How Pickford gave Harry the best day of his life

17 Mar 2023

Everton goalkeeper meets eight-year-old fan after reading of his heartbreaking story

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Harry has been dealt a hard time in his tender eight years. At the age of five, he became seriously ill and suffered a lung collapse. 

While Harry fought for his life in Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children's Hospital, the medics diagnosed that his situation was a result of an eight centimetre-long brain tumour.

Harry underwent nine hours of neurosurgery, which was able to remove 90 per cent of the tumour, before he was able to leave hospital and recover.  

But nine months later, the remaining 10 per cent of the tumour that had to be left had become active and Harry underwent 28 days of radiotherapy to stop the tumour from growing.

Throughout it all, he proudly wore his Everton shirt while undergoing this draining treatment at The Christie’s Hospital, Manchester. 

Just as the treatment was about to end came the devastating news that Harry's father had suddenly passed away. 

Despite his shock and grief, Harry courageously continued his treatment to its conclusion without complaint. The treatment had its cost with further surgery and muscle weakness that restricts him from playing his favourite sport, football. 

Through it all, Harry's spirit and his love for his local Premier League club Everton never faltered.

Harry's No 1 idol at the club is goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

“He’s a proper Evertonian, who absolutely loves playing in goal and recreating your saves with 'Pickford' proudly on his back,” wrote Jordan's mum, Laura.

Read: Laura's emotional letter to Pickford

So when he received Laura's letter about her son, Pickford invited Harry to Finch Farm, Everton’s training ground, so that they could meet.

In his dream day at the training ground, not only did Harry get to meet his hero, he was also warmly welcomed by several other Everton first-team players such as Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Conor Coady and Alex Iwobi

Pickford and Harry

He showed them his goalkeeping skills, by saving their penalties before posing them the questions he had always wanted to ask of them.  

“Being a dad myself, I think it's every person's worst nightmare," said Pickford when he learnt of what Harry had been through.

"How strong he is as a person. What he’s come through and what he’s had to deal with at such a young age just shows what type of character he is as a lad."

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