“IT was the most unbelievable day of my life!”
The words of Fermoy FC youngster Ruairc Donovan after returning to Cork from a trip of a lifetime at Everton FC.
Ruairc had always wanted to make the trip over to Liverpool to see Everton play in the flesh and on his 11th birthday his father Tim Donovan organised what he thought would be the normal match day experience.
That was all until Tim posted a video online of Ruairc’s reaction when he opened his birthday present which went viral thereafter.
Lucas Digne was the first Everton player to re-tweet Ruairc’s online video and Peter Reid among others did so in the hours after.
It didn’t take long for the call to come from Everton FC and the club made it clear that they would like to make Ruairc’s trip to Goodison Park an extra special one.
When Ruairc arrived at Goodison Park, he got to meet the players of Everton including Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Bernard, Theo Walcott, and Republic of Ireland international Seamus Coleman.
Besides getting the customary autographs and pictures from the players, Seamus Coleman made sure to give the Fermoy player a jersey and a pair of his own Nike football boots.
He then got to enjoy the 90 minutes of football he had made the trip for and Marco Silva made himself available to meet Ruairc for a few words after the match.
The Everton manager presented him with a jersey of his own.
The icing on the cake was the matchday result. Everton beat Bournemouth 2-0 with Kurt Zouma and Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring the goals.
Ruairc is a fifth class student in Gaelscoil de hÍde and his teacher is ex-Kerry footballer Tomás Ó Sé.
Both his teacher and the school staff posted pictures online too and Ruairc’s father was very thankful to everyone who made the experience one his son will never forget.
“It has been an unforgettable few days. When we posted the video online we never anticipated what would happen thereafter.
“Everton have been simply magnificent. For Ruairc to see the dressing rooms and the grounds and to meet the players and manager was just fantastic. We are very thankful to the club for their efforts.”
“Everyone was really nice and at home people were so supportive including his teacher and school.”
Ruairc himself commented on his unforgettable trip: “Everyone was so nice to me and they made me feel like I was part of the club myself.
“It was the most unforgettable day of my life and I don’t think I will ever get a present like it again.”