Boy, 10, battling leukemia amid inspirational stories from FA Cup Final mascots | UK News
A schoolboy battling leukemia will head to Wembley with his best friend as one of the mascots in the FA Cup final.
Koby Thomas, 10, from Alvechurch, Worcestershire, has been battling cancer but has still found the strength to support his local team on their cup journey.
Diagnosed during the sides’ pre-season, he has continued his steadfast support for the club as they reached the actual second round for the first time in decades.
They were then later knocked out in a loss to Forest Green.
The schoolboy is a longtime fan of the grassroots team and has attended many games with his best friend Owen Jordan.
The two have forged an incredible friendship based on their shared passion for football and both have played for the club’s youth teams since they were under-7s.
The couple will share the special moment with all the other mascots as they exit Wembley Stadium in front of tens of thousands of fans.
Working in partnership with The FA and clubs outside the league, Emirates has traveled across the country to surprise unsuspecting fans.
Another inspiring story is that of sisters Sophia, 10, and Amelia Paviour, 12, from Eastbourne.
Her mother Sarah is battling cancer and as a family they go to soccer games to cheer up.
The sisters have been going to games throughout the season and their father Andrew said the time they spent at FA Cup games was a “huge source of comfort to the family”.
The sisters’ journey began when their local team, Eastbourne Borough, issued free tickets to games over the summer holidays.
The family began going to games and continued to support the team, using the girls as mascots for their side’s FA Cup game against Uxbridge in September.
In October, the sisters also hosted a coffee morning raising £1,200 for Macmillan Cancer Care and St Wilfrid’s Hospice.
When Emirates subsequently issued the call for deserving young non-league fans, Borough Commercial Manager Sian Ansell was quick to nominate Amelie and Sophia.
Eastbourne manager Danny Bloor said it was a “great story” when he announced the sisters had been chosen as mascots.
Mr Bloor said: “This is a great, great story in every way.
“We laugh that football is the most important thing in the world – but it’s not. These amazing young ladies and their wonderful family are more important than any soccer game.
“Every borough supporter will be on their screens on June 3rd and proudly cheering for Amelie and Sophia.”
The sisters are among the mascots who will walk alongside Manchester City and Manchester United players on June 3.
Wrexham fan Mia Matthews, 10, will also be a mascot on the big day in June, and although Hollywood superstars are in the stands at her local club, she said it’s a dream come true.
Mia, who comes from a family of Wrexham fans including her grandparents, enjoyed all of Wrexham’s journey in the Emirates FA Cup before they were knocked out by semi-finalists Sheffield United.
Her grandfather died earlier this season but despite her loss, the family continued to support the club.
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