Brave young blue granted wish of a lifetime

An amputee footballer’s dreams came true when he joined the Manchester City first team on the training ground at the City Football Academy. Idris Sherifi was granted the wish of a lifetime and played alongside the likes of Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany, whilst he also had the honour of leading the team out at the Etihad Stadium against Crystal Palace in May. The 11-year-old from Stockport was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, seven years ago, which subsequently resulted in him undergoing six courses of chemotherapy and the loss of his right leg. Joining City in the Community’s weekly amputee football sessions, Idris met the foundation’s Disability Coordinator, Paul Kelly, who coached him for 18 months. So impressed was Kelly by the youngster's inspirational attitude he decided to work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to give Idris an experience he'd never forget. For the past 30 years, the charity has worked tirelessly to enrich the lives of children fighting life-threatening conditions by making their wishes come true and for Idris it all started at school. There, he was surprised with a video message from captain Kompany in a special assembly at Etchells Primary School, before being driven to the Etihad Campus in Chappy’s famous taxi. On arrival he was given a behind the scenes tour of the first team facilities, before changing into his new training gear, ready to head out and watch his footballing heroes. Or so he thought. Unbeknown to Idris, Aguero and Fernandinho were waiting to join him for some skills practice before the Argentine and the young man from Heald Green teamed up for a head-to-head match. After meeting the rest of the squad, there was still one last surprise. Delivered by the skipper, Idris was handed an away kit as it was revealed he would be leading the team out at the Crystal Palace match. “I was so excited when Vincent Kompany invited me to training, I couldn’t believe he was talking to me,” Idris explained. “Playing football with Sergio Aguero, meeting the whole team and walking out at the Etihad was a dream come true. It’s been amazing.” Manchester City is proud to work with a range of wish granting charities throughout the year, helping to create magical moments for brave Blues and Head of City in the Community, Mike Green, was pleased to deliver this experience. “We are delighted to team up with Make-A-Wish to deliver such a magical experience for Idris, one of our participants,” he added. "Everyone at City in the Community is proud that for the past 30 years, the foundation has been able to provide young people, like Idris, with the opportunity to play and enjoy football no matter their ability. “This year, as part of our 30th year celebrations, we have engaged with over 30,000 people across the city through a range inclusion, health and educational programmes.”

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