William “Refrigerator” Perry received an unexpected surprise last week: His Super Bowl XX ring came back to him.
Ten-year-old Cliff Forest, a Chicago sports fan, bought the ring a sports memorabilia store in New York City for $8,500.
After reading about Perry’s health and personal issues, Forest was moved to spend his own savings — earmarked by his parents for a college fund — to help Perry.
“It was exciting,” Forest told ESPN. “He looked really happy. He said, ‘Thanks.’
“It’s what I wanted to do. When I Googled Mr. Perry after I got the ring, I saw he had (Guillain-Barre syndrome) and went through rough times. And I thought he needed it more than I did.”
Forest’s parents weren’t thrilled with his plan at first.
“When Cliff saw the ring, he said he had to have it,” his mother, Tracy, told ESPN. “Once I saw the price, I said, ‘Absolutely not. We’re not buying the ring.’
“He ended up taking money out of his savings account. We told him it was money for college, but he ended up getting the ring.”