This 11-year-old sports fan with Down Syndrome has had the “Best Day Ever” over and over again for a year–winning hearts on football pitches from Scotland to Greece.
A home video taken by his family in Northern Ireland (see below) shows the wild moment when his pro football hero, Georgios Samaras, announced live on Sky Sports Network that he won the “Goal of the Month” contest.
Jay Beatty is obsessed with Celtic football and he jumped at the chance in January to run on the pitch at half-time and kick a goal for his green and white “Bhoys”.
“Jay doesn’t play with toys, he doesn’t play with anything, all he does is watch Celtic, look at Celtic books, look at Celtic magazines and listen to Celtics songs,” his father, Martin Beatty, told the BBC Radio Scotland.
Other magic football moments for the boy from Lurgan, County Armagh, include giving a pre-game pep talk to his favorite team in the locker room the day of his now-famous kick, and singing songs on the team bus.
Beatty first came to the attention of Glasgow Celtic players and fans when he was plucked out of the crowd by Georgios Samaras to celebrate the club’s Scottish Premiership title win on May 11, 2014. The two became friends and still keep in touch, though the striker has moved on to play for a Saudi team.
Samaras said Jay was a major inspiration to him during the World Cup in Brazil when he played for his national team, Greece. After scoring a last-minute goal to help his team advance, he thanked Jay during the post-match press conference. “I want to thank you for the strength you give me. “Your smile and your support gives strength to everyone. In the end, I want to say that I’m very, very proud that you’re my friend. So I hope to see you soon, buddy.”
Jay was thrilled to be able to see his buddy “Sammy,” not in person, but appearing on the television screen to announce his victory in the Goal of the Month contest in February, “Jay, it’s great to see you scoring goals like me… Well done on such a great job – I miss you and hope to see you soon.”
(WATCH the videos, including his reaction to win, his goal, and his hero carrying him onto the field) – Photo Credit: SPF
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