Great Britain

Footy mad lad, 9, born with missing fingers has Christmas dream comes true as firm creates gloves so he can be a goalie

A FOOTBALL-MAD lad has had his dream come true after a firm created special gloves to let him become a goalkeeper.

Kai Evitt, 9, was born with a condition called actrodactly, which is a genetic deformity of both the hands and feet.

Kai from Belfast is a massive Manchester United fan and had always dreamed of pulling on the gloves like his hero David De Gea.

But due to his hand deformity finding a pair of gloves to fit was a real struggle for mum Deborah McKee.

Along with Kai's godmother the pair tried sport giants Adidas, Nike and Puma, but had no joy in securing a custom made glove for their little lad.

Scottish company Kaliaaer Goalkeeping came in to save the day just in time for Christmas.

The firm supply gloves to top level keepers such as Rangers star Allan McGregor, Aberdeen goalie Joe Lewis and St Johnstone ace Zander Clark.

Owner of the brand and current Partick Thistle goalkeeping coach Kenny Arthur was keen to treat Kai just like one of his top clients.

Jags hero Kenny asked for a picture of Kai's hands before sorting him out with two pairs of specialised gloves for Christmas.

The specialised goalie gloves now mean Kai can star in between the sticks for his local football team Shankill Juniors.

Speaking of her son's delight, mum Deborah said: "He actually said it was the best surprise he has ever had in his life.

"He was crying on Monday night and he doesn't usually get upset that often.

"He was really upset because he obviously didn't have any gloves and he kept saying 'I just wish I had normal hands'.

"So the fact now that he has his gloves he just thinks that he's like everybody else now.

"He can join in, there's no stopping him.

"They might look different but at the end of the day it's the fact that he has gloves that matter to him.

"He's absolutely over the moon - he couldn't be anymore delighted.

"His coaches kept saying he needed gloves and we just didn't know what to do.

"Luckily within no time Kenny Arthur was in touch and within two weeks he had come back.

"He had photographs of Kai's hands, he had a first draft of the gloves and had asked us what colour we would prefer.

"We were just like we really don't care, we would just be delighted with anything.

"He then sent us the two pairs of gloves and we obviously asked about a charge.

"But he said no because he just wanted to inspire future goalkeepers.

"He came back today to say if Kai needs any help or future gloves to give him a call. What can you even say to that?

"He's changed our lives."

Kenny Arthur made over 240 appearances for Partick Thistle before moving south to clubs such as Accrington Stanley and Grimsby.

The goalie coach added: "It was the least we could do, our whole reason for existence is to help the Goalkeepers’ union as much as possible.

"Seeing how happy Kai was with his gloves is what it’s all about for me and the rest of the Kaliaaer team.”