Republic Of Ireland captain Séamus Coleman has long been the darling of fans both here in Ireland and across the water where he plies his trade with Everton FC.
His down to earth demeanour and charitable nature have seen the Donegal man become a favourite for the Irish side and the nation’s collective heart broke when he suffered a horrific injury against Wales back in March.
Thankfully, Séamie is now well on the road to recovery and took time out from his recuperation to perform a Christmas miracle for two Irish Everton fans.
Earlier this year, you might have heard a story about Eoin Mulligan and his friend Francis Conmey, two Athlone lads who bonded over a love for The Toffees while the former worked behind the counter in Supermac’s.
The pair had been due to attend a game at Goodison Park back in August but Francis, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, fell ill and the trip had to be called off. They then set up a fundraising campaign in order to get back over to Merseyside to see their beloved team in action. Coleman caught wind of this and donated €2,000 from his own pocket to ensure it happened.
Eoin and Francis were finally able to attend the home game against West Ham United on November 30 and Séamus organised a meet and greet with all the players. The two lads’ years were made when they got to meet all the players and get a load of photos taken.
You can watch the video in full courtesy of Everton FC below.
“I’ve always had a good relationship with Francis but I’ve seen some incidents of people not being so nice to him, being rude and stuff like that. So I kind of wanted to spread awareness in Ireland about autism. They’re people too. They may just be wired differently but they’re just as important as human beings as we are.
Eoin added that “it was all thanks to Séamus Coleman and all the people back in Ireland who helped raise funds to get us here. It’s been amazing.”
As if the trip of a lifetime wasn’t enough, Eoin and Francis’ beloved Everton beat West Ham 4-0 thanks largely to a Wayne Rooney hat-trick.
An unforgettable experience for all involved and a Christmas miracle they’ll never forget.