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Stephen to meet Everton heroes

A BRAVE young boy's dream has finally come true ­ thanks to the Chronicle.

Stephen Round will meet his Everton heroes

A BRAVE young boy's dream has finally come true ­ thanks to the Chronicle.

Stephen Round, eight, of Fron Road, Connah's Quay, found himself trapped in a plaster cast which immobilised his legs when he was diagnosed with Perth's Disease, a little-known but common disease which attacks the blood vessels around the hip joint and kills them off, damaging the bone and making it prone to erosion.

For months, Stephen was trapped in a plaster-cast which immobilised the lower half of his body and he also had to be strapped to a wooden rack while he recovered from a corrective operation where a metal plate was inserted into his hip to stop the disease.

But now he is recovering and was shocked this week when the Chronicle told him we had arranged for him to meet the stars at his favourite football club, Everton. 'We couldn't believe it when the Chronicle reporter arrived with Goodison legend Graeme Sharp in tow all those months ago,' said Stephen's mum Julie.

Graeme arrived after we contacted him asking for autographed memorabilia for Stephen. 'He's eight years old and he couldn't run around or anything,' said Graeme. 'I just thought he needed cheering up a bit.'

Custom House Lane pupil Stephen received a signed pennant and other goodies but the real moment came when Graeme promised to invite Stephen down to Goodison when he was walking again to meet the players.

'Stephen has been looking forward to it for a long time,' said dad Derek.

'Every day since he started walking properly a couple of months ago he has been asking 'when am I going to Everton?'

Well the waiting is almost over as we surprised Stephen this week. We visited his house to tell him that when Everton play West Ham on September 29, he will be there with his family and he will meet players like Paul Gascgoine, Kevin Campbell and Duncan Ferguson.

'Thank you,' said Stephen. 'I am really excited about going to meet my heroes I was itching to get out and play with my friends and play football all the time while I was in my cast and my wheelchair.

'I still can't really play now but I'm taking it one step at a time and the doctor says I'm improving all the time.

'Thanks to Everton FC and the Chronicle for making this dream come true.'

When Stephen has fully recovered he will be able to live a normal, fairly active life. The only effect the Perth's disease will have on him will come after his thirties when he will experience rheumatic pain in the reinforced joint.

'He deserves this,' added Derek. 'He has been cooped up for the best part of a year.

'For a lad so young it was a nightmare. Then he had to meet the challenge of learning to walk again, so he has worked hard and he has earned this trip.'


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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