Belfast Telegraph

Belfast football fan Kai Evitt just g-loves his gift from Man United idol David de Gea

Kai Evitt shows off the gloves
Kai Evitt shows off the gloves
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

Young Belfast football fanatic Kai Evitt has netted himself a very special belated Christmas present from his goalkeeping idol David de Gea.

The nine-year-old couldn't believe his luck when the late delivery from the Manchester United goalie landed on his doorstep on New Year's Eve.

It was a dream come true for Kai and came less than three weeks after he received a pair of custom-made goalkeeping gloves.

Kai was born with a condition called ectrodactyly - a bone deformity that means he is missing some bones and digits on his hands and feet.

The schoolboy had asked for a pair of goalkeeping gloves for Christmas so he could be just like his Old Trafford hero de Gea.

Sadly Kai's condition meant this was no easy task as the regular gloves sold in most sports shops were unsuitable.

His godmother Ashlea Irvine took on the mission to make his dream a reality - which came true with the help of Kaliaaer Goalkeeper Gloves.

The P5 pupil at Glenwood Primary School ended up receiving two pairs of complimentary gloves from the Scottish company, which supplies gloves to top level keepers and is owned by current Partick Thistle goalkeeping coach Kenny Arthur.

The special gift meant Kai could join his local football team Shankill Juniors, and he played his first match with the club last Sunday, where he was cheered on by his proud dad Darren (29).

Kai's Arsenal fan mum Deborah McKee (31) couldn't believe it when the gloves from de Gea arrived earlier this week.

Kai Evitt shows off the gloves, and (inset) David de Gea of Man United
Kai Evitt shows off the gloves, and (inset) David de Gea of Man United

"I had been contacted by Manchester United who said they would be sending something to Kai but we had no idea what it would be," she said.

"At first when they came we just thought that they were a new pair of gloves but then we realised that they were "signed 'To Kai, Best Wishes David de Gea'.

"Kai was just so excited and completely blown away." The signed gloves will now be boxed and displayed in Kai's football-themed bedroom.

Deborah, who is also mum to three-year-old Ariana, tweeted about the arrival of the gloves to which de Gea responded with the simple message: "Enjoy."

She says Kai is already getting plenty of wear out of the specially-made gloves provided by Kenny Arthur just before Christmas.

"The gloves started out white but now they are absolutely black because he has been out in them every day," she added.

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