YOUNG Charlie Herdman thought his football career could be over when a wayward kick sent his ball over his Shottery garden fence to be burst by a passing bus.
But the ten year-old would-be Ronaldo did not count on the generosity of driver Jeff Morris who was behind the wheel of the Stagecoach Midlands bus.
Jeff Morris, who has worked for Stagecoach for 31 years, told The Observer: “I was driving slowly in mid-week traffic from Anne Hathaway’s cottage to Mary Arden’s house. There were only a few passengers on the top deck of the bus, as it was the last tour of the afternoon. I saw that the boy was not a happy bunny, but I could not do anything then.
“I felt guilty, so as soon as my shift finished I bought a replacement football and gave it to him later that afternoon. He was delighted with it.”
The first Jeff’s employers knew of the incident was when a thank you letter from Charlie arrived at the Stagecoach Leamington depot.
Zoe Stilgoe, Assistant Operations Manager at the depot said: “I called the driver to tell him. He was pleased, if not a little embarrassed when I read the letter out to him.”
In the letter Charlie said: “One of your buses ran over my ball, which I had kicked over the fence into the road, and it burst. Later that day though the driver came to my house with a brand new ball for me. Please can you tell him how happy I was with it. It was very kind of him. It was not his fault. I love my new ball better than the other one. Thank you.”