best jay ever | 

Celtic superfan Jay dances to his own Beatty after hero Messi lifted the World Cup

His difficulty arose because he equally loved the skills of both Messi and Ronaldo.

Hugh JordanSunday World

Celtic superfan Jay Beatty was in a real dilemma when the world cup kicked off in Qatar.

His difficulty arose because he equally loved the skills of both Messi and Ronaldo.

But by the time the World Cup final kicked off last Sunday, he only had eyes for the unrivalled Argentinian.

And he was delighted to see him lift the Jules Remet Trophy to top an amazing football career.

Jay has been a fan of the Barcelona buccaneer since he met him at Celtic Park along with his dad Martin, mum Aine and his filmmaker sister Olivia.

“I love Messi. He’s a really brilliant player, but I wish he played for Celtic,” said Jay.

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of meeting up with the Beattys for a stunning Christmas meal in a top Belfast eatery before joining them in the audience at A Fairytale of New York in the Waterfront Hall.

The show was a high-octane mixture of turbo-charged Irish songs and Riverdance-style dancing which soon had the near capacity audience roaring for more.

And the romantic theme was based on far-travelled Irish folk making their way home to Ireland to enjoy Christmas with their family and friends.

The performers were all truly talented singers, musicians and dancers and Jay and I cheered every song enthusiastically.

Jay meets Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou

Midway through the second half it became clear some women in the front rows were suffering from itchy feet. They were desperate to slip on their dancing shoes and follow the lead of the quick-stepping cast.

However, they were prevented from doing so by eagle-eyed stewards who repeatedly asked them to remain in their seats.

But the good-natured doormen hadn’t reckoned on dancing-mad Jay Beatty.

The Lurgan lad grabbed his ever-present pal Hoopy Hound, the well-known Celtic mascot, before heading for the aisles.

And no self-respecting security man was going to run the risk of telling Jay Beatty to get back to his seat!

Jay danced his socks off, with the audience and cast urging him on. And within minutes he was joined in the space below the stage by dozens of delighted women.

The impromptu dance-off continued till the end of the show.

And soon Jay’s mum and dad were swamped by delighted members of the audience who told them they enjoyed watching their son every bit as much as the show itself.

Three encore calls proved the enthusiastic audience loved every second of this great show and none more so that the man himself Jay Beattie.

Sharing a meal with Jay and his family is an absolute delight.

It doubles as a rapid-fire question and answer session. It’s a kind of Mastermind for Celtic fans with Jay playing the role of host Clive Myrie.

Now 18, Jay became world famous when Celtic’s star striker Giorgio Samaras plucked him from the crowd to join his teammates in a cup-winning lap of honour.

And later the same day, Celtic boss Neil Lennon gave him his medal which he has treasured ever since.

Jay was catapulted from being a little lad from Lurgan who loved Celtic to the Glasgow club’s most famous fan.

A few years ago, I went to Sicily with friends on holiday. One day we went on a long hike and ended up in a small deserted village straight out of The Godfather film.

We stopped at a small street cafe for ice cream. The Sicilian owner had no English and we had no Italian, but we communicated well enough to order what we wanted.

As he served our order I released he was speaking the international language of association football.

“Team?” he asked, pointing at me.

“Celtic,” I said.

But nothing could have prepared me for what came next.

“Jay Beatty?” he asked.

I was delighted to let the ice cream man know, that I not only did I understood who he was speaking about, but I actually knew him personally!

Today's Headlines

More Northern Ireland

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos