Young Chesterfield goalkeeper who overcame the odds draws praise from top professionals after video of his debut goes viral
A young Chesterfield goalkeeper who overcame the odds to survive has received praise from top professionals after a video of his debut went viral.
Allan Ogle shared the video on Twitter, detailing all of the obstacles his son Harrison has had to face in his short life so far, including premature birth, pneumonia, swine flu and educational challenges and adding how proud he was to see the youngster make his debut in the nets.
Harrison's team MDS Beighton Falcons unfortunately lost 11-0 but Allan put together a short video highlighting some of his saves and goal kicks and it has gone down a storm on Twitter, receiving more than 9,000 retweets, 49,000 likes and over 2,500 comments.
Nine-year-old Harrison, who was born at 26 weeks and only given a 50 per cent chance of survival, has even received messages of support from top footballers including West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz FabiaÅ„ski, ex-Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall and former England goalkeeper David Seaman.
Allan initially shared the video with a tweet saying: "He's overcome premature birth, swine flu, pneumonia and has educational challenges. Emotional for me to see my boy Harrison's debut in goal on Sunday for his new team. Lost 11-0 but filmed his saves to cheer him up, any support from footy fans please I'll show him x.
And speaking to the Derbyshire Times about the response to the video, Allan said: "It has been a crazy few days.
"He's been through so much and he was so upset his team lost 11-0 and he thought it was his fault. He didn't really understand it was a team game. I originally put the video together just to show him he is a good goalkeeper to help him appreciate the fact that is lucky enough to be able to play for his football team every week.
"I didn't expect it to take off like it did. I made a video three weeks ago for his little brother who wanted people to join his fantasy football team and I thought that would be the one that did really well. That got 15,000 views and 150 people joined his fantasy football team. He even held a press conference.
"But I think this one has got that bit of emotion behind it which is probably why it took off.
"I was overwhelmed by everybody's support and then when we got messages from some professional footballers like Fabianski, (England goalkeeper) Nick Pope and David Seaman I couldn't believe it.
"For Harrison it is just exciting as he's not one to often show emotion. He's quite shy but volunteers to help me fundraise and is really popular at school.
"It's just nice to get the messages of support and determination from such a huge audience."
Harrison weighed just 1lb when he was born and doctors weren't sure if he would even survive. His lungs weren't fully formed and his immune system was low, meaning he later contracted pneumonia and swine flu, but has battled back and despite some eductional challenges, is now a healthy youngster.
As well as the messages of support, Harrison has also been promised some personalised goalkeeping gloves and a goalkeeping book since the video went viral.
"He is completely obsessed with football," Allan said. "He was completely enthralled by the World Cup.
"Hopefully this will do wonders for his confidence. He probably saw me as being a bit biased being his dad but I put the 45-second video together to show him what a great goalkeeper he is and hopefully all the messages he's received will spur him on.
"To know that this many people have got behind him is such a wonderful feeling."