Exclusive: Shane Byrne's bid to find heartbroken young fan
Three-time British Superbike Champion Shane Byrne has launched a campaign to find a young fan who was left disappointed after a commotion over one of the rider's prized boots.
Celebrating his third championship title over the weekend, Shane 'Shakey' Byrne threw one of his boots into a crowd of loyal supporters with one of his youngest admirers, an unidentified boy, managing to grab hold of the souvenir.
The incident ended with the lad apparently losing the boot – and having been visibly upset by the incident.
Byrne has since posted on his Twitter page, urging people to help him identify the disappointed youngster.
And a Facebook picture of the incident has so far attracted more than 400 comments, 1,000 likes and been shared across the social media site more than 700 times.
On Tuesday, Byrne posted on his Twitter profile (@67Shakey): "We need to find the kid that had the boot taken, myself and @OfficialBSB can turn this around!"
Byrne has called for the youngster's family to get in touch, offering to personally meet the as-yet-unidentified child at Brands Hatch, and to take him for two laps of the circuit in the official course car to make up for his disappointment.
Many of Byrne's loyal supporters and fans are hoping media coverage will lead to the boot being returned to the young boy if it was taken from him unfairly. Some have even dubbed the incident 'Bootgate'.
A spokesman for the British Superbike Championship said: 'It's inconclusive what actually happened in the moment Shane's boot landed.
'We appeal to [the boy's] parents or friends to make contact because we want make sure that someone who on a day of celebration was clearly very upset is made to feel better.
'Both Shakey and us will be very pleased to invite him and his family to Brands Hatch. Shakey wants to give him a lap in the safety car as well has some other treats.'