This is the heartwarming moment a teenage Take That fan with Down’s Syndrome had a birthday treat – when Gary Barlow surprised him backstage.
The Take That singer had previously promised to meet superfan George Walker in person during a Facetime video call on his 18th birthday.
George finally met his idol at a concert on May 26 after being given VIP tickets at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall.
Mobile phone video footage captured the adorable moment Barlow, 47, stunned George backstage before embracing him.
George can be heard saying: “Hey Gary Barlow.” before the singer replies: “Come here you, give me a hug.”
Barlow tells the delighted George: “It’s great to see you again. I’ve seen you on the screen haven’t I?
“Because we Facetimed each other and now I’ve come to see you in person.
“You know, I’m not here for the audience.
“I’m here for you tonight – we’re just here to entertain you tonight. Sound good?”
Mum-of-two Jemma Walker, 44, of Mickleover, Derby, said: “It was amazing to meet Gary – he was so good with George.
“Sometimes people don’t really know how to talk to people with Down’s syndrome and disabilities but Gary was brilliant with him.
“All the staff knew George’s name and the security just left us to it – it was me, my sister, George, and my 15-year-old son Charlie.”
George and his family were given seats very close to the stage – and Jemma said they were showered with gifts from staff.
She said: “And then when we were in our seats staff kept coming over with t-shirts, keyrings, and all-sorts. It was a really special experience.”
George’s family first got in contact with the star through a social media campaign to get Gary to come to the teenager’s birthday party.
But although Gary couldn’t make it, he promised in the chat to make up for it with a VIP experience.
Theatre practitioner Jemma added: “My sister started an online campaign to try to get Gary Barlow to come to George’s birthday party.
“We uploaded a video of George swaying along to the song [Let Me Go], as he often does, and somehow it was shared 48,000 times.
“We managed then to get hold of his PA, who said he couldn’t come to the party but he could video call him.”
Gary called George during his birthday party at St Andrew’s School in Derby, a mixed day and residential special-needs school for young people aged 11 to 19.
Jemma said: “George goes to a special school, and we decided to have the video call at school so all the kids could have the experience too.
“Gary then invited him to go and meet him backstage at one of his concerts.”
Jemma said George’s love for Gary’s music comes from her own experience growing up with Take That.
She said: “I was a big Take That fan so he’s been brought up around their music.
“But George loves the song [Let Me Go], probably because it’s catchy, but he really connects to that song.”
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