Bradford heart-defect fan Ethan to be Valley Parade mascot – and it tops the Kop (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford heart-defect fan Ethan to be Valley Parade mascot – and it tops the Kop
A boy born with a heart defect gets to meet his Bradford City heroes on Saturday – and he reckons it will top meeting Liverpool’s superstars.
Football-mad Ethan Britton, 15, will be mascot for City’s SkyBet League One clash with Brentford at Valley Parade.
Mum Joanne Britton said Ethan – who has been a City fan all his life – met various Liverpool stars as part of a visit arranged by the Rays of Sunshine charity.
“He is absolutely over the moon to be mascot,” said Joanne. “He got to meet Liverpool players, but this tops that. He is just overwhelmed.
“He is more excited than the Liverpool one, and he met most of the stars except Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard. He just cannot wait.”
Ethan, who lives on Peveril Close, Eccleshill, with Joanne and her partner Mark Hopton, was born with congenital heart disease.
At just three days old he was rushed into hospital, where he had a heart attack. Doctors later discovered he had heart disease.
Joanne said: “He has not any heart surgery since he was a baby, but has regular check-ups every six months. He should have had more surgery than expected.
“He’s done really well, although he possibly could have to have a transplant in later life. His heart will never be normal.”
Unfortunately, Ethan’s condition means he cannot indulge in playing the sport he loves.
The youngster, who goes to Titus Salt School in Saltaire, is currently a season ticket holder at Valley Parade and goes to games with his uncle Gary Britton. Ethan went to Wembley with the Bantams on both their visits last year and says his favourite player is striker Nakhi Wells.
Joanne said: “He gets very breathless very easily. As much as he loves football, he can only play for a short while before getting out of breath.
“But he is a happy young lad. He loved it at Wembley and thinks City will be going again soon!
“We recorded the play-off final on Sky and he watches it every morning – he is obsessed!”