GARY Madine - goal machine...and just the ticket to put a smile on a young fan’s face.
Not only is the goal hungry player proving a massive hit on the pitch, he’s the guest every young Wednesdayite would want at his birthday party.
Big-hearted Gary, who has scored 11 league goals so far this season, gave Owls fan Ben O’Brien a smile as big as Wednesday’s Kop when he turned up out of the blue to wish the lad a happy ninth birthday.
Ben, who has bone cancer affecting his left knee and shin, was celebrating his birthday with classmates at Eccesfield Primary when the free-scoring centre forward made a surprise appearance at the party.
And Ben was over the moon to meet his hero.
Mum Dawn Sowden, 33, said of the surprise: “Ben didn’t have a clue that a Sheffield Wednesday player would be coming to his birthday party.
“Seeing the reaction on his face when Gary Madine walked in was fantastic.
“For months he has been saying the thing he would like most for his birthday is to have a player at his party and it was wonderful that his wish was able to come true.”
Madine, who was signed from League One rivals Carlisle United, certainly enjoyed his Ben’s party.
After presenting the birthday boy with a signed shirt and a card from the whole squad, the player stuck around to answer questions from all the kids before joining in to sing happy birthday and sharing the honour of cutting Ben’s cake - fittingly in the shape of a football pitch.
The player said: “When I heard everything that Ben had been through over the past year I wanted to do all I could to make his birthday a special one.
“He is an incredibly brave young lad and it was great to see him with a smile his face.”