Sheffield Wednesday fan pens heartwarming letter to midfielder Barry Bannan
A Sheffield Wednesday superfan who raised £10,000 for charity by walking 16 miles to the Steel City Derby has written a heartwarming letter to Owls' midfielder Barry Bannan.
After completing a 16-mile walk from Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice to the Sheffield Derby earlier this month, eight-year-old Shay O’Grady, of Ecclesfield, enjoyed the Owls’ 4-2 win over Blackburn Rovers from the comfort of the directors’ box on Saturday.
Shay was invited by Wednesday chairman Dejphon Chansiri and, after raising more than than £5,000 himself, Mr Chansiri doubled the total.
He was also presented with Scotland international Bannan’s shirt after the game and has now penned a touching letter thanking him.
The letter said: “Thank you for giving me your shirt and thank you and Steve for signing it. I have never hardly let go of it, ever.
“When I’m older I just want to be the exact same as you and when I’ve got my shirt and boots I will sign them for you.
“I copied your haircut as well and my mum and dad love it but I haven’t told them I’m copying yours yet.”
Shay and proud dad Jason were invited to be the chairman's guests at HIllsborough on Saturday after they met Mr Chansiri at the Steel City Derby.
The youngster raised £5,000 for the hospice, which was doubled by Mr Chansiri as the centre helps care for his cousin Evie Mae Askwith-O’Grady, who has got a rare chromosome deletion order and needs round-the-clock care.
Jason thanked Mr Chansiri as well as Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United fans for their support.
He added: “We’re very, very proud of him. He is a fantastic lad, who loves his football. He’s very kind and loves to help anybody.
“He is always doing something and he loves doing things like this. As parents you to try encourage that.”