A ten-year old Cambridgeshire boy who is fighting for his life, will lead England out against Germany at Wembley Stadium next Tuesday.
Charlie Stacey-Tate was diagnosed with cancer back in 2010, and has been fighting a constant battle for survival ever since.
After going swimming one weekend, his father Adrian noticed a bump on his side, but after further investigation it was diagnosed as Neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer which fewer than 100 children in the UK are diagnosed with each year.
Following extensive chemotherapy, Charlie had to undergo a 9-hour operation, and it was touch and go he would survive the removal of an 8lb tumour which had now displaced his lungs, digestive system and bladder. Due to the severity of the tumour, Charlie also had to have his kidney removed.
When Peterborough-based charity Sports Connections Foundation heard about Charlie’s incredible story, they were determined to make his “Sporting Wish” come true, and on a recent visit to Addenbrookes Hospital they revealed their big surprise.
Charlie will now be chauffeur driven to Wembley Stadium for the England v Germany friendly on Tuesday, and he won’t just be watching the match as a supporter. He will be England’s mascot, proudly walking out onto the hallowed turf alongside his footballing heroes in front of 90,000 cheering fans, and the millions of people watching on television.
Adrian Tate, Charlie’s father, said: “Thank you very much to everybody at Sports Connections Foundation and everyone that supports them for making my sons Sporting Wish come true. It’s been the toughest thing to go through in my life as he was only given a 30% chance of survival.
“Charlie is over the moon, and I’ll probably end up crying watching my son lead the teams out at Wembley.”
Adrian went on to add: “He is still in remission, and not out of the woods, but things are looking positive.”
Junior McDougald, co-founder of the charity said: “Charlie is a delightful ten year old whose incredible bravery and courage should be an inspiration to all of us. To be able to grant him his Sporting Wish, is a real privilege for us. We aim to make this one of the best days of his life, and to give his family, friends and carer’s an occasion they can cheer about, after all the hard days they have gone through.”