Engineer, 36, sends £300 package to African teen 3,000 miles away

Engineer, 36, sends £300 Sports Direct package to African teenager 3,000 miles away after the pair struck up a friendship when the 17-year-old randomly contacted him on Facebook

  • Det Wyler from Glasgow, received a message from Gambian Omar Gassama, 17
  • The pair became friends after talking over FaceTime and shared a love of football
  • When Omar sent a picture of his worn-out boots, Det sent a link to Sports Direct
  • Omar was then surprised with new boots, a Barcelona kit and a Scottish flag 

A generous engineer has sent a £300 Sports Direct package to a teenager 3,000 miles away in Africa after the pair struck up a friendship when the 17-year-old randomly contacted him on Facebook.

Det Wyler, 36, started speaking to Omar Gassama, 17, from The Gambia in West Africa, three months ago after the seen sent a message out of the blue. 

After getting to know one another, Mr Wyler, from Glasgow, asked how Omar’s football training was going, but he responded with a photo of his old worn-out boots.

The Good Samaritan replied with a link to Sports Direct and told him to pick a new pair.

He also sent Omar a Barcelona strip and a Scotland flag, totaling £326, as well as £200 to help pay for his school fees and a new uniform so he could go back into education.

Glasgow engineer Det Wyler says he feels like a ‘big brother,’ after meeting African teenager Omar Gassamma on Facebook 

Omar sent a picture of his battered boots to Det, who in turn sent him a care package containing new boots, a Scottish flag and a full Barcelona kit 

Mr Wyler says he has become ‘a big brother’ to the teen who he hopes to help get into university or college in a few years, perhaps even in Scotland.

The mechanical engineer said: ‘I was sitting with my girlfriend about eight weeks ago and Omar randomly sent me a message.

‘We ended up on FaceTime and it just started from there.

‘He’s a nice boy and I like him – you can tell he’s got a good nature.

Omar messaged Det out of the blue around eight weeks ago, but they quickly hit it off and soon afterwards, the mechanical engineer sent a gift to his friend in West Africa

‘One day I asked how his football training’s going and he said his boots had burst.

‘I sent him over a link to Sports Direct and asked him to pick a new pair.

‘I asked him his favourite team but he didn’t know I was getting him the kit. I also got him a strip and a Scotland flag. 

‘He shared his location and I got the screenshot and posted it to a post office near him. He’s really happy.’

Omar’s teacher spoke with Mr Wyler, confirming he was a pupil, before the kit was sent out.


Det Wyler sent Omar a care package and money to get him back into school and playing football again, with new pair of Nike boots 

After receiving the gifts, Omar sent a photo of him kitted out in his new gear, while holding up the Saltire. 

Det has also set up a fundraiser to help him with his schools fees, tuition fees, school books and lunch.

He said: ‘He’s not been going to school because of coronavirus and his father died. 

‘His mum can’t afford his schooling – he’s clearly very poor. It’s important he’s still studying and focussing on his football.

‘I spoke to his teacher and they said he’s in his final year. Depending on his performance he can go to college or university. He’s interested in accounts.

‘I also sent him £200 for new school clothes and tuition fees.

‘I’m more like a big brother to him and he wants to come to Scotland.

‘He’s 18 in February and a potential plan, depending on funding, is for him to come for the next academic year and study over here.’ 

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