'Serious levels of hero worship' - Five-year-old's joy as Norwich City star responds to birthday invite
PUBLISHED: 07:48 20 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:54 20 May 2019
A football mad five-year-old was left thrilled when his favourite Norwich player responded to an invite to his birthday party.
Oliver Howlett, from South Witham in Lincolnshire, reached out to his Norwich City idol, Jordan Rhodes, to invite him to his fifth birthday party back in March.
Oliver's dad, Richard Howlett, warned his son he was unlikely to hear back from the player, but this did little to dampen his enthusiasm and so Mr Howlett helped the youngster pen an official invite.
Mr Howlett, who has also been a Norwich City fan since he was a child, said he did not plan on posting the invite, but decided to do so on the off chance of hearing back from the club.
A couple of weeks later, just before the party in his local village hall, Oliver received an envelope containing a handwritten response from Jordan Rhodes.
In it, he writes: "Dear Oliver,
Thank you for writing to me and inviting me to your birthday party. I'm sorry I couldn't make it, I had training in the morning but if I didn't and was a little bit closer that would have been very nice."
The striker goes on to say he hoped the youngster enjoyed the season and was looking forward to seeing the club play in the Premier League.
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Mr Howlett said Oliver was over the moon with the response.
"Oliver gets to at least 10 games a year when it fits in with our work commitments and eats, sleeps and breathes Norwich City.
"He was shocked and overwhelmed with the response and so touched with Jordan's kindness. We would love the whole of Norfolk to know just how much it means to our little boy."
The five-year-old celebrated his birthday and special correspondence in true Norwich City style with a green and yellow cake and foil trophy.
His uncle, Michael Dilley, summed up the encounter: "Jordan was already our favourite player this season but we've reached serious level of hero worship after this. Thank you Jordan and Norwich City FC, such a great gesture."