Roberto Martinez hails young fan with cerebral palsy after goal of the month win
A nine-year-old boy who beat Ross Barkley, Kevin Mirallas and Aaron Lennon to win Everton's goal of the month award has been hailed as an inspiration by manager Roberto Martinez.
George Shaw, who has cerebral palsy, recorded a landslide win in the January poll with 86 per cent of the vote after he scored at the Gwladys Street end at half-time of the match against Swansea.
He was invited to the game by Gerard Deulofeu after an inspiring video of the youngster playing football in the Spaniard's number 19 shirt went viral across the internet.
"Everything started in George's head and that is what impresses me the most," said Martinez, who presented the nine-year-old with his award at the club's Finch Farm training complex on Thursday morning.
"He dreamed of scoring a goal at the Gwladys Street end and started practising with his dad in his back garden.
"He showed there is never a reason or excuse to give up your dream.
"The players have been touched by the story. They saw the clips wearing Gerard Deulofeu's top and Geri could not wait to prepare a little present for him.
"He is a young man with incredible drive, not allowing any illness or disability to stop him achieving the dream that he wanted and the recognition is genuine recognition from every Everton fan.
"When you see a young boy like George coping with a disability it gives you such a lesson how to approach life in general and approach adversity.
"It makes you realise how fortunate we are to be professionals in the game and seeing George's inspiration is a really strong lesson we all enjoyed."