Soccer fanatic Zane Stewart is pictured with his mates and Gold Coast United midfielder Steve Pantelidis at Zane’s his ninth birthday party.
Soccer fanatic Zane Stewart is pictured with his mates and Gold Coast United midfielder Steve Pantelidis at Zane’s his ninth birthday party. Blainey Woodham

Birthday shock for soccer fan

NINE-year-old Murwillumbah soccer enthusiast Zayne Stewart could hardly believe his eyes at his special birthday party yesterday when one of his heroes –Gold Coast United soccer team mid-fielder Steve Pantelidis turned up.

Knowing his passion for the game, family and friends of Zayne had organised the special birthday party for the young soccer fan with anattendance by one of the stars of his favourite team.

“He lives and breathes soccer,” said his mum Leanne Stewart of Murwillumbah.

“He gets on the internet and gets all the scores off there.

“He practices and he is never without a soccer ball. He’s actually very good for his age.”

Ms Stewart said Zayne was absolutely flattered that people had gone to such lengths to invite a member of Gold Coast United to his birthday party, held at the Murwillumbah Soccer Club.

“He is their number one fan,” she said.

“It’s a great thing for them to do.

“His dream is to play for Gold Coast United, then the Socceroos, then Manchester United.”

Gold Coast United spokesperson Peter Gray said friends of the family had approached the club and explained “Zayne is a real keen soccer player”.

“I’m told he saved up all his change to buy a United jersey,” Mr Gray said.

“The least we could do is return the favour.”

In recent weeks Gold Coast United has been appealing to its fans to come out and support the club and attend more games, with captain Jason Culina telling them: “The club is nothing without you”.

“The club is the fans,” he recently told the media. “They are the most important component.”

K-Mart’s annual Wishing Tree Appeal was officially launched at Pacific Fair On Thursday by United players, Zenon Caravella, Joel Porter and Daniel Piorkowski.



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