A VIP Sheffield Wednesday fan’s dream came true on Saturday when he led out his favourite team on to the Hillsborough pitch before the game against Charlton Athletic – despite being told he would never walk by doctors.
Joe Danforth, aged ten, was given the devastating news by doctors after he was diagnosed with a rare condition known as CHARGE syndrome – an extremely complex syndrome which occurs in just one in 10,000 births worldwide.
But Joe defied the odds to walk Wednesday out of the tunnel against the Addicks – and his inspiring story received an incredible response on social media, being shared more than 7,000 times across Twitter and receiving 12,000 likes.
Sport’s Facebook page, ‘The Sport Bible’, shared the footage where more than 100,000 people reacted to the video alone. The story received hundreds of positive comments from football fans both online and offline.
Joe’s dad Martin expressed his gratitude via Twitter and posted the footage of Joe walking onto the Hillsborough pitch hand in hand with Owls captain Glenn Loovens.
Martin, who attends all home games with Joe, told swfc.co.uk: “I have never felt prouder than to see my son lead out his favourite team at the ground we visit every week.
“We go to all the games and all he loves is his football. Joe can’t speak but football is his passion and he loves everything Sheffield Wednesday!
“Joe’s dream came true on Saturday and the experience has left the whole family, including my wife Nichola and daughter Megan who were at the game, extremely proud.
“We would like to thank everyone involved for making the day happen for Joe – it’s a moment we will never forget.”