BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Revolution have a gem in defender Andrew Farrell. On the field, he’s been with the team since 2013 when the team drafted him with the first overall pick.

Farrell has gone on to be a three-time club Defender of the Year and an All-Time team honoree. He signed a multi-year contract extension on Wednesday that will keep him in New England for the foreseeable future.

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“I’m really excited. This is my eighth season and I love it here,” Farrell told WBZ-TV’s Levan Reid. “I love the fans that we have, what the organization has done. they gave me the opportunity to be a pro. Under Bruce Arena, and with the new facility, and with what the Kraft’s have done, I want to be part of something special. We have a really good team and I’m excited to be here for a little bit longer.”

But off the field, Farrell is an even bigger star. His work in the community — and most notably with the Special Olympics — was recognized when he was voted the 2018 Revolution Humanitarian of the Year. He says his desire to do work in the community was instilled in him by his parents.

“From an early age they taught be about being a good person, giving back and being selfless — giving you time. One of the best feelings in the world is giving when that person may not be able to give back to you.”

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Farrell has been a close partner with the Revolution’s Special Olympics Massachusetts Unified Soccer team since 2016. You can call it his happy place.

“The pure joy they have in doing all the activities is contagious. I wish we could all share that around the world at this time,” said Farrell. “I love to help out wherever I can and they gave me a stage to help out and be part of their family. The kids love it and they love competing.”

Farrell says he’s watched most of the kids with the Unified team grow up throughout the process. When news of his contract extension broke on Wednesday, his friends from the team sent him special congratulatory messages — one that brought Farrell to tears.

“I don’t get teary eyed often, but that meant a lot,” he said of the video. “Just getting that recognition of being part of their community and part of their family.”

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You’ve got to love it when the good guys win.