Glasgow & West Scotland

Swimmer Ross Murdoch beaten by schoolboy 'superfan' Brian Fitzpatrick

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Media captionChampion swimmer Ross Murdoch meets schoolboy fan Brian

A five-year-old boy who wrote a fan letter to Commonwealth swimming champion Ross Murdoch got to race his hero in the pool - and beat him.

Brian Fitzpatrick, of Dumbarton, was tracked down after the 200m Breaststroke gold medal winner sparked an online campaign to trace him.

His note had reached Ross despite being addressed to "Ross Murdoch, Commonwealth Champion, Balloch".

After going head to head and being pipped, Ross said: "The best man won."

Brian simply said it was "good".

The Glasgow 2014 hero said his Twitter appeal to trace the young boy had been "all a bit crazy".

He said: "We put the appeal out and within 24 hours we had found him.

"I'm glad I was able to find Brian and give something back to all the people who supported me during the Commonwealth Games."

Image copyright Other and PA
Image caption Brian watched Ross win Commonwealth Games gold

The swimmer got back in touch with Brian's family and invited them to meet him at the pool where he trains at the University of Stirling.

He added: "Brian is a great little kid - one of the best swimmers I have seen at age five."

Brian's family had thought he was just doodling on a piece of paper when he was writing his fan letter.

They only realised what the youngster was planning when he asked: "How do you spell, I am your biggest fan?"

Dad Bruce said: "We never believed for a minute it would lead us to this.

"What a fantastic day for Brian to come through and meet Ross and swim in the pool. It's magic."

Image copyright Ross Murdoch
Image caption Brian's letter reached the swimmer despite its scanty address details
Image caption Ross Murdoch gives his "biggest fan" Brian Fitzpatrick a few tips in the pool

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