Our final Easter Visit saw goalkeepers Sam Slocombe and Luke Daniels visit nine-year-old Tommy at the end of last week.At the start of the half term at the end of February, we launched a brand new competition asking anyone – be it parent or teachers – to nominate a child who has made significant progress at either school or day-to-day life.
Tommy was specially selected after we learned of the troubles he has had since a young age, which has seen him needing crutches close to hand when he has troublesome days with his legs.
Once an aspiring young goalkeeper, idolising players such as Slocombe, Tommy was instructed by his doctors a short while ago that he was no longer allowed to play contact sports and thus ending his playing career for his local team Scotter. Tommy can still enjoy some exercise, including playing football – as he benefited from with the visiting shotstoppers, although he is restricted to short periods of play time and mustn’t strain his legs too much.
As a result, he has to have routine operations around every twelve weeks to cauterise the veins in his legs.
Mum Dawn Blakey nominated Tommy after his recent endurances at the hospital, with the family regularly journeying to Leeds to get the treatment he needs.
She said: “Tommy has been an Iron fan and a season ticket holder for the last two years. He’s also been a very brave lad. He’s been on crutches since last summer and has had to give up playing football for Scotter Juniors which was one of his real passions.
“He is currently under the vascular surgeons at Leeds and has not long undergone the second of four procedures.
“He doesn’t moan about what he’s had to give up and just soldiers on, despite being in a lot of pain at times. He keeps positive and remains hopeful he will one day be able to play football again.”
In that knowledge, it was only fitting for the club to send along two goalkeepers as part of the player visit, with long serving shot stopper Slocombe accompanied by Daniels for the hour-long visit to their home.
Arriving at their home, the two goalkeepers learned all about Tommy and what he’s endured – opening their eyes as to how he keeps plodding on, no matter what is put in front of the 9 year old.
Tommy and his parents have tried to find him other hobbies to pre-occupy him following his instruction not to play football, with Sam and Luke both eager to listen to his progress since he took up playing an electric guitar. Both tunes he played were instantaneously recognisable – a credit to his enthusiasm to try anything new.
Nothing was going to deny him though of a gentle kick-about with his idols, with Tommy often reminded to calm down when kicking the ball.
His mum explained: “We cannot completely stop him from doing what he loves. He has some good days and then a bad day which follows and today was one of his good days, so we couldn’t stop him from playing with Sam and Luke.”
Following that, the players spent a further spell with the youngster, learning of their trip to Cadbury’s World the following day. The club’s representative also remained to view his massively impressive take on the new Scunthorpe United stadium, built by Tommy on Minecraft – holding immaculate facilities within.
Following the visit, Tommy’s mum Dawn had this to say: “Thank you guys. Tommy enjoyed his afternoon so much. I think this will count as one of his best days ever!”
The club would like to thank all entries for this competition and while it was impossible to visit every single one of those entries over the course of the Easter holidays, the players at Scunthorpe United urge you to keep up the good work and enter any future competitions that are put on.