Source: South Manchester Reporter
LITTLE Alex Croft has been given a new lease of life thanks to his footballing heroes at FC United.
The nine-year-old, who suffers from cerebral palsy, is the proud owner of a new £12,000 wheelchair, paid for in part by the fundraising efforts of the club’s players.
And his new set of wheels have improved his mobility to such an extent that he is now able to repay their kindness by serving as a ball boy at the club’s games.
Alex’s father, Les, says he turned to the club for help when his son’s old wheelchair kept breaking down.
“They’ve been fantastic,” he said. “I’ve been taking Alex to the games for a while and as soon as I told them we were raising money for a new chair, they immediately said they’d help.
“They’ve been so generous, to say they’re not exactly on premiership wages, and they’ve given so much of their time too.”
Players for the club also donated items for an auction that the family held at Chorlton Irish Club. Even the club’s kitman chipped in, riding a 450-mile sponsored bike ride to raise money.
OVER the moon: Alex with dad Les and sister Lucy, six
Les, 37, from Brookburn Road, Chorlton, said he and wife Claire, are thrilled at the difference it has made to their son’s life.
The insurance claims advisor added: “He’s got his independence now. Whereas before he always had to have someone to push him, now he can go about on his own.
“He’s been out and about with his friends and having a whale of a time.”
Despite naming his son after two Manchester United legends, Alex Ferguson and Matt Busby, Les switched allegiance to the breakaway club when it was set up by disgruntled reds’ fans.
“He got addicted to going straight away, so we kept on going.,” said Les.
And having become one of FC United’s most loyal fans, Alex was called on to the pitch to help the team celebrate when they won the league this season.