Soccer mad Jack Lynch-Bradley, from Inch Island, is today the envy of every young footballer in the North West after receiving a Real Madrid shirt signed personally by none other than World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Jack (10) got the surprise of his life when he got home from St. Mura’s School on Thursday to be told by proud mum, Tracey, that there would be a special dessert waiting for him after his tea!
Turns out it wasn’t a meringue but a signed shirt from Los Merengues’ most famous galactico, Ronaldo!
‘Para Jack, con todo el afecto, CR7, Ronaldo’ reads the unmistakable handwriting, ‘To Jack with all my affection.’ Not surprisingly, Jack’s jaw dropped.
“I’ve always loved Cristiano Ronaldo, but was half and half with Real Madrid. Now I’m definitely a fan!” said Jack.
“It just broke his heart,” adds Tracey. “He said, ‘Mammy, I don’t have any words to say’. I said, ‘You know every wee boy in the world would want that’.”
It all came about through Jack’s friendship with a well-connected Spanish exchange student, Lucia, who lodged with the Donegal family for six months last year.
“Herself and Jack formed a great bond. They were very close,” Tracey confirmed.
“She was a really good friend,” Jack agreed.
Lucia, as it happens, is a diehard ‘Madridista’ and her father is a friend of the famous Portuguese national.
Tracey continues: “She left at Christmas and said she didn’t know how to thank me for being so kind. She said we were like a second family to her and that for Jack, she wanted to get a jersey signed by Cristiano Ronaldo. She said she could do this because her father is his friend.”
Tracey didn’t really believe their former lodger and friend would be able to gain access to one of the the most exalted figures of modern football, but sure enough the parcel landed through the letterbox last week.
Having got over the initial shock, Jack is as proud as punch with what’s now his most treasured possession.
However, despite kitting out for today’s paper he won’t be wearing it to training with Aileach Braves, where the ‘Journal’ understands he’s a bit of a fox in the box when it comes to scoring goals.
“He’s coming on at Aileach Braves, the under 12s. He lives for football. He sits eating his breakfast tapping his foot on the football,” adds Tracey.
You never know what the future holds.
Before she returned to Spain, Lucia, shot some footage of Jack in action with Aileach which, the ‘Journal’understands, has already been viewed by Ronaldo and the scouts at the famous Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, so watch this space!