A schoolboy who was forced give up rugby because his feet were too big was celebrating yesterday - after receiving a pair of boots that finally fit him.
Sport-mad Dean Roger, 15, was gutted when he had to stop playing rugby because no sports shops were able to find him boots to fit his huge size 16 feet.
The 6ft 4in lad was called up to play the number eight position for his local and school teams, but devastated Dean had to turn them down because he didn’t have the right footwear.
But a kind-hearted shoe shop owner has come to the rescue and called his contacts in the US to send over a special pair of black Adidas boots for Dean’s 35cm feet.
Dean said: “I’m really chuffed I can finally get outside and play rugby again – it’s been really hard not being able to join a team.
“They came at the perfect time as the guy on the school rugby team that plays number eight has moved up to a different squad, so the coach has been nagging at me to find some boots so I can play that position.
“I was really worried I wouldn’t be able to get a pair of boots, as we tried contacting Nike and Canterbury but even they couldn’t help me.
“Thankfully a company in England managed to get a pair for me. and they fitted like a glove – they really are a perfect fit.
“I would have been gutted if they didn’t fit after all that, but they’re absolutely fine and I can’t wait to get my new boots on for next season.”
Dean from Moray in Scotland got the boots from Somerset-based company WalkTall.co.uk, after director James Lockyer saw the teen on TV meeting the Scots rugby team.
Mr Lockyer said he was delighted to help Dean get back into the game he loves with a pair of £70 boots.
He said: “One of the guys in our office saw Dean on the TV and we got in touch with Dean through his mother.
“We can deal with sizes of 12 up to 21 and we did everything we could to get hold of suitable boots for Dean.
“We’re delighted to hear that Dean’s tried them on and that they fit really well.
“Eileen, Dean’s mum, was a typical mum as she said she didn’t want to get too excited until Dean had tried them on and they fitted, but thankfully they do and she sent us a photo of Dean in them which was great to see.”
Dean’s mum, Eileen, 42, said her sports-mad son had been bouncing off the walls with excitement since he found out he was receiving a pair of size 16 boots.
She said: “It all started when I heard from a man called James Lockyer from a shoe shop in Somerset and he said he had seen Dean on the tele meeting the Scotland team and he knew a place he could order them in from.
“He’s been very kind as he gave them to us for free and I think they cost quite a lot of money.
“It’s taken a while, but Dean has got them now and he’s a very happy boy.
“He’s just got to tell his coach now as he had been telling Dean ‘if you get these boots the number eight position is yours’.”
Dean is raring to go for next season’s pre-season training with Moray Rugby Club and his school team at Elgin Academy and now he wants to kick-on and progress up the ranks to become a professional rugby player.
He said: “I met the Scottish rugby team at Grantown a few weeks ago which was great.
“It was very inspirational meeting those guys and it really made want my boots even more.
“I think I’d definitely like to become a professional player, but I’d like to first of all play rugby at college or university level first and then hopefully progress into the professional game.”
Aged 15, Dean is still growing rapidly, but thanks to a kind-hearted neighbour, the fourth-year pupil already has a size 17 pair of boots lined up for when he outgrows his current pair.
He said: “It was strange. A couple of weeks ago I still hadn’t managed to get a pair of size 16 boots and then this guy came to the house with a pair of 17 size boots.
“He just said ‘I want you to have them’, so they’ll do for me in a years time or so.”