Express & Star

Star Tom Hardy makes young Wolverhampton fan's year with a hug after jiu-jitsu competition

Film and TV star Tom Hardy has been competing in a martial arts event in the West Midlands - and even took the time to embrace a star-struck young fan afterwards.

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Tom Hardy with awestruck young fan Ollie. Photo: Carla Frost

The Venom, Peaky Blinders and Mad Max actor is a keen martial artist and was in Wolverhampton on Saturday fighting in the REORG Open Jiu-jitsu Championship at Aldersley Leisure Village.

Big Tom Hardy fan Carla Frost, from Wolverhampton, heard he was in town and drove to the sports complex with her six-year-old son Ollie hoping for a glimpse of the London-born actor.

Marvel anti-hero Venom is one of young Ollie's favourite characters, and he couldn't believe he had a chance to meet the man behind the mask.

But it almost ended in disappointment, before a kind-hearted charity worker intervened.

Tom Hardy with awestruck young fan Ollie. Photo: Carla Frost

Carla said: "I received a message that he was in our town competing in a Jiu-jitsu tournament, drove down, walked in, asked for him and was told he had just left.

"My son then burst into tears.

"The lovely lady from REORG decided to just check. The next thing I know this lovely man is walking across the sports hall to us.

"He instinctively scooped my son into a hug and proceeded to just make his year.

Tom Hardy with Ollie and mum Carla. Photo: Carla Frost

"He's so kind and thoughtful. So surreal! My son has grown up hearing me talk about how talented and brilliant this man is.

"He loves Venom so this is something I know he will always remember.

"We love DC and Marvel in this house. Ollie and his brother have grown up attending comic cons and stuff like that.

"His favourite anti-hero is Venom, so when I told him we had a chance to meet him he couldn't believe it.

"Ollie's really sensitive, he was born premature and was very poorly when he was ten days old so although he's really mature and really an old soul he's super sensitive.

"Tom said he had 'big feelings' - I told him he definitely does."

The REORG Charity teaches Brazilian jiu-jitsu to frontline military or emergency personnel who have suffered serious injuries, or those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, as a healthy outlet for their energy

Hardy was also spotted in a restaurant in Wall Heath.