Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Video: Celtic fan Jay Beatty (11) forced to decline Giorgios Samaras' World Cup invite

In one of the most touching moments of the World Cup, Greece star Giorgios Samaras is bringing one young Irish Celtic fan to Brazil after seeing his moving video but unfortunately his special fan can't make it.

Samaras carried 11-year-old Jay Beatty from Armagh around Parkhead for Celtic's lap of honour after winning the SPL and the pair's friendship has gown stronger since.

They met originally after Celtic played a friendly game in Ireland.

Celtic boss Lennon also contributed to Beatty’s incredible day, by handing the youngster his title medal as celebrations continued.

Footage of Jay, who has Down's Syndrome, cheering on Samaras during the World Cup has gone viral and the Greek forward, who scored the penalty that sent his country through to the last 16, has been so moved that he has persuaded the Greek FA to bring Jay to Brazil.

Samaras also sent a special video message to Jay (view below).

“This boy gives me so much strength, it’s incredible,” Samaras said.

“There are no words. I feel his love so much. This love I feel, is also felt by many people in Greece. There’s a Facebook page for him to come to Brazil.”

“This morning, in a talk I had with the head of the EPO, we said we will arrange his tickets to come and watch the match with Costa Rica. Well will talk with the boy’s father, we’ll tell him about everything and we’ll see.”

When the Beatty family received the call they were already in the airport preparing to board a flight for a family holiday and had to decline the generous offer but Jay had this message for his favourite player.

Reaching out: Celtic boss Neil Lennon hands over his medal to Jay Beatty at Parkhead
Reaching out: Celtic boss Neil Lennon hands over his medal to Jay Beatty at Parkhead

"Hi Sammy, I hope you win the World Cup. Sammy, I'm sorry I won't be there but I still love you very much. C'mon Sammy."

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