Liverpool hero, Liverpool superfan, and a £300 football boot gift

As heard on The Ray D'Arcy Show

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There are heroes, there are superheroes, and there are football superheroes. And Liverpool midfielder, Georginio Wijnaldum has just become far more than just a football superhero to one young Liverpool devotee.

His name is Paddy Mackessy, and he will have some tale to tell when he returns to his home in Limerick tomorrow. Actually, he told it to Ray D’Arcy this afternoon, but I’m sure his friends back home will want to hear some more details. Because the story is a cracker, and if the summer sun is not cheering you up, this certainly will.

Paddy Mackessy is 11 years old, and a Liverpool fanatic.

This weekend, his mother, Louise, brought him over to Anfield to see Liverpool play Middlesbrough in the last game of the season. Victory for Liverpool would ensure qualification for the Champions League next season. In preparation for the game, Louise bought Paddy the new Liverpool kit, which got its first outing on the field during yesterday’s match.

That was yesterday. But the real saga happened just a few hours ago, on Monday. In town, in Liverpool city centre, strolling around in shopping, Paddy wandered into a sports shop, and was immediately struck by a particular pair of football boots. Actually, a particularly expensive pair of football boots. £300, to be exact. As his mother was calling him, Paddy had to leave the shop. And that’s where his mother, Louise, takes up the story.

“He came out of the shop, and he said, ‘I just saw a Liverpool player in there and I got a selfie with him.’ They started chatting about the soccer boots and he said to Paddy, do you like those boots? Paddy said, I do. He said, why don’t you buy them? Paddy said, they are so expensive.”

With that, Paddy heard his mother calling, and left the shop. But as he was telling his mother the story, one of the shop assistants came after them, calling them back, telling them that this particular Liverpool player wanted buy Paddy the boots. Needless to say, they turned back, re-entering the shop.

“He had bought them at that stage. He was such a nice guy, so approachable, so friendly. I shook his hand, I said that is so nice of you.”

Georginio Wijnaldum, a Dutch international, plays central midfield for a Liverpool, the same position Paddy plays for his local club, so this meeting was all the more special.

Incidentally, Liverpool won 3-0 yesterday, against Middlesbrough, cementing their place in next season’s Champions League. But for Paddy, that victory has just been made all the sweeter.

To listen back to the full interview, click here.

© The Listener 2017

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