Ireland captain Seamus Coleman has always been grounded in his local community, from his hometown of Killybegs to his current club of Everton, writes Stephen Barry.
So despite the Toffees Merseyside derby loss, Coleman made a visit to one deserving young Everton fan’s house, within a stone’s throw of Goodison Park, to bring some Christmas cheer.
Will McKenzie was nominated for the competition “in recognition of the strength and courage he has shown in the months since his father passed away and to help him as he prepares for his first Christmas without his dad”.
His living room was decorated in Christmassy Everton colours, complete with €1,200 worth of presents under the tree for him and his family. Coleman was also on hand to surprise the 11-year-old with tickets for the upcoming FA Cup visit of Leicester City.
You can see by his reaction that Coleman’s visit succeeded in putting a smile on his face…
McKenzie told EvertonFC.com: “I just couldn’t believe it when I walked in and Seamus Coleman was just sat on my sofa, it was just amazing.
“I love Everton so much, I go to all the games and I usually get there really early so I can be ball boy but to have a Premier League footballer in my house was something I never thought would happen to me. I still can’t believe it!”
Coleman added: “I got to spend some time chatting with his mum before he arrived and she seemed like a really strong woman. Then meeting some of his friends and his sisters, he clearly has a really good group of people around him to help him through the tough times and hopefully this will have helped put a smile on his face.”