Young Leeds United fan aims for top of the league
Little Oliver Baker-Clare has just one dream - to lead his beloved Leeds United as captain one day.
But four-year-old Oliver’s footballing dreams have always been hindered by the fact he was born with a club foot.
At just one week old, Oliver underwent surgery, followed by weekly rounds of treatment involving gentle manipulation of the foot and regular changing of leg casts.
When three months old he was fitted with a pair of special boots, fixed in position by a bar, which needed to be worn for 23 hours a day up until he was six-months-old. Since then up until just last week Oliver wore the boots for 12 hours a day.
Now, after years of treatment, he’s finally been able to swap the ‘special boots’ for a real pair of football boots.
And there’s no stopping him from training with his friends to become his generation’s Leeds legend.
Oliver, from Walsall in the Midlands, travels up to Elland Road regularly with his dad Gary, 34, to support the Whites.
Mum Sam, 30, said: “Oliver is such a resilient little boy who has gone through such a lot already in his life. Throughout everything he’s remained strong and happy. He hasn’t stopped smiling since last week when his special boots were no longer needed. We’re just so proud of him.
“He loves football. He’s absolutely fanatical about Leeds United, like his dad, and plays for the academy of a local team.
“At the moment he’s not sure whether he wants to score the goals as a striker or save them as a goalkeeper. He’s still deciding.”
Oliver was treated at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. His consultant, Hari Prem, said: “We’re delighted that Oliver’s made it through his journey. He has been very courageous and patient.”