A Doncaster teenager who has been battling leukaemia saw a dream come true when he was taken to meet his favourite soccer stars.
Campsmount School pupil Connor Steel was diagnosed with leukaemia in August 2013, after his mum Tracy Brodie had been concerned about his health for six months.
He underwent a bone marrow transplant in December, using marrow donated by his 14-year-old brother Alex, and his condition has been improving since then.
But he received a boost this week when he was invited to spend the day with the United squad at their Manchester training base,including his favourite player, Juan Mata.
It had been arranged with the Doncaster charity the Eve Merton Dreams Trust.
Mum Tracy said: “It meant the world to him - he will live that day over and over again. He got all the team’s signatures on his shirt.”
Connor, of Airstone Road, Askern, has been a keen footballer himself for Scawthorpe Scorpions, but has not been able to play since he was diagnosed with his illness.
When his mum first became concerned about his health, she was first told he had growing pains and muscle strains. But a blood test finally revealed he was suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
She said he had been sleeping, not eating and losing weight. At one point he lost a stone in a week.
He had also suffered aches and pains down his leg.
His first treatment was successful and he went into remission, but he relapsed in September, and had a bone marrow transplant on December 1, 2014.
He was back home on Christmas Eve, in time for the family to celebrate Christmas together.
Tracy said: “Alex was pleased to be able to help by donating marrow. He did what he knew he had to do.
“They still fight like cat and dog like normal brothers though!”
“Connor has had a few problems getting his strength back but now really wants to get back to playing football. He is back to school now and starting to study for his A-Levels.
“He is really optimistic now.”
Connor attended the latest of the Manchester United Foundation’s biannual Dream Days.
Manager Van Gaal was taking part in his first Foundation Dream Day and said: “The players are role models to the fans and it’s good that they want to get involved. It’s not an obligation for them, they just do it and I’m very happy that they all came along to support this.”