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A teacher reached out to a student's footballing hero for a motivational message ahead of A Level exam period after growing concerned about his slump in focus - only for the sportsman to eventually end up taking the teen out for congratulatory lunch after he got the grades he needed.
'Life-long Evertonian' Tom Simmons, 18, had been struggling with school work earlier this year, prompting his worried photography teacher Mr Wyatt to think outside of the box - enlisting the help of former footballer Duncan 'Big Dunc' Ferguson, who is currently assistant manager at Everton.
Tom was 'amazed' to receive a personal message from Ferguson, who promised to take him out for some food if he got the A Level grades.
True to his word, when Tom saw he had an A in photography, a distinction in media and a distinction star in science after months of grafting, the Scot turned up to personally celebrate with him.
Speaking to LADbible, Tom, who is from Liverpool, said: "My photography teacher Tom Wyatt - he's a good friend of Duncan - noticed I haven't really been doing too well in my assignments.
"So him knowing that I was an Everton fan asked Duncan personally to create a little video for me to boost my confidence and motivation.
"At the time I was completely unaware until he messaged me through school to give me my mum's phone number where he sent the final video of Duncan to her and then to me.
"When I first saw it I was amazed, and laughed from the way he presented it and couldn't believe he'd set something like that up.
"I can't put into words how happy I was."
In the clip, Big Dunc says to 'young Tom': "I just wanted to wish you all the best, pal. Your teacher, old Tom, has told me you've been f*****g slacking off a wee bit in your photography. Is that right?
"We cannae be having that, mate! You'd better get your finger out and make sure that you get the f*****g results, and if you get the results, right, and you stick in, I'll come and see you, alright?
"I'll take you for a bit of lunch or I'll come to your house or something, aye? We'll sit down and have a wee chat.
He added: "So you make sure you stick in, aye? Come on, don't f**k the job up."
Ferguson then panned the camera around behind him to show off Goodison Park, saying: "You think of that. Hopefully you'll be back soon lad, eh?"
After getting the message in April, Tom said he started 'grinding away' at his coursework 'to try and get the highest possible grades'.
He continued: "On results day I saw that I'd got the A in photography, a distinction in media and a distinction star in science.
"So I messaged Tom, my teacher, my grade and he said 'Well done, congratulations, I'll sort everything out'.
"Duncan actually messaged Tom first about how I got on with my grades."
Tom was thrilled that Ferguson 'took the time out of his day' to join him for lunch at a Greek restaurant in Liverpool called Eureka, along with his brother Jack and Mr Wyatt.
He said: "We went to a nice local restaurant called Eureka which is a Greek place. The food was amazing and Dunc paid for it all which was amazing of him. He came straight from the training ground to come see us.
"We had a nice talk. Sat for a few hours talking about football life at Everton. My future plans and his future plans. He's just so genuine and easy to talk to. Very down to earth.
"He handed me a signed Ferguson 9 shirt. And I'm just so thankful to Duncan and my teacher Tom for making a moment I'll never forget. He told me to keep doing well in life and after I told him I was going to university to study biological anthropology, he wished me luck and hoped we meet again some day."
Tom's brother Jack shared Ferguson's original message on Twitter, writing: "Little brother got a message from Big Dunc giving him a little kick up the a**e for slacking in school. Our footy club is boss UTFT."
It soon racked up more than 65,000 likes and thousands of comments praising the 'kind gesture'.
In a later post, Jack gave Twitter users the update they all wanted, saying: "Big Dunc sticking to his word after my brother got the results he needed in school and took him out for food. Made sure that I got invited to and not one of his mates."
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