Young SAFC fan from Cheshire gets to meet his hero Jimmy Montgomery and appear as mascot alongside Aiden McGeady
A budding young goalkeeper was thrilled to meet his ‘absolute hero’ – Sunderland AFC legend Jimmy Montgomery.
Eight-year-old George Henderson lives in the village of Little Leigh in Cheshire, where youngsters are often attracted to the football clubs of Manchester and Merseyside. But not George.
His dad Paul is a Sunderland supporter, as was George’s late grandfather, also called George Henderson who was a Sunderland native. To the bewilderment of some of his friends, George has stayed true to his roots and flies the flag for his beloved Black Cats.
Like all Sunderland supporters, even the eight year-olds, he knows all about the 1973 FA Cup final: Stokoe, Porterfield, Kerr, goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery and that double save.
George’s parents surprised him by taking him to the Stadium of Light to see Sunderland’s 3-1 win over Wimbledon. He was buzzing when he was given the news that he would be mascot and walk out of the tunnel with his favourite current player, Aiden McGeady.
As if that wasn’t exciting enough, in a jaw-dropping moment George, himself a goalie, was then introduced to Sunderland’s record appearance maker; Monty himself.
His mother Joanna said: “George talks about Jimmy Montgomery all the time. He knows everything about him; how many appearances he made. Everything.
“George is the only Sunderland fan in his class. His friends didn’t believe him about the double save. So he showed them a 1974 football annual to prove it. He’s putting Sunderland on the map down here. He tells everyone about them.
“We took him to the Wimbledon game and had no idea he was going to be a mascot.
“He was at the stadium for his mascot training, then Jimmy walked in. George hadn’t seen a recent picture of him, so he didn’t recognise him at first.
“After a while Jimmy asked ‘Do you know who I am?’ Then he showed George an old photograph and said ‘That’s me’. For once George was speechless. He wouldn’t leave Jimmy’s side all day.
“He said later ‘It was like I was in a dream’.
“What a gentleman Jimmy is. He made George feel so special.”