Supergnome for Coleraine superhero

Superhero fan Oliver Dickey with Supergnome he received at a special presentation by Asda colleagues during his visit to the Coleraine Asda store
Superhero fan Oliver Dickey with Supergnome he received at a special presentation by Asda colleagues during his visit to the Coleraine Asda store

Oliver Dickey’s family have always called him their “wee superhero” and now he has a wee superhero of his own, after Asda colleagues across Northern Ireland worked together to track down a gnome his mum was desperate to find for him.

Oliver, who’s eight, has cerebral palsy and has battled through two major operations to help him walk with crutches and realise his dream of playing football. He loved the superhero gnome when he saw it in Asda Coleraine – but it was sold out everywhere when his mum Charlene went back to get him one.

She got in touch with Asda on Facebook and Asda Coleraine’s Customer Trading Manager Angela Lamberton picked up the challenge of tracking one down.

Angela contacted all Asda stores which stock the superhero gnome and on her third call to Asda Downpatrick, the store’s general merchandise manager Adrian O’Hare found two left on the shelves and immediately reserved one for Oliver. Adrian ensured the gnome was safely delivered to Angela who handed it over to Oliver.

Oliver’s mum Charlene said: “Thank you so much for finding Oliver his gnome! He’s so thrilled with it. We’re really grateful to everyone at Asda. Oliver thought he wouldn’t be able to get one of these superhero gnomes so he’s delighted. We’ve always called Oliver our wee superhero because he’s been through a lot, so it’s perfect for him.”

When Oliver was five, his parents and the local community raised £110,000 so he could have two major operations in America that his family hoped would enable him to walk. Every day Oliver goes through a range of exercises in a special gym in his back garden, with the gnome now taking pride of place next to the gym. Thanks to the surgery and his exercises he can walk using crutches, and can even play football for his local team TW Braga using a frame.

Asda Coleraine’s Angela Lamberton said: “It was a team effort to get the gnome from Downpatrick to Coleraine.

“Oliver is known in store because of all his fundraising – we definitely think he’s a superhero!”