Jay tells of pride as he signs up for Celtic FC Foundation

Jay Beatty with Celtic star Georgios Samaras. Picture by Hugh Russell
Jay Beatty with Celtic star Georgios Samaras. Picture by Hugh Russell

CELTIC superfan Jay Beatty has been appointed an official ambassador for the Scottish club's Foundation programme for the new season.

The 11 year-old from Lurgan, Co Armagh, became a firm favourite with the Hoops faithful ever since former Celtic player Georgios Samaras spontaneously embraced him pitch-side on trophy day of last year.

Earlier this year Jay won the Scottish League Goal of the Month competition and his latest success will make him even more of a fan favourite.

Jay said he was delighted to have been chosen as an ambassador and intended to "make sure that I do all the Celtic fans proud".

"It's going to be brilliant. I am going to work hard for the Foundation because I love Celtic," he said.

The Foundation’s priority is to focus on the four key themes of improving health, promoting equality, encouraging learning and tackling poverty. In his role Jay will focus on promoting the Foundation’s equality strand as well as acting as a champion for children and young people with disabilities.

He has experienced for himself the Foundation's Ability Counts programme and joined participants as a team mascot for last December's Scottish Premier Football League match with St Mirren.

Celtic FC Foundation Chief Executive, Tony Hamilton, added: “Jay is one of many children with Down’s Syndrome or other disabilities who we want to help through our programmes such as Ability Counts and Inspiring Sport."

Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell said: "The wonderful affinity between Jay and the Celtic support has been one of the truly inspiring stories of this season.

"I am sure he will be a wonderful ambassador for Celtic FC Foundation. I know everyone at the Club would like to wish him all the very best."

Jay's dad Martin, said the family was humbled by the honour.

"Today is a very proud and emotional day for our family and we are honoured and humbled that Jay is an ambassador for Celtic FC Foundation."