Soccer Star Sends Jersey to Disgruntled Young Fan

Lionel Messi attempts to make up for blowing off fans at Soldier Field meet-and-greet

By Anthony Ponce
|  Wednesday, Jul 24, 2013  |  Updated 1:20 PM CDT
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Olympic Fever: Fans and Faces

Leo Messi has likely regained a new fan in 8-year-old Hudson Sherwood after sending him an autographed jersey.

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Soccer Fans Feel Scammed in Messi Bait-and-Switch

Soccer star Lionel Messi disappointed nearly 70 VIP ticket holders over the weekend -- many of them children -- after he failed to show for a scheduled meet-and-greet after an event at Soldier Field. Anthony Ponce reports.
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A silver lining to the Soldier Field Lionel Messi debacle came in the form of a FedEx package Wednesday.

The box from Barcelona arrived at the Deerfield home of 8-year-old Hudson Sherwood, who was one of the kids left heartbroken after their hero, soccer star Lionel Messi, failed to show up for a scheduled meet-n-greet.

Inside the box was a Messi FC Barcelona jersey with a signed, personal message from the most famous soccer player in the world reading, "Para Hudson, de tu amigo, LEO."

"Although Hudson didn't get to meet him, I am grateful that they did something nice for Hudson," the boy's dad, Tony, said. "It made my wife cry."

After the July 6 no-show -- which cost the family $5000 for two tickets -- the 4th-grader told NBC 5 he wouldn't be buying any more Messi jerseys. This gesture, however, may change that.

"Leo Messi will have his fan back," Hudson's mother, Bonnie, said. "It was very classy of him and the team to do that for Hudson."

As of this writing, Hudson is still at summer camp and hasn't yet seen the jersey.

"When Hudson returns from camp and sees what was sent to him directly by Leo Messi, I know he will change his mind about his hero," Tony Sherwood said. "He is young. Perhaps down the road there will be another opportunity to meet him."

The roughly 80 fans who paid $2500 per ticket to meet Lionel Messi at the July 6th match have been refunded less than half the full amount they paid.

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