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Southport Schoolboy’s Dream Comes True As Football Mascot

AN inspirational Southport schoolboy saw one of his dreams come true by leading Southport FC out as their mascot.

Housing association One Vision Housing – of which Stephen Pursall and his family are customers – and Southport FC organised this special treat for the youngster, who has spent much of life in and out of hospital.

Stephen led the team out prior to their match against Lincoln City in a brand new Southport FC kit, and was presented with a mascot trophy and signed football by winger Paul Rutherford.
Stephen Pursall3 (002)Stephen Pursall and Paul Rutherford (002)

Lifelong Sandgrounders fan Stephen, eight, underwent surgery in 2013 to remove a brain tumour.

Stephen, who goes to Farnborough Road Junior School, also suffers from epilepsy, global development delay and other problems.

Stephen has also suffered the loss of his two younger brothers. His mother Kimberley gave birth to twin boys Aaron and Joseph 14 weeks premature in 2009.

Tragically, Aaron died six days later, and Joseph – who was severely brain damaged – passed away aged two and a half.

Just two weeks after Joseph’s death, Stephen was diagnosed with epilepsy, then a few years later his family were told the devastating news that he had a life-threatening brain tumour and needed to undergo surgery.

Luckily, the operation was successful, but Stephen had to relearn how to walk, talk, eat, drink and play from scratch.

Stephen’s mum Kimberley said: “It’s been a long and slow process and Stephen has been through so much, but now he’s doing fantastic.

“He has to take lots of medication, but is so lively and will always bring a smile to your face.

“He likes to be up and about and loves his football – especially Southport FC.

“We’ve been bringing him to Haig Avenue for the past 12 months and whenever he goes to a match he always wants to go on the pitch and score a goal.

“Today that dream came true and he couldn’t be happier.”

Stephen Pursall2 (002)

Roy Williams, Chief Executive of One Vision Housing, said: “Stephen is a fantastic young boy and it gives us great pleasure to be able to help make his dreams come true.

“Our customers are our number one priority, and we’re proud to have such a brave person like Stephen living in one of our properties and inspiring the local community.”

Cllr Haydn Preece, who is also Southport FC’s Commercial Community Director, said: “Southport FC’s community programme has recognised the excellent work carried out by One Vision Housing.

“We were more than happy to contribute to this special day for a very inspirational boy and look forward to welcoming Stephen to Haig Avenue again in the future.”




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