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Flames' Phillips takes in big-league moment with grandfather by his side

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19.09.2019

CALGARY — The smile on Matthew Phillips’ face was as priceless as the moment unfolding in front of him.

Standing four feet away, in front of his Saddledome locker stall, was his 84-year-old grandfather, who suddenly found himself in the midst of an impromptu media scrum, speaking proudly as Phillips’ No. 1 supporter.

A survivor of three open-heart surgeries, cancer and diabetes, Don Winsor knows a thing or two about overcoming obstacles — something Phillips clearly learned from him as a five-foot-seven, 155-pound mini-mite.

“It’s unbelievable how far he’s come and how proud I am,” said Winsor, visiting from tiny Happy Adventure, Nfld.

“Matthew has had a lot of disappointments. He wasn’t picked for the under-16, under-17 and world junior teams, but all those setbacks didn’t set him back at all. He just accepted it and moved forward.

“He’s done it with grit and determination. From the first time he hit the ice at age five, I watched how much he wanted that black piece of rubber and he still wants it today.”

Touching moment this morning as Matthew Phillips’ grandfather, Newfoundland’s 84-year-old Don Winsor, hosted a scrum to discuss how proud he is of the diminutive prospect. The smile........

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