IT was the moment that saw a multimillion-pound Saints star celebrate with a young football fan.
Saints midfielder Gaston Ramirez took off his shirt and handed to a young spectator after scoring a 30-yard wonder goal when Saints played Everton at Goodison park.
But now the Uruguayan international’s kind gift to eight-year-old Joel Medwell, after his equalising goal in Southampton’s 2-1 defeat is at the centre of a row.
According to the young Everton supporter’s dad some journalists said £12m Ramirez was left “red faced” after Joel allegedly refused to give it back leaving him to finish the game wearing a shirt without his name or number.
Dad Darren said: “It was reported he would not give it back but that’s not the case. I think in the press everyone’s wondering why a Southampton player gave his shirt to an Everton supporter so they jumped to that conclusion.”
“What happened was Gaston Ramirez and some other players were warming up and some fans were giving them stick as they do. But my son was giving him the thumbs-up and saying ‘hello Gaston’.
“When he came on he scored and ran straight over to Joel, put the shirt into his hand and ran off.
“He gave him the shirt because he must have thought, ‘he was giving me the thumbs-up when everyone else was giving me stick’.”
The dad-of-three, who regularly attends home games with his son, added: “A Southampton player came over but didn’t ask for it and Gaston Ramirez certainly didn’t ask for it back. The stewards said to us ‘he gave it to you so you keep it’.
“Joel is delighted obviously. No one expected it. It was brilliant getting the shirt. It was just a great day. He’s not really bothered about what people are saying. He’s just delighted he got the shirt. He knows himself he didn’t steal it.”