‘Dream come true’: young football fan thanks Jack Grealish for goal celebration | England

A young football fan with cerebral palsy said seeing Jack Grealish perform their special goal celebration was “a dream come true” – and urged the England star to do “the Finlay” each time he scores.

Grealish had promised Finlay Fisher he would perform the shoulder waggle celebration after the 12-year-old wrote to him upon learning that the player’s sister Holly also has cerebral palsy. True to his word, the Manchester City forward pulled out the dance after scoring the sixth goal in England’s 6-2 win against Iran at the World Cup in Qatar on Monday.

Speaking after the match, Grealish said: “For me, it’s just doing a celebration but for him that’ll mean the world to him, I’m sure. So Finlay – that one’s for you.”

Finlay said he was amazed to see his idol perform the move as he watched from his living room in Manchester. “It feels like a dream come true, I can’t say how happy I am. I’ve still not got over it yet,” he told BBC Breakfast on Tuesday.

He said speaking with Grealish the week before had been like “like meeting Superman”. “I couldn’t believe it, I was star-struck,” he said. “When you meet your idol, it’s like meeting Superman or Batman, you can’t imagine it. He wanted to come and see me in his spare time, so I really want to thank him for that.”

However, Finlay almost did not get to watch the match at all. He had spent two hours in hospital after hurting his leg in a fall in the morning. The game started just 10 minutes after he returned home. “I hurt my leg in the morning, and I had to sit in A&E for two hours, and I was like: ‘C’mon let me out, let me out,’” he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

The avid Man City fan said “it really made me happy” when he met Grealish after writing to him earlier this year. Finlay said he had been inspired by the footballer speaking about his love for his younger sister, Hollie, who has cerebral palsy.

“I think he’s very inspirational,” Finlay told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “Because he’s lived with people he knows what it’s like so he gets his message across. I think he supports me and makes me grow confidence so I hope he does that to other people as well.”

The schoolboy said he had named the celebration “the Finlay” and that he felt he was now “best friends” with the Premier League’s most expensive footballer.

And if Grealish thinks he can retire the dance, he may need to think again. Finlay urged him to do it each time he scores: “That must be his signature celebration!”

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