A young disabled girl from Stoke-on-Trent had her dreams of meeting her footballing hero Lionel Messi crushed last month after his club FC Barcelona went back on their word about her being able to get a picture with the Argentine superstar.
Young Hanya Sajad, 11, from Stoke on Trent has grown up idolising Los Blaugranes superstar Messi after suffering from the same growth deficiency that he did when he was a child.
After emailing the club last month, Hanya’s mother paid £1000 to fly out her family to the Catalonian club with assurances from the club that her daughter would be able to have a meet and greet with the Barca players as well as her hero Messi.
But after being forced to miss the first twenty minutes of Barca’s match-up with Athletic Bilbao on January the 30th due to their supposed ‘upgraded’ Nou Camp tickets not being valid, Hanya and her family were informed after 80 minutes of the game that their meet and greet with the Barca roster had been cancelled and that the family ‘should have been informed’ via email.
After heading back to the UK without anything they were promised, Hanya’s family were rightly distraught that the La Liga side had gone back on their word without any consideration of how much they’d hurt their daughter.
But now after getting hold of this story, Midlands club Stoke City have stepped in to save the day for young Hanya according to an exclusive from BBC Radio Stoke this morning.
Whilst also being a supporter of her local club, the Potters have promised to make it up to the football-mad Stokie with a VIP tour and a meet and greet with all of Stoke City’s players at the club’s next home game. Stoke City are a club sponsored by Bet365, a company who currently offer a generous code for new players.
In what is a very commendable and praiseworthy move by the Premier League side, Hanya will now have the chance to rub shoulders with Stoke players such as Giannelli Imbula, Ryan Shawcross as well as ex-Barca stars Bojan Krkić and Ibrahim Afellay who now also play for Mark Hughes’ side.