to notice his father was on the field next to him, patting him on the back.
North Jnr said: ‘He was in that corner in a big group of Welsh fans. He just lost his head in the excitement.
‘To be honest, I can’t understand why running on to the pitch was the first thing that came into his head!’ he added after the 16-6 win.
Pure delight: The try kick-started Wales' Six Nations campaign and inflicted a second defeat on France
‘My back was turned and I was jogging back to the halfway line for the kick-off. I was oblivious to it. A couple of the boys were saying, “Is that your old man” And everyone was like, “No, it can’t be”.’
While George remained oblivious to his father’s joy, his team-mate on the wing, Alex Cuthbert, spotted David running on to the pitch, recognised him and smiled before jogging over to tell the try-scorer.
North added: ‘It was such a huge match for us and he is such a devoted supporter of Welsh rugby that he just got caught up in the moment.’
Former Wales centre Tom Shanklin joked: ‘It just shows that George’s dad is a mad fan like all Welsh fans really.’
When George was representing Wales at Under 16 level, North Snr drove his son from Anglesey in north Wales to Cardiff for training and matches.
The journey took between four-and-a-half and six hours. The doting father did so twice a week, sometimes more.
George has spoken of his gratitude for the sacrifice that his parents made in helping him turn his favourite sport into a career.
When he was asked who his rugby idols were, he named the recently retired Wales wing Shane Williams first, then his father.