A football fan with cerebral palsy was stunned to get the chance to meet his sporting idols earlier this month.
Eleven-year-old Samuel was surprised by Manchester United stars Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the club’s Carrington training facility.
It was the treat of a lifetime for the youngster, who manages to play the game himself in spite of his disability.
The meeting was arranged by the Man Utd Foundation and a short video of the encounter was posted on YouTube afterwards.
In the clip, the schoolboy explains how watching the team has given him inspiration to overcome challenges.
“Being a big United fan is very, very amazing. Showing good emotions that they can keep going no matter what. That’s what I think because when they are doing it I am saying to myself, ‘never, never, never give up.’
“I mean, I’m in a wheelchair and I never give up. I don’t even care about having a wheelchair. Try your hardest.”
Pogba later paid tribute to Samuel on social media and dedicated the side’s fixture against Watford – which the Red Devils won 2-0 – to the young fan.
“Sam makes me realise how lucky I am every day,” the midfielder wrote on Instagram.
“He makes me stop complaining and learn to always smile. [He’s] still a kid but much stronger than many of us. Sam keeps fighting, never gives up and I’ll follow his path!”
Football is growing in popularity among those with cerebral palsy, perhaps partly because of the increased interest in disabled sport following the London Paralympics.
Only last month a number of organisations, including the Newcastle United Foundation, won grant funding from the Children’s Society.
Reggie Dornan, who helps run the programme, said: “Many of the children…get so much from the sessions – it’s a highlight of their week – and it’s so important they continue with it.”
At EnViva Paediatric Care, our experienced staff can provide complex nurse-managed homecare for babies, children and young people with a range of disabling conditions, including cerebral palsy. For more information about the services we provide, please contact us today.