Jay Beatty, the little Celtic fan who became an internet hit when he was seen on social media sites cheering on his hero Georgios Samaras in the World Cup, has been invited to Greece to pick up a top sports award.
Jay - who has Down’s syndrome - travelled from his home in County Armagh, Northern Ireland to watch the striker as he played his final game for the club at the end of last season and Samaras was delighted to have him there cheering him on.
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The two have a close connection and the former Celtic star even plucked Jay from the crowd to join his hero in celebrating after Celtic lifted the Scottish Premiership trophy at the end of the game.
The Greek striker has often spoke about how much Jay has inspired him. He said: “This boy gives me so much strengh, it’s incredible. There are no words. I feel his love so much. This love I feel, is also felt by many people in Greece.”
Jay has become a hero with Georgios Samaras and the Parkhead crowd and now it seems, he has new fans in Greece. The Greek Sports Journalists’ Association have invited Jay and his dad Martin to their 60th anniversary bash next Monday.
A spokesman told the Daily Record: “This year our association has decided to honour the friendship between Jay and George Samaras, for the message of humanity and sensitivity which they sent worldwide.”
Martin, Jay’s father is delighted that so many people have taken Jay to their heart and wanted to thank everyone who has been involved in his journey. He said: “A few weeks back we received an invite for Jay to Athens for the Greek sports personality of the year awards which this year celebrates 60 years. This event is being televised live to the Greek nation and Jay will be receiving an award on the night along with his hero Samaras.
“It’s hard to believe that a wee 10-year-old bhoy with Down’s syndrome will be flying to Athens to receive this.”
He added: “To each and every one of you who has treated Jay with so much love and respect and to the Celtic support, this award is as much yours as it is Jays.
“Congratulations everyone and thank you.”
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