A nine-year-old Accrington Stanley fan enjoyed his day in the limelight as he got to lead out his favourite team – and proved to be a lucky charm.
Brave Johnny-Lee Melling, who suffers from severe muscular dystrophy, rubbed shoulders with his heroes ahead of Stanley’s final game of the season against Chesterfield.
And after strutting his stuff out on the Crown Ground pitch with his friend Sebastian Whalley, Johnny-Lee settled back and watched his team win 2-0.
The Great Harwood Primary School pupil goes to every home game with his dad John.
His condition, which causes progressive muscle weakness, was diagnosed when he was two, and he often needs to use a wheelchair.
Johnny-Lee, of Dryden Grove, Great Harwood, arrived at the ground wearing his brand new red Stanley kit, only to find out the team was wearing its black away strip.
Mum Tanya explained: “They gave him an away strip free of charge, which he kept on all weekend. It was brilliant.”
She added: “He went out on the pitch with Bobby Grant and shook hands with all the players. He wasn’t nervous at all – more excited than anything.
“The little boy he went out on the pitch with is his friend and they go to the matches together, and I had him sleeping over at our place. He had a really good weekend.”