Seamus Coleman pays for two Everton fans flights and accommodation in another random act of kindness
Republic of Ireland captain and Everton defender Seamus Coleman has pledged €2,000 to Everton fans Eoin Mulligan and Francis after the latter fell ill before a recent trip to Liverpool to watch Everton take on Hadjuk Split.
Mulligan bought Francis, a man he claimed was on the autistic spectrum yet was 'always full of beans with a smile on his face', an Everton jersey last weekend with the name of his favourite Everton player Wayne Rooney printed on the back of the shirt.
Francis was visibly moved by the gesture and Mulligan's kindness prompted his employer Supermacs and Everton to arrange a trip for the the two to attend the Toffees recent Europa League qualifier with Hadjuk Split last week, however, the trip fell through after Francis fell ill.
Not to be deterred, Mulligan then set up a GoFundMe page to raise €1,100 so that the two could rearrange their trip to watch Everton play.
They surpassed their goal with one single pledge, a €2,000 donation from Seamus Coleman.
"Sorry you couldn't make it to the game Francis," Coleman wrote in a post accompanying his pledge.
"I hope your feeling better now. Hopefully this helps get you and Eoin your flights and accomadition for another game and I'm sure the club will look after you as always. Seamie coleman."
Mulligan was effusive in his praise for Coleman and called the 28-year-old 'a modern day hero'.
"I am literally speechless," wrote Mulligan in a Facebook post.
"Not only is Seamus an inspiration to thousands of people across Ireland but he is also one of Francis favourite players of all time.
"The fact that someone of Seamus stature could reach out like this and help someone says alot about his character.
"These last few days have proved to me the world is alot brighter of a place than we think.
"And because of people like all of you that donated you have helped give Francis another chance at the trip of his dream and in turn helped raise awareness and much needed funds for autism in Ireland.
"I only hope we can meet in person so I can show you how much this has meant to me. You are a modern day hero.
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
"Also all surplus donations will be donated to Aspire, The Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland in Francis name. This has been a beautiful journey. Thank each and every one of you.
Coleman previously welcomed seven-year-old Toffees fan Daire Flanagan to Goodison Park after Flanagan's family were able to raise enough money to send Daire over to watch the Toffees take on Watford last season.
Flanagan, who was born with Apert Syndrome, a rare genetic condition characterised by the premature fusion of certain skull bones, was able to meet Coleman before the game after an online fundraising campaign was set up so that Daire and his family could fly over and see Everton play at Goodison in what was the club's final home game of the season.
The campaign raised a total of £7,220 to make Daire's trip possible with Coleman generously donating £5000 to the cause.
Speaking of his donation, Coleman told Everton Football Club: "Some stories touch me more than others, and that just happened to be one.
"I know they’re trying to raise some money. When footballers get involved and donate money, it raises the publicity of it all. That’s what I done and more people got involved.
"Daire’s dream came true really. He’s going to get to the game tonight, which makes me happy and I’m sure makes Daire and his family happy."