Celebrity status for Jay in Greece with another trip in the pipeline

Jay with Georgious Samaras.
Jay with Georgious Samaras.

When Jay Beatty visited Greece before Christmas his father couldn’t get over his son’s celebrity status there.

The 10-year-old who has Down’s Syndrome was in Athens to pick up a humanitarian award after forging a friendship with Greek striker Giorgos Samaras which touched the Greek nation.

And to put the icing on the cake of a busy month for the young Celtic fan, Jay got to lead out his team as mascot and then on Christmas morning he got his wish of a trip to an away game for the Hoops.

Martin said: “Jay has always wanted to see an away match for Celtic. He put it on his Christmas list to Santa and I posted it on Facebook.

“Santa must have seen it because on Christmas morning he got a letter from Hamilton Academical FC inviting him to their game with Celtic on January 17.

“I spoke to a representative from the club and told them we weren’t looking it for free, but they’re treating Jay as their special guest.”

The ultimate Christmas present for the Celtic fan was preceded by a trip to Athens via Celtic Park.

Martin explained: “On the Sunday Jay did mascot for Glasgow Celtic, then we flew from Glasgow to London then on the Monday morning we flew to Athens for the Greek Sports Personality Awards.

“When we arrived in the airport I though One Direction were behind us. The reporters and photographers were everywhere. They were all there for Jay.

“We’re told he was the biggest story between May and August last year during the World Cup. His picture was on the front page of all the papers and magazines.

“People were stopping us in the airport and asking for autographs and pictures with Jay.

“He did a few interviews with reporters and for the TV. The camera crews followed us the whole trip.

“He has a real celebrity status in Greece because of his friendship with Samaras.

“It was very emotional. Especially the ceremony.

“Seeing a 10-year-old boy from Lurgan get a Sports Personality Award in Greece was surreal and very touching.”

The award Jay received was a humanitarian award following the friendship he forged with Samaras, which saw Jay invited to the World Cup as Greek guest of honour.

Unfortunately he couldn’t make the trip due to a family holiday.