JOSEPH’S Goal has already attracted interest from all quarters and our offices have been inundated with messages of support.
Brave Joseph Kendrick, son of our Wigan Athletic correspondent, Paul, and his wife Emma, has the extremely rare genetic disorder – Non-Ketotic Hyperglycinemia – and we’re aiming to raise money to fund much-needed research into the condition.
Joining us on the campaign trail this week have been members of the Latics squad, who met three-year-old Joe and little brother Sam, at their Christopher Park training ground.
Star shot-stopper Ali Al Habsi, skipper Gary Caldwell, midfielder Shaun Maloney and striker Arouna Kone were among the players who met the Kendricks to show their support for the campaign.
Boss Roberto Martinez also took time out from plotting the downfall of Everton in Saturday’s fixture at the DW Stadium for a chat with Paul, father Norman, and his two young sons.
Latics chief executive, Jonathan Jackson, said the club was throwing its full weight behind the campaign.
He said: “Wigan Athletic are pleased to support Joseph’s Goal, and intend to help in any way to assist Paul and Emma to raise as much money as possible and increase awareness of this brave little boy, and the rare and under-researched condition that affects Joseph.
“The players and staff met Joseph and immediately wanted to get involved in this important appeal, to help him and to fund the research to find a cure for this rare genetic disorder.
“We have seen recently how generous and kind the people of Wigan are upon hearing about such brave families facing difficult situations, and we have no doubt that this will be the case again.
“We will do whatever we can to help this thoroughly-deserving appeal.”
An overwhelmed Paul, said: “We’ve been absolutely blown away by the response. Obviously we hoped people would get on board and support what we’re doing, but we didn’t imagine it’d be anything like this.
“People we don’t know have been ringing up with ideas, popping into the office with donations, visiting the website and pledging, trying to make a difference – we can’t thank everyone enough.
“I’d also like to thank everyone at Wigan Athletic for going out of their way to make us feel welcome when we popped down to the training ground.
“Roberto and the players were out training, and yet still came over to have a chat, pose for some pictures and meet Joseph.
“Even though they have an important game to prepare for, they couldn’t have been more friendly – and it means so much to have them backing the campaign.”