When many Premiership footballers were planning a lavish Christmas, Seamus Coleman was yet again putting others before himself.
People in Donegal don’t need to be reminded what a decent human being the Killybegs man is and why he is the ultimate role model for our children.
But just in case anybody had forgotten, click on the video to see Seamus making Christmas for a young boy who lost his dad earlier this year.
Everton star Seamus Coleman has paid a surprise visit to a deserving young Evertonian to deliver a BlueCrimbo Secret Santa surprise.
Will McKenzie has endured the toughest year of his young life. The 11-year-old was left heartbroken when his father, Stephen, suddenly passed away from pneumonia in April.
Seamus was on hand on Wednesday at Will’s house to deliver the Ultimate Christmas surprise of a raft of special gifts and a newly decorated BlueCrimbo living room when the young Blue returned home from school.
Will was nominated to receive the Ultimate Christmas Surprise from one of his closest friends, Owen, 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.
Owen’s nomination for Will spoke about the extremely close bond he shared with his dad, referring to them as “best friends that never left each other’s sides” and that both were mad Evertonians and Season Ticket Holders who attended every game together.
On arrival at the McKenzie’s house, a stone’s throw from Goodison Park, Blues favourite Coleman was introduced to Will’s mum, Ann, and together they waited for Will to arrive home from school.
Will was close to tears – as were his two sisters, Steph and Sophie, who both watched on from outside the door.
Everton teamed-up with official retail partner Fanatics to arrange for a Christmas decorating company to put up a seven-foot blue Christmas tree in their front room – a tree that was surrounded by £1,000 worth of Everton presents for Will and his family. Fanatics also ensured Seamus had a letter to hand to Will inviting him and five of his friends to enjoy hospitality at the Leicester City FA Cup game in the New Year on their behalf.
28-year-old Coleman said: “I was really nervous when I arrived, I think just because I wanted Will to be surprised and everything to go right and I was worried he might not recognise me. Thankfully he did and I think he was really shocked, especially as he just thought he was coming back home to go to the dentist.
“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. I’m looking forward to seeing him again at the Leicester game.”
After the surprise, and spending time with Seamus, Will told evertontv: “I just couldn’t believe it when I walked in and Seamus Coleman was just sat on my sofa, it was amazing. I love Everton so much, I go to all the games and I usually get there 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!”
Ann McKenzie, Will’s mum, spoke about what the visit would mean to her son and the family: “It’s been a really hard year on everyone. Losing my husband, their dad – but especially with Will, he was his best friend and someone he did everything with so something like this is really special to all of us. To see his face light up I just know this will have meant the world to him.
“Thank you to everyone involved because this has made Christmas for not just Will but the entire family.”