Jay’s rollercoaster year ends at BBC sports awards

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th June 2015 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards at the Culloden Hotel 'Overall Spirit of NI Winner Jay Beatty. showing off his new specs courtesy of Specsavers Craigavon, Rushmere Shopping Centre.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th June 2015 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards at the Culloden Hotel 'Overall Spirit of NI Winner Jay Beatty. showing off his new specs courtesy of Specsavers Craigavon, Rushmere Shopping Centre.

It’s been a rollercoaster year for Lurgan Bhoy Jay Beatty who is a guest of honour at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards this weekend.

The 11-year-old Celtic fan has been especially invited to the prestigious event which is being hosted in Belfast for the first time on Sunday.

Jay will be sharing the evening with top sports stars who have been nominated for Sports Personality of the Year such as Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mo Farah, Chris Froome and Lewis Hamilton.

Also in the running for the top award is Tyson Fury, Andy Murray, Adam Peaty, Greg Rutherford, Kevin Sinfield, Max Whitlock, Lucy Bronze and Lizzie Armitstead.

Jay has had a rollercoaster year and has been appointed an Ambassador for his beloved Celtic Club.

Recently he was personally invited to a Paulo Nutini concert in Glasgow. Paulo telephoned Jay’s father Martin Beatty and invited the whole family, including his mum Aine and sister Olivia to the massive concert. The Scottish singer also gave Jay a VIP day out and brought the family to a special back stage tour.

The 11-year-old, who has Downs Syndrome, also won the Scottish Premiership Goal of the Month competition in January after proving massive hit with football fans.

Jay scored the cracker goal during half time at a game between Celtic and Hamilton.

Jay became a Celtic star when he was picked out of the crowd by Georgios Samaras to celebrate the Scottish team winning the league title.

The Tannaghmore Primary School pupil was also awarded the Celtic Supporter of the Year award.

And this year X Factor and music mogul Louis Walsh presented Jay with the Spirit of Northern Ireland award.

His infectious and inspiring spirit earned him the admiration of our judging panel who were amazed at how the modest young boy has become a champion for those living with Down’s Syndrome.

Jay’s mum and dad set up Downs and Proud, an organisation which aims to education parents and the general public about Downs Syndrome.

Jay’s high profile over the past year has ensured that a very positive side to Downs Syndrome has been portrayed in the media.

The organisation has raised substantial funds and has, in the past year, organised a special booklet and pack for new parents with a Downs Syndrome baby.

The pack aims to dispel many of the myths and education parents on the realities of Downs Syndrome.

The Sports Personality of the Year event is to be held at the SSE Arena in Belfast on Sunda, December 20.

It will be covered live on the BBC One, BBC Radio 5 and BBC Sport website.