Football fans showed their support for a four-year-old cancer sufferer.
Charlie Procter, from Church, had a bumper day of football, putting his allegiances aside to lead out Blackburn Rovers before returning to Accrington to lead out his beloved Accrington Stanley for the second half of their final home game of the season.
Charlie, who has Hepatoblastoma, led Rovers out at Ewood Park, with the help of referee Geoff Eltringham, to a standing ovation ahead of their match against Aston Villa and then, on his father Ben’s shoulders, took centre stage to lead out Stanley at Wham Stadium.
Charlie’s mother, Amber Schofield, 23, says more than £2,000 was raised through the two games and that he ‘loved’ being in the changing rooms with the players, where he received a Rovers football signed by the team, to which he added his own signature.
She said: “It was amazing. He really enjoyed it but he got really tired at Stanley so we brought him home.
“He loved being in the changing rooms and all of the players were making a fuss of him.”
Charlie was asked by Rovers to walk out at Ewood Park in his Stanley kit so he would be recognised by the crowd, and it worked as collection buckets around the stadium and at Stanley helped raise £2,233.56 in total from the day as Charlie’s story spreads.
Amber added: “There’s no words to describe it. It was really nice and it properly touched us. It was a proud moment.”
Charlie was also given a personalised and signed Blackburn shirt which was presented to him by Charlie Mulgrew.
Rovers director of football and operations Paul Senior said it was an ‘honour’ to meet Charlie and that the club hopes to have him back soon.
He said: “It’s an important cause, so we were delighted to have Charlie and his family with us on Saturday and I had the honour of meeting him before the game.
“Once we heard about Charlie’s story, we were very keen to support this initiative and to see if we could work with others to try and help improve the situation for this young boy.
“A cause like this, where a young child has such a condition, touches everyone locally and it’s part of our social responsibility that we endeavour to support such worthy causes.
“Charlie did a fantastic job in leading the team out.”