Essian’s derby day date with the Blades

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LITTLE Essien Misfud was a big hit when he met the Sheffield United team on a pre-season tour to Malta.

And he went on to touch the players’ hearts during the countdown to kick-off for the Steel City derby.

Six-year-old Essien made a surprise dressing room visit to the Blades as they prepared for the match against Sheffield Wednesday.

He met goalkeeping coach Paul Crichton and some of the players.

His dad Roger said: “It was a great occasion for Essien, he even went down the tunnel with the players and on to the pitch for the pre-match line-up.”

Roger and his wife brought their son and daughter over to Sheffield thanks to the generosity of the Malta Tourism Authority, one of United’s sponsors.

United managing director Dave McCarthy said: “We first met Essien during the summer when the players did some work with the Malta Down’s Syndrome Association.

“The squad just took to him. He’s a special youngster.

“The players didn’t know he was coming over for the derby so it was a lovely surprise when he came into the dressing room before kick-off and met up with the lads again.”