Story added: 30th November 2017
Young City fan given memorable day at Carrow Road
A young Canaries fan, in the midst of an 18-month course of chemotherapy, was given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet his Canary heroes, thanks to a Community Sports Foundation (CSF) Wish Day.
Seven-year-old Callum Mickleburgh, from Norwich, has neurofibromatosis, a rare genetic disorder that tragically claimed the life of his mother in 2013.
In February, his father Paul was given the devastating news that a tumour was developing beneath Callum’s left eye, and ever since, they have been making weekly visits to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge for chemotherapy treatment.
Kevin Gooch, a friend of Callum’s father, nominated the youngster for a CSF Wish Day, which gives City fans with serious illnesses a special Norwich City Football Club experience.
Callum and his family were invited to Carrow Road, for – what he thought would be – a regular ground tour.
This would be a tour with a difference, though, as unbeknownst to Callum, it had been arranged for him to be a part of the Club’s first-team squad photo-shoot on the Carrow Road pitch.
Following a tour of the stadium, complete with a stopover at the Club shop to receive a personalised Norwich City FC shirt, the young fan was welcomed onto the pitch by the players and coaching staff.
He revelled in the opportunity to meet his heroes up close, before taking centre-stage for the team photo.
City’s Wes Hoolahan took that opportunity to inform Callum he’d been chosen to be a mascot at one of the club’s upcoming home games, and would get to walk out with his favourite player Nelson Oliveira.
Callum’s Wish Day also coincided with a visit from two goalkeeping greats, City legend Bryan Gunn and former Italian international Francesco Toldo, both there as part of the promotion of next year’s Legends game.
The Italian shot-stopper, whose Inter Forever side will face Norwich City Legends next May, presented Callum with an Inter Milan shirt, before enjoying an impromptu penalty shoot-out on CSF’s Carrow Park pitch.
Following the Wish Day, Paul expressed his gratitude for the experience:
“It was amazing and very emotional for me to see the enjoyment on Callum’s face – he’s had to go through so much these past few years.
“The players and staff couldn’t have made us feel any more welcome.”
More: Find out more about the Community Sports Foundation’s Wish Days