Matt Gilks paid a surprise visit to the home of Young Seasider Mark-Anthony Bairstow yesterday, leaving the youngster shocked and delighted.The seven-year-old was picked out at random for an appearance by his favourite player to celebrate the fact that The Seasiders' Official Junior Supporters' Club now has 1,000 members.Blackpool's current number one met Mark-Anthony and his family and presented him with a signed shirt and a pair of his goalkeeping gloves, before going outside for a mini-kickabout in his back garden.
"To see his little face when he opened the door and realised it was me was great. I can appreciate how someone like Mark-Anthony looks up to his favourite footballer and that makes me smile as well," Gilks said.
"I used to queue up in Oldham town centre to get player autographs when I was younger so I can understand how much it means for a player to visit your house. I’d have loved nothing more than that when I was his age so it was really nice to spend time with him and his family.
"We’ve got 1,000 members of the Junior Supporters’ Club now and hopefully they all remain loyal supporters of the club. We really do appreciate the support in what are difficult financial times for families up and down the country."
The 30-year-old is one of the most popular players for many Young Seasiders so he was delighted to put a big smile on Mark-Anthony's face.
"A stat like that is really comforting for myself and it’s nice to repay the favour by thanking someone like Mark-Anthony for their support," he added.
Any child under the age of 16 can become a Young Seasider for just £5, with those under the age of eight receiving free entry to league games at Bloomfield Road with a paying adult. For further information about Young Seasiders please clickhere.