The power of Premier League footballers to bring pleasure into people’s lives is immeasurable, especially in the modern day when the players are put on such a pedestal and largely live their lives apart from the average man in the street. So good on the likes of Cisse taking time out to do the visit, not asking a great deal you might say but I bet there are plenty of Premier League footballers who would look at you like you were stupid if it was suggested to them.
Would love to know what Papiss made of his Easter Bunny when it was presented to him, maybe I’m wrong though and the Easter Bunny is all the rage back in Senegal!
(Love the cool car with his name and shirt number on it)
Four-year old Sam Livingstone got the surprise of his life on Saturday afternoon when Papiss Cisse arrived at his house in Bedlington to see the football-mad youngster.
Back in January, shortly after Papiss had signed for United, Sam decided to send Papiss a ‘Welcome toNewcastle’ card, rather than the traditional Valentine card he was busy preparing for his mother at school – although he later admits she did get one too!
And Papiss was so taken by the gesture from Sam, when the card duly arrived at Newcastle’s Benton Training Centre, that he arranged a secret visit to the home of the young United fan to say a ‘personal thank you’.
After opening the door to United’s new number 9, and having to pinch himself before realising who it was, Sam, still in a daze, said:
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when Dad told me and my brother Jack to go and see who was at the door. To then see Papiss Cisse standing there, well that was amazing, that just doesn’t happen! He came inside, brought us some really great gifts and then showed us his car which was amazing. It was brilliant!”
Brother Jack, whose 7th birthday just happened to be on Saturday too, added:
“We didn’t know anything about the visit and it was just a great day for us.”
Papiss said: “The welcome I have received in Newcastle has been incredible and I thank everyone who has helped me settle in. From those at the club to the thousands of supporters who I think are simply fantastic, I am deeply touched.
“Going to see Sam and his family was just my way of saying a special thank you to a young fan who showed genuine kindness in welcoming me to a new country and new club.
“I must thank them also for the Easter bunny they gave me, it was very nice.”
Dad John, who somehow kept the secret of Papiss’ visit to himself, added: “This has really made Sam’s year and I cannot put into words how grateful I am that Papiss gave up his time to come and see Sam, we are all ever so grateful.
“Footballers don’t always get the credit they deserve for things away from the football field, this gesture from Papiss just shows what a genuine, down to earth and tremendous person he is.”