SUNDERLAND striker Asamoah Gyan stayed true to his word to meet up with his biggest fan.
The Ghana player, who left the Black Cats last month on loan to United Arab Emirates side Al-Ain, upset five-year-old Billy Ellison, who had got his hero’s name printed on his red-and-white shirt just days before the move.
But when Gyan saw the Echo’s story of little Billy’s disappointment, he took to micro-blogging site Twitter to express how bad he felt for him.
With the help of his management team, Gyan then invited Billy, along with dad Carl, to Ghana’s friendly international with Nigeria, which was held at Watford’s Vicarage Road this week.
Today, Carl hailed Gyan for keeping his promise.
Carl, 33, said: “It went absolutely brilliantly. We went to the team hotel where the Ghana players were staying and they came off the bus as we were waiting there.
“I didn’t expect him to know who we were really but he saw Billy’s Sunderland hat, came over and picked him up and said ‘have you come all this way to see me?’.
“I thought we’d only get a minute with him, but he spent a good half-an-hour with us.”
Gyan played the second half of the match, which ended 0-0.
Carl said: “After the game he gave him his strip that he wore in the game all signed up and also signed his Sunderland shirt.
“As well as that he gave Billy £100 for getting the name and number on his shirt before he went.”
Despite leaving suddenly in controversial circumstances, with many Sunderland fans feeling Gyan has sacrificed playing at a higher level to earn more money, his pledge to Billy, from South Shields, has seen him been praised by football fans.
Unfortunately, Billy, who also has a rabbit named after Gyan, could not persuade him to cancel his current loan move and return to Wearside.
His stay in the Middle East is expected to finish sometime next year.