Brave young fan joins Manchester City men and women's teams in training
There was a very special visitor at the City Football Academy last week as players from Manchester City men’s and women’s teams made a young fan’s dreams come true.
Ten-year-old Bethany, from Manchester, enjoyed an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the Club’s training ground, as the Blues teamed up with the Starlight Children’s Foundation to give this brave youngster the chance of a lifetime.
Diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy within the first few months of her life, Bethany’s condition means that she is susceptible to dangerous seizures, as well as having difficulties with movement.
When Starlight gave her the opportunity to see one of her dreams come true, there was only going to be one choice, as Bethany wished to meet her City heroes.
With no knowledge of what was in store, Bethany was collected from her home in a limousine and whisked away to the City Football Academy for an action packed day.
Joined by her sisters Lexie, aged four, and Morgan, aged 12, the family welcomed Manuel Pellegrini’s squad at training before getting a pitch side view of the action.
The surprises didn’t stop there.
No stranger to the Academy Stadium where she cheers on Nick Cushing’s side, Bethany was also invited to join MCWFC’s training session where she chatted to the squad and took part in a penalty shoot-out.
Commenting on the visit, a delighted Toni Duggan, who is one of Kick It Out’s ‘Next 20’ Ambassadors, said: “Any time we get a chance to do this I get more from it than playing football to be honest, it’s a special feeling.
“I love the integration that we have here at City. We really get out into the community, we make fans feel welcome, feel special and give them opportunities that they wouldn’t get elsewhere.
“As a player, I love being a part of it – it could take five minutes out of my day, it could take four hours, but as long as the kids and the fans are smiling, then that’s what matters.”
Equally as pleased to be a part of Bethany’s special day was Willy Caballero, who echoed Duggan’s sentiments.
“We were once kids and when we were younger, our desire was to know and meet the famous players.
“Now we are on the other side and we have the opportunity to bring a big smile to the faces of fans. This makes us very happy as well.”
A selfie with each player completed Bethany’s magical experience of life at City Football Academy and it’s something which Mum, Leanne, insists she will never forget.
“Each day to us as a family is a blessing and we live day by day. But our girl is still here and she really deserves her final wish – this is it, City.
“Bethany hasn’t stopped going on about City since being the age of eight and, for this to become a reality for Bethany, she’s really excited, emotional and happy. She will take this away for the rest of her life.”
Bethany’s visit was part of Manchester City’s on-going work with ‘wish-granting’ charities, to support fans and help to make their dreams come true.
From: Manchester City