It was a day to remember for one young Sheffield United fan, when he fulfilled two dreams together at Bramall Lane.
Seven-year old Harrison Parker, who is terminally ill, met his favourite player, United striker Caolan Lavery, and led his beloved Blades out in front of more than 25,000 people ahead of United’s game against Ipswich Town.
Harrison exchanged gifts with the Blades star and enjoyed a kickaround with him on the pitch, before the Blades’ 1-0 win over the Tractor Boys in the SkyBet Championship.
Meeting Lavery, as well as mascot Captain Blade, and leading United out at Bramall Lane, are all on Harri’s ‘things to do before I pop it’ bucket list, that also includes a day at the zoo, driving a digger, and riding a horse among its activities.
Harri has become a hit on Facebook, with more than 140,000 people seeing a post on Sheffield United’s page, and hundreds of well-wishers offering kind words to the the Killamarsh-born youngster.
He was born with a congenital heart disease known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, meaning the left lower pumping chamber of his heart hasn’t developed properly, debilitating his heart function. The youngster has undergone three open-heart surgeries and countless other procedures, at Leeds General Infirmary.
He went to Bramall Lane with sister Maddie and mum Jeni, who said: “We’re incredibly grateful to everyone at Sheffield United, Harri said that Saturday was the best day of his life. I have one very happy young man. Caolan and everybody else were fantastic.”
United forward Lavery said: “It was a pleasure to meet Harri. What a courageous lad. It makes you realise you can be positive even if things are really tough.”