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autism awareness

These two Irish Everton fans finally got to meet Seamus Coleman after he donated €2000 to get them to a game

It was a long journey but they got there in the end.

everton Eoin Mulligan Eoin Mulligan

BACK IN AUGUST, a Facebook post by Supermac’s employee Eoin Mulligan in Athlone went viral.

He’d bought a brand new Everton jersey for long-term customer Francis – who always drops in to Supermac’s to chat to Eoin about the club. Francis has Asperger’s syndrome, and has been a die hard Everton fan as long as Eoin has known him.

Their story got noticed by Everton themselves, and they were invited over for a match early in the season. Unfortunately, once the pair made it to Liverpool for the game Francis became very ill and had to return home.

Undeterred, Eoin set up a GoFundMe page to get Francis back over to Goodison Park. Their quest reached Everton player and Ireland captain Seamus Coleman – and he donated €2000 to the cause

seamie Go Fund Me Go Fund Me

And a couple of weeks ago, Francis and Eoin met Seamus on the pitch before staying for the match against West Ham

25344714_10212021877995273_1166876163_o Eoin Mulligan Eoin Mulligan

The team won 4-0 on the night, but Francis finally getting to meet the main man Seamus Coleman was the highlight

25383185_10212021877515261_2090609636_o Eoin Mulligan Eoin Mulligan

Eoin tells that he’s so thankful for everyone who donated, after the first trip ended in disaster:

I organised everything using Seamus Coleman’s donation and money I collected from people around Athlone – from accomodation to flights to make sure everything went as smooth as possible and so that Fran could get everything he wanted over there.

It wasn’t just Coleman they got to meet either:

We were invited to the game about two hours before it started. We met all the players including Rooney and Seamus Coleman, and spent about half an hour chatting away with him. Francis predicted a 4-0 win before the game and to all our disbelief he was right. It was an outstanding experience, one that Fran and I will never forget.

Here they are with Everton captain Phil Jagielka

25344387_10212021878115276_1984428869_o Eoin Mulligan Eoin Mulligan

The club put together a video of their evening, and released it on Facebook today

Any excess funds raised from the campaign were donated to Aspire Ireland in Francis’s name

25397566_10212021878155277_79465950_o Eoin Mulligan Eoin Mulligan

25353145_10212021877835269_584188739_o Eoin Mulligan Eoin Mulligan

25344442_10212021878035274_1897114140_o Eoin Mulligan Eoin Mulligan

A journey that started over four months ago finally got its happy ending:

It was a mad adventure… he deserved every bit of it. So happy I could be involved in making his dreams come through and raise awareness for autism at the same time.

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