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Dad moved to tears as Jay Beatty wins Scottish Professional Football League's goal of the month award

Georgios Samaras picked Jay Beatty out of the crowd to join Celtic’s title celebrations last season
Georgios Samaras picked Jay Beatty out of the crowd to join Celtic’s title celebrations last season
Support: Celtic fan Jay Beatty

By Staff Reporter

The family of a Lurgan boy who has won Scottish football's goal of the month award after a landslide online vote have said they are humbled by the support for their son.

Jay Beatty, who has Down's syndrome, recorded 97% of the vote in the Scottish Professional Football League's (SPFL) competition for January.

He netted a penalty in a half-time competition during Celtic's 2-0 win against Hamilton on January 17 after being invited to the game as a guest of the Lanarkshire club.

The youngster (11), who comes from Lurgan, Co Armagh, shot to fame when former Celtic star Georgios Samaras picked him out of the crowd during Celtic's title-winning lap of honour last season after then Celtic manager Neil Lennon gifted him his winner's medal. His father Martin said his son was "over the moon".

Samaras was the man to give the young supporter his good news when he announced the result via a video link on the SPFL's Twitter account.

The Greek striker, who now plays for Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia, said: "Jay, my friend, me and you are the same now - scoring goals.

"I'm very happy to announce that you won the goal of the month. Well done pal, great job. I miss you and I love you."

Mr Beatty thanked the thousands of football fans who voted for his son's goal.

He said: "Jay is just over the moon. His mum sat him down in front of the TV this morning and he thought he was going to watch some Celtic goals, so he wasn't expecting it.

"It's unbelievable that people would do this for him - sometimes I just feel like crying.

"When you have a former Celtic manager in Neil Lennon calling to congratulate him, Georgios Samaras a Greek international footballer making the announcement, people like Paolo Nutini tweeting about it, and then tens of thousands of people in Glasgow and around the world doing the same, it is just so touching.

"It is just very humbling."

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