Boy forced to turn down Samaras World Cup trip

A YOUNG Celtic fan offered a trip of a lifetime to see his former Celtic idol Georgios Samaras play for Greece at the World Cup in Brazil can’t go - as he’s already off on his holidays.

Young Celtic fan Jay Beattie has had to turn down the chance to see Georgios Samaras and his Greek team-mates at the World Cup. Picture: Getty

Jay Beatty, who has Down’s syndrome, learned of the generous offer from the Greek Football Federation when he and his family were already at the airport.

The young boy became a huge fan of the Greek striker when he plucked him from the stands when Celtic lifted the Scottish Premiership trophy this year. Jay became an internet hit when he was seen on social media sites cheering on Greece at this year’s World Cup and a campaign was launched to send him and his dad to Brazil.

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However, the boy released a video on Facebook today saying that he couldn’t go to see Greece play against Costa Rica. He said: “Thanks Sammy I hope you win the World Cup. I am sorry I won’t be there, but I still love you very much and I hope you win. Come on Sammy!”.

Jay, of County Armagh in Ireland, often travels to Scotland to see Celtic with his dad who also released a message on Facebook. Martin Beatty said: “Thanks everyone for all your lovely messages. This morning we got a call with a fantastic offer for us all to go to the World Cup to see the Greece game and Jays hero Samaras. Unfortunately we were actually at the airport heading off on our family holiday when we got the call, so naturally we were unable to take up the offer and are so gutted but truly grateful that people would do this for Jay. We cannot believe that this has happened and are so humbled and would like to wish Greece all the best in the World Cup. Jay has just seen Samaras press statement and wanted to send one back. Thank you everyone.”

Greek fans had created a page on Facebook called ‘O Jay PAEI Mundial’ - “Jay goes to the World Cup’ to encourage the Greek Football Federation (EPO) to cover the cost of sending Jay to Sunday’s match. Asked about Jay in Brazil Samaras 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.”