Young Celtic fan with Down's Syndrome recognised by FIFA

By Hamish Carton

May 11, 2019

FIFA have recognised the achievement’s of a young Celtic fan with Down’s Syndrome. Football’s world governing body has paid attention to 20-year-old Alex O’Donnell who helps lead the tours of Celtic Park.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

O’Donnell has been one of the major beneficiaries of the Celtic Foundation’s ‘Ability Counts’ project – which aims to support and develop young people with Down’s Syndrome through games, dance and football.

The project has allowed him to enjoy many roles at the club but there’s one that has always stood out: being a tour guide. O’Donnell uses his encyclopedic knowledge of the club to good effect, often stunning visitors.

The youngster has made an impression in the boardroom too. Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell described him as “an exceptional young man”.

(Photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Now to cap off a memorable tale, he’s been recognised by FIFA who recently posted an article on their website.

More than a club

Celtic’s claim that they’re “a club open to all” is often branded about without much thought. That makes real stories like Alex’s even better. Celtic bring so much joy to so many for their efforts on the pitch but the club can also hold its head for stuff off it too.

(Photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

The club’s foundation have played a huge part in bringing happiness to a challenging situation. For all the chat about treble trebles and ten-in-a-row Celtic’s main goal is still very clear. It’s there for all to see.