Chesterfield FC give brave young boy, 10, with rare genetic brain disease, chance to lead out Spireites on Saturday

A brave young boy will lead out the Spireites before their match against Dagenham and Redbridge at the Proact Stadium on Saturday.

Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 2:58 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 2:59 pm
Will Downes with his dad Chris, mum Emma and sister Ella, 7.

Will Downes, 10, has a rare gentic brain disease called Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). It affects around one in 20,000 boys and men. It leads to a progressive loss of physical and mental skills and is not treatable.

But now he is blind, cannot walk and struggles to talk.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Will, his seven-year-old sister Ella and parents Emma and Chris will be VIP hospitality guests of Chesterfield FC on Saturday.

At Christmas Will met the Spireites players when they presented him with a replica shirt during their visit to Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice.

Chesterfield FC chief executive, Graham Bean, said: "When we learned about young Will's plight, we wanted to do something to give him and his family a day to remember. It is heartbreaking to hear about what they are going through and we will certainly do what we can to help them."

Will's mum, Emma, said: "It's great. Will loves his football so he's very excited about going on the pitch and meeting the players again.

"William is so excited to lead out Chesterfield FC on Saturday. He has just had an operation at Sheffield Children’s Hospital so can’t wait to get back home and cheer them on. Thank you so much to everyone who has made this possible."