Irish soccer legend Robbie Keane made sure it was a birthday to remember for one special supporter in Dublin in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keane took to Instagram earlier in the week to urge people to send birthday cards to Philip Walsh, an Irish superfan with Down's Syndrome who lost his father six weeks ago and turned 27 on Saturday.
Philip has endured an incredibly difficult time during the COVID-19 pandemic after his dad died suddenly six weeks ago.
His mom is also undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer and Keane launched a social media appeal with a target of sending him more than 100 birthday cards, so Philip could have some virtual company on his big day.
View this post on Instagram
Philip Walsh who loves Sport & especially wrestling has Down’s Syndrome and is turning 27 on the 23rd May. This is a tough time for him as his dad died suddenly 6 weeks ago and his Mum is going through chemotherapy. Philip has been reading in the paper about people who can't have a Birthday party but are getting 100s of cards in the post. Philips birthday wish is to get as many Birthday cards as possible. I would really appreciate it if you could spread the word around the nation to send Philip a birthday card and help make his wish come true. Philips family reached out to spread the word and asked if anyone could send him a card it would mean the world to him. Today, I dropped over some Birthday cards and an Ireland jersey to Philip?Lets try to make Philips birthday a special one, and help make his birthday one to remember. His family have asked to share his address; 5 Seabury Walk Malahide Co.Dublin K36 AY60 Please pass on to everyone you know - help break a birthday card record???
The Irish public responded in their droves and Philip has gotten thousands of cards, smashing the 100-card target.
The cards arrived in literal sacks as the Irish public answered Keane's call resoundingly.
That's not all, however.
Keane, who is Ireland's all-time top goalscorer, also helped to organize some special birthday messages from some of Philip's favorite celebrities.
Wrestler Aleister Black sent Philip a two-minute-long video and promised him tickets to a WWE show when live audiences are allowed to gather again.
Irish soccer legend Paul McGrath, meanwhile, also sent Philip a happy birthday video complimenting him on his Manchester United jersey and offering to meet up with him after the COVID-19 pandemic.
View this post on Instagram
Members of Ireland's police, ambulance, and fire services all drove past Philip's house on his birthday with sirens blaring in a special birthday tribute, while an ice cream truck bearing Philip's favorite ice cream also made a stop at his house.
His day got even more memorable when Westlife star Nicky Byrne stopped by on Saturday evening to wish him a happy birthday and give him a bag full of Westlife merchandise and presents.
The Emergency Services and @gardainfo weren’t the only people to visit Philip Walsh on his birthday today. His day got even better when @NickyByrne turned up to surprise him with a bag of @westlifemusic goodies pic.twitter.com/xbqixURSrj— Stephen Breen (@SteBreen) May 23, 2020
You can send Philip a birthday card by mailing one to 5 Seabury Walk, Malahide, Co. Dublin, K36 AY60.