UNDER-fire striker Leigh Griffiths has looked to put his troubles behind him by helping to make a dream come true for one young Hibs fan.
Reprimanded by his club and slammed by racism campaigners following a recent offensive tweet, the 22-year old striker could have been forgiven for wanting to keep his head down at the moment.
However, Griffiths, arms laden with a birthday cake and signed boots, took the time to drop in and wish many happy returns to Angyl Learmonth, from Loanhead, as she celebrated her 13th birthday with family and friends last Friday.
He also stayed and joined in the festivities with Hibs under-13 player Angyl and her football-daft family.
The present came about after mum Vicky Feenie, 39, asked a friend of the footballer if he might consider a poster or autograph to cheer up young Angyl, who due to her diabetes had been laid up ill for over two months.
Ms Fennie said: “I couldn’t believe it when my friend rang me back to say that he’d drop by and say hello. It was unbelievable. Angyl’s face was priceless when she opened the door.
“He went away and collected the cake I had ordered with both his and Angyl’s faces on it also.
“I had just wanted to cheer her up a little as she had been down over not being able to play football. She said afterwards that it was the best present she had ever received.”
Lasswade High pupil Angyl wasn’t the only one to benefit from Griffiths’ unexpected visit, as her brothers, Lewis, 21, and Logan, 14, also got to meet the star.
Ms Feenie said: “The house was full of Hibs fans but he came in and said hello and blethered away with everyone. I couldn’t get over how nice he was. He stayed for over an hour and was very down to earth, not at all like you would imagine.”
Griffiths caused outrage this month when he told a fellow Twitter user to “f*** off back to your own country ya clown”.
His tweet came after a prolonged exchange on the social media site, where Griffiths was subjected to a barrage of taunts.
He later apologised, tweeting: “Got to apologise to @zak_iqbal for my comment earlier, was out of order!” He also tweeted: “I’m not a racist! Yes what I said was out of order! People going to give it a rest now.”
Hibs said the 15-goal striker has been disciplined but refused to go public on the sanctions.