A Lynn man whose love for football was repeatedly tested by bullies who stole his trainers and burnt his replica shirt has been given a boost by the town’s own club.
Officials at King’s Lynn Town Football Club invited Nathan Freear, 20, to the ground before the game on Saturday to give him a tour, introduce him to the players and show their support.
Paul Freear, Nathan’s dad, said: “It’s been a rough year for him what with him being bullied and picked on. He loves football and he loves going out for a kickabout but nearly every time he goes out they pick on him.”
Mr Freear said on occasions Nathan has been kicked, his trainers and his football have been stolen, and his Manchester United shirt has been burnt.
When those at the club saw Facebook posts about what happened to Nathan, they asked him to come in for a VIP experience where he was also given a new Linnets shirt.
Mr Freear said: “What a lovely thing they did for him – for Nathan, that meant a lot.
“You can see just by his face that it made him feel more confident and it’s shown that there are some good people out there.
“Even with so many bad things happening, the good has started to outweigh the bad. Hopefully this will deter people from doing it again.”
The invitation to the club was set up by reserve team manager Robbie Back after he read of Nathan’s problems on social media.
Mr Back said: “I noticed a few pictures and posts circulating on Facebook that Nathan had been attacked and bullied several times.
“There was also a photo of his ripped Manchester United shirt with Pogba on the back of it and the posts mentioned that Nathan very rarely ventures out of his house because of the bullying.
“I thought it would be good if we could get Nathan along to our first home game as a guest to have a tour of the game and meet some of the players.
“We also gave him the club’s new home shirt as a gift which will hopefully go some way of making up for what happened to his Manchester United shirt.”
Mr Back added that he feels “very strongly about bullying”.
“It’s something I can’t stand and it doesn’t belong in our society.
“The football club is a big part of the King’s Lynn community and we will always do what we can to help people in the town who need it.”
Nathan’s big day was brightened up even more by the Linnets winning their opening fixture of the new Southern League season 2-0.