Kindhearted boy, 5, mails final Fifa World Cup sticker from 7,000 miles away to help the Post complete Panini album

Young American sticker collector from California comes to the rescue after seeing video of South China Morning Post reporter’s Panini album heartbreak

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 June, 2018, 1:18pm
UPDATED : Friday, 29 June, 2018, 3:41pm

If you needed reaffirmation that the World Cup brings people together from all over globe, then here is a tale to warm your heart.

Earlier this month, the South China Morning Post (painstakingly) recorded a video of myself putting all my 670 Panini stickers – or so I thought – into my World Cup album one by one.

I had been collecting them for a month and had spent nearly HK$1,850 (US$235.74) doing so, before getting the final 85 stickers I needed at a swap meeting in Kowloon Tong with a local Facebook group.

Except there was a hitch – I was missing one sticker, namely Medhi Benatia of Morocco.

That No 143 had been haunting me in my dreams – until I walked into work on Saturday morning and found a letter in the Sport desk inbox tray addressed to me from the Pacific Palisades in California.

I’m not one to receive fan mail too often, so presumed it was a letter from an angry reader who wished to point out how stupid I was for predicting Spain would win the World Cup.

But I opened the letter to find it was from a five-year-old boy named Philip in Los Angeles, who had kindly sent me my missing Benatia sticker.

“I enjoyed watching your Panini sticker album video on SCMP’s Twitter feed, and I was sad when I saw how devastated you were by missing the Medhi Benatia sticker,” Philip wrote.

“But then I realised that I have an extra Medhi Benatia sticker, and the thought of sending it to you made me happy.”

“I hope the two of you can now be friends again!” Philip added.

I’m not crying, you’re crying …

I hope you have a great World Cup too, Philip, and if you ever do make that visit to Hong Kong, then I’ll happily show you and your family around.