By Tom Keating
LEYTON ORIENT fan Craig Delew wanted his club to bring back Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic on loan so badly that he promised he would clean all the seats in the club’s East Stand if they did.
It seemed a good idea at the time as he made his pledge on Twitter… but then Orient’s chief executive Matt Porter called him up to say Jakupovic was on his way back.
So 19-year-old Craig kept his word on Valentine’s Day with a labour of love by scrubbing all 3,636 seats at Brisbane Road.
“I was in disbelief to start with when Matt got in touch with me,” admitted Craig, “but I wasn’t pulling out. “I arrived at the club at 11am armed with a mop, cloth and broom.
“I didn’t realise until then the job I’d let myself in for – the seats probably hadn’t been cleaned in years. It took some serious elbow grease.”
Porter said: “When the club re-signed Jakupovic, I remembered Craig’s tweet. Craig was a great sport and had a great attitude.
“We’re keen to get closer to our fans. We’re happy to engage with them in any way we can and Twitter is perfect for that.”
As a reward Craig was invited to be a guest at Orient’s board meeting last week before their 2-0 home win against Stevenage on Tuesday. He had a three-course meal and met the Orient players, including Jakupovic.
“It was probably the best experience I’ve had as an Orient fan,” he said.
“Eldin said he was touched by what I had done and promised me his goalkeeper gloves after the game. I also had a chat with manager Russell Slade, and chairman Barry Hearn came over to me, shook my hand and congratulated me.”
Craig plans to tweet Orient again and see what other deals he can strike with the club. “If the chance came up to clean another stand, I would definitely take up the offer,” he promised.
Tagged Leyton Orient