STRABANE MMA star James Gallagher has shared a heartfelt letter from a young fan.
Joseph Kerlin, a 16-year-old pupil at Knockavoe School and Resource Centre, wrote to the ‘Strabanimal’ to wish him well ahead of his recent night clash with Israeli Kirill Medvedovsky.
Joseph, who has autism, only learned to write eight months ago but still managed to pen his very touching letter in which he reveals how he is a huge fan of the 20-year-old and how he believes James will go on to become the biggest star in MMA.
“I know you had five wins and no losses,” wrote Joseph.
“I had no idea you used to train with Conor McGregor. I bet you will be a greatest UFC championship of the world in the future. I hope you will win tonight in the MMA in Belfast.”
The schoolboy will not have been disappointed as Gallagher saw off his opponent in a matter of minutes, securing the tap out by way of a rear naked choke.
Despite only being 20-years-old, the Strabanimal has been making headway in MMA for several years, having left school at 15.
Joseph also asked him about that decision.
“How come you left school when you were 15 I never left school when I was 15 anyway Good luck ok Strabane animal.”
Moved by the correspondence from his young fan, James took to social media to share Joseph’s letter.
It has since gone viral with over 1,000 people on Facebook giving it the thumbs up and many more on Twitter.
James told the Strabane Chronicle it was the kind of thing that kept him going and kept him inspired. He also revealed plans to meet with his young friend this weekend during a visit to Strabane from his adopted home in Dublin.
“As far as I know Joseph only learned to write eight months ago so to have him write to me, it means everything,” James Gallagher said.
“It is the sort of thing that keeps me going and when the going gets tough, this is the sort of thing that pushes you on.”
See tomorrow’s Strabane Chronicle for what happened when Joseph got to meet his hero
Posted: 4:41 pm March 8, 2017