The Sheffield Derby might have ended in a goalless draw but one Sheffield Wednesday superfan has his own reasons to celebrate.
Shay O’Grady, eight, completed his 16-mile walk from Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice to Hillsborough in plenty of time for kick-off and also got the chance to meet some of the Wednesday players.
He presented Owls’ striker Steven Fletcher with his player of the month award for February and also met chairman Dejphon Chansiri, who told him he would double however much money he raised for the hospice.
Proud dad Jason said: “He loved it but he was absolutely shattered this morning. Chansiri came down and he said he was proud of him and said he would match whatever he raised.
“I’m so proud of him. He also got the chance to speak on the microphone before the game about what he’d done.”
Shay, of Ecclesfield, walked from North Anston to Hillsborough. He set off on Sunday but with school sandwiched in the middle he has had to split his journey into two legs.
He has so far raised almost £4,000 for the hospice, which helps care for his cousin Evie Mae Askwith-O’Grady, who has got a rare chromosome deletion order and needs round-the-clock care.
Jason said: “Evie-Mae is five months younger than him so he used to wonder why she couldn’t walk when they were younger.
“He's always asked questions since he was little like why can't Evie Mae walk or talk.
"As he's got older he understands it a little bit more but what he does understand is how much Bluebell Wood do for Evie Mae and her parents Keeley and Adam and brother Brandon. They offer so much more to families – it’s an amazing place.
“He tries to do something every year and this year he said he wanted to do something good and he came up with this idea himself.”
The youngster made it as far as Dexel Tyres, on Staniforth Road, on Sunday, before returning to the classroom on Monday and then making the final leg of his journey in time for the game.
Jason said: “There were taxis pulling up and drivers were jumping out and chucking money in the bucket. We called in the New Barrack Tavern on the way to the ground and all of the fans in there were great.
“When he met Chansiri he said he wanted young fans of Shay’s age to know that when they do something like this he will support them and that’s a really nice thing to do.”
The youngster originally set out to raise £400 but donations have flooded in and including offline donations, his total currently stands at almost £4,000.
Kind-hearted Shay has previously collected Easter eggs from his football team-mates to donate to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Jason said: “We’re very, very proud of him. He is a fantastic lad, who loves his football. He’s very kind and loves to help anybody.
“He is always doing something and he loves doing things like this. As parents you to try encourage that.”
For more information or if you would like to sponsor Shay visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/shayboogrady