WHEN 10-year-old football fan Owen Morris caught Jay Spearing’s shirt which was thrown into the crowd after the Wanderers’ clash with Barnsley he was over-the-moon.
But just seconds later, the young Bolton Academy player was devastated when the shirt was snatched from his hands by a man.
When The Bolton News heard about the youngster’s heartbreak at losing the shirt, we contacted Wanderers who were only too happy to give the devoted fan a very special treat.
To compensate for his loss, Owen got to meet his idol Spearing and was presented with a signed Wanderers’ shirt.
The St Catherine’s Primary School pupil, from Horwich, said he had been “gutted” after the top was stolen but that meeting Spearing had more than made up for his disappointment.
The youngster’s father, Gary Morris, said they had all been shocked when Owen told them the shirt had been taken from him.
Mr Morris, who has been a Wanderers’ fan for more than 20 years, has been taking Owen to matches since he was three.
The youngster has been an Academy player since he was five.
On Saturday, March 2, Mr Morris took Owen, his seven-year-old brother Oliver, and Owen’s 10-year-old friend, Sam Twist, to the match against Barnsley.
Midfielder Spearing is Owen’s favourite player and after he scored one of the winning goals during the match, Owen told his dad that he was determined to get his top.
At the end of the match, Owen caught Spearing’s shirt and his friend Sam caught Adam Bogdan’s.
But as he was waving the shirt above his head, the shirt was snatched out of his hands. Mr Morris said: “He was so excited and at half-time my little one said he was going to get Jay Spearing’s top.
“He chucked it in to the crowd at the end and Owen had it for about three seconds and then the next minute it was whipped from behind and someone ran off with it.
“It was made worse because his mate had Bogdan’s shirt.
“I told him it was part of growing up but it has been brilliant getting another shirt for him. I think he will get it framed to keep it.”
Spearing said: “As soon as I heard about Owen having my shirt taken at Oakwell then I arranged for a replacement that I wanted to present to him at our training ground to lift his spirits.
“It was great to see how much it meant to him and hopefully he’ll be wearing it with pride at the Reebok soon.”