A Leeds youngster who made a miracle recovery from a holiday swimming accident will today step out onto his footballing field of dreams.
Callum Wingate, nine, from Belle Isle, was given no chance of survival by doctors after being pulled lifeless from a pool in Majorca in 2012.
He spent several weeks in a coma but slowly began to regain his movement and speech – and by last year he was well enough to return to lessons at Windmill Primary School.
Callum’s bravery will be rewarded this afternoon when he takes his place as one of the mascots for the England versus Slovenia game at Wembley.
The occasion will be a bittersweet one for his family, however, as his mum, 37-year-old Lorraine, is in St Gemma’s Hospice with terminal stomach cancer.
She will be watching her son’s big moment on TV – and admits there is likely to be a tear in her eye when he gets onto the pitch.
Lorraine, who was diagnosed with cancer three months after Callum’s accident, said: “I am going to be so proud of him – but then I already am.
“My only worry is that they might have to hold him back! He doesn’t walk anywhere, he runs. When he sees that pitch, he’ll be off.”
The treat for Callum – who has travelled to London with his dad, Robert, and 14-year-old brother James – was arranged by staff at Moortown-based St Gemma’s.
“They have been fantastic,” said Lorraine. “They know my boys are better for me than any medicine.”
She also said she was determined to keep fighting her battle with cancer – despite being told she may not live to see this Christmas.
“I’m looking into buying tickets for [magician] Dynamo in Leeds next December,” said Lorraine.
“Callum loves magic – let’s face it, the lad is magic.”
Callum was with his family at a hotel in the resort of S’illot when he slipped into the deep end of its pool unnoticed.
He was underwater for several minutes before his body was spotted.