A visually impaired football fan who has appeared on This Morning and This Time Next Year, is to be an England mascot at their Euro 2020 qualifier game against Czech Republic.
Declan Bitmead was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome – a severe skin condition – after a reaction to an antibiotic he was taking for tonsillitis.
The reaction to the medication resulted in him being registered blind, but this hasn’t stopped him from pursuing his dream of becoming a football player.
Appearing on the heart-warming show This Time Next Year, Declan said that he wanted to be able to play football again in a year’s time.
Viewers then followed his journey over the last year, to find out if he had achieved his goal.
Declan managed to play football again by playing blind football, a sport for visually impaired footballers. The ball has a bell inside, to allow players to hear hear and track it.
As a reward for all the hard work it took to achieve his goal, Declan was invited by Manchester United midfielder, Jesse Lingard, to a match day at Old Trafford.
He also appeared on This Morning yesterday (12 February) with Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, where it was announced that he would be walking out with the England squad at their upcoming match against Czech Republic.
According to his mum, in the last year, Declan’s confidence has improved, and he’s back playing the game he loves, with his friends and little brother. He’s even worked up the courage to ask a girl to the school disco.
**Cover image credit to ITV**