A brave Wigan youngster celebrated battling back from a horror leg injury in a road collision by leading his favourite team out onto the pitch.
Five-year-old Charlie Cunningham was a Wigan Athletic mascot at the DW Stadium as Paul Cook’s side battled it out with Barnsley at the weeekend.
The Abram youngster walked out alongside the team and got to tread the hallowed turf in front of thousands of fans just a few months after he broke his leg in two places in a collision with a car near his home.
Since the shocking incident on Windermere Road in May Charlie has made a remarkable recovery and was able to enjoy his big day unaided, as the support on his leg was taken off several weeks ago.
His special day at the stadium was arranged by PCSO Sue Hall, who was at Charlie’s side within minutes of the accident.
She said: “Charlie had to be really brave because for about an hour he was in quite a lot of pain and had no relief until the ambulance arrived. He did so well we arranged the day as the mascot for him. I contacted Wigan Athletic and they were fabulous.
“It was a brilliant day and it was nice to see him having such a good time.”
Charlie’s mum Joanna Lloyd thanked PCSO Hall for her actions both on the day of the collision and for arranging for Charlie to be mascot.
She said: “The day of the accident was one of the worst days of our lives. Within three minutes of ringing the emergency services the PCSO were there with us.
“It was apparent Charlie’s leg was broken in two places and he was in extreme pain, but Sue stayed at his side talking to him and calming him down.
“I’m extremely grateful to the PCSOs. The ambulance arrived after 45 minutes, which was a long time to wait when your little one is screaming in agony.
“When Sue was speaking to Charlie he mentioned he was a Wigan fan and she asked them if they would consider him as a mascot. It was totally unexpected and a nice family day out. He really enjoyed the game and will be going a lot more now.”
The St John’s CE Primary pupil got to meet the Wigan team before their Championship clash as well as having his photograph taken with the club’s pie mascot Crusty.
Head of business development and customer experience at Wigan Athletic, Jonty Castle, said: “We were informed of Charlie’s unfortunate accident and his injuries by Greater Manchester Police. As a Wigan Athletic fan, we felt hosting Charlie and his family at one of our games as mascot was the least we could do to put a smile on his face.”