A TEACHER got to meet her favourite footballer thanks to the Year 6 pupils who organised a big surprise for her.
Children from St John’s C of E Primary School in Gosport wrote to Pompey defender Christian Burgess to ask if he’d pay a visit to their hardworking teacher Gemma Havey.
And the 25-year-old did, turning up to an assembly with 400 children and answering all of their probing questions.
Thirty-one-year-old Ms Havey said: ‘The whole thing was a complete surprise, I couldn’t believe it.
‘Christian is my favourite Pompey player and I’m a huge fan, I go to every match.
‘My Year 6 pupils wanted to do something nice for me along with my learning support assistant Julie Wren, so they sent letters off to Christian to ask if he’d come and see me.
‘When all the pupils were in assembly, Julie came to get me and said I was needed to deal with an issue in the hall.
‘I was so shocked when I saw him, at first I actually ran back the way I came because I couldn’t believe it!’.
But as well as the surprise visit making Gemma’s week, it was the pupils who enjoyed asking Christian lots of different questions.
They included 10-year-old Kenny Whitear, who attends every Pompey home game and is a season ticket holder.
Gemma added: ‘Kenny was so excited, you could just tell how pleased he and the other kids were to be able to meet one of their role models.
‘I thought that they were all acting strange earlier on in the day, but I didn’t think anything of it.
‘It turns out some of them had Pompey shirts on under their jumpers ready for Christian’s arrival.
‘To me, he’s always man of the match and I think his community spirit is amazing.
‘For the pupils to see someone quite normal go on to be really successful, who still wants to interact with them, has so many benefits.
‘They asked him who his favourite Pompey player was, to which he said Kal Naismith.
‘He’s very down to earth.’
In January Christian turned up to an under-12s Skilful Soccer Youth coaching session at Bransbury Park, Eastney.
He tweeted asking if anyone needed a player after Pompey’s game against Crawley got postponed, then helped to coach the session.