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Video: Celtic superfan Jay Beatty starstruck as he meets Barcelona star Lionel Messi

Celtic superfan, the Lurgan lad Jay Beatty was starstruck as he met some of the world's greatest footballers including Lionel Messi.

Jay (12), who has Down's Syndrome, became Celtic's unofficial mascot two years ago after striker Georgios Samaras plucked him from the crowd to help celebrate winning the league title.

Over the weekend he travelled to Dublin to see the Hoops take on Barcelona in the friendly International Challenge Cup.

And he was introduced to many of the star players on show in the Aviva.

As well as meeting a newly blonde Messi, Suarez and manager Luis Enrique, he also had a kick-about with young midfielder Carles Alena.

His father Martin said it was an amazing afternoon with the Catalan club.

He said: "Jay told them that today was only 'a warm up for [Celtic's crucial Champions League qualifier] on Wednesday night and we would be going easy on you'.

"Barcelona will be cheering us on....We are a club like no other."

Celtic were beaten 3-1 by Barca in the game which saw new Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers reunited with ex-Liverpool player Suarez.

A Leigh Griffiths' goal to level the game at one-apiece sent Jay into a dream land.

Martin added: "A great day with the greatest supporters in the world watching the greatest club in the world playing the mighty Barcelona, the result was not what we had hoped for but I think this picture of Jay celebrating Celtics goal sums up what this club means to us all."


Jay shot to fame when he netted a penalty in a half time competition during Celtic's 2-0 win against Hamilton in 2015 after being invited to the game as a guest of the Lanarkshire club and went on to win the goal of the month award in Scotland.

Jay is most famously known for his relationship with former Celtic striker Giorgios Samaras who carried him around Parkhead for Celtic's lap of honour after winning the SPL in May, 2014.

He was also recognised at the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland awards.

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