Club sponsor wonga.com made young fan Dylan Marshall's dreams come true when they named him Mascot at Newcastle United vs Manchester City at St James' Park yesterday.
Dylan, age nine from Morpeth, has a rare genetic disorder called Larsens Syndrome and is the only person in the North East with the condition. Larsens Syndrome affects the development of bones throughout the body and occurs in approximately 1 in 100,000 newborns.
Dylan has been a loyal Newcastle United fan all his life and has always wanted to meet his heroes. When Newcastle United Foundation heard about Dylan's bravery, they chose him to receive the special reward from Wonga meet and greet the players before kick off.
Dylan has shown real bravery from an early age; at 14 months he had an operation to remove two vertebrae replacing them with a rib. Aged three he fell over and broke his neck and, after yet another operation, this left him with loss of movement from the neck downwards. After a seven month rehabilitation programme, Dylan has shown amazing progress, and is now able to walk with a frame.
Mum Victoria Marshall, had to try to get an excited Dylan to sleep after hearing the news: "The Mascot place is a great opportunity for Dylan. He can't participate in contact sport due to his condition, meaning he can't ever play football which is his true passion and love."
"Having battled through so much, being in and out of hospital, he is more determined than ever to live life to the full. After receiving the news, he couldn't sleep with excitement at seeing his dream coming true."
Dylan also participates in Newcastle United Foundation's Match Fit Programme at Ellington First School. Match Fit is a six week fitness, football and nutrition course for primary school children.