Seven-year-old Portchester boy battling a brain tumour will lead Portsmouth out of the tunnel at Wembley
A YOUNG boy who has spent the past 13 months fighting a brain tumour has been named as Pompey’s mascot for this weekend’s Checkatrade final.
Harry St Ledger, seven from Portchester, will lead the Blues out of the tunnel ahead of their Wembley final against League One rivals Sunderland on Sunday.
The youngster has been battling his brain tumour after he was diagnosed last February, before going to London for six weeks of radiotherapy, followed by a 12-month course of chemotherapy.
Harry and his family are huge Pompey fans, with excitement in the St Ledger household reaching a fever pitch as the game draws closer.
Despite a poor prognosis with limited treatment available, Harry has defied the odds to carry on at school – studying on a part-time basis – and dressing up as his favourite superhero, Spider-Man, when he goes in for treatment.
Harry’s walkout from the Wembley tunnel has been organised by Pompey in the Community, a charity that works in partnership with Portsmouth FC.
Harry’s dad, 32-year-old Cairan, said: ‘I am very thankful to Pompey in the Community for offering Harry this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of leading out Pompey at Wembley.
‘He has had a very hard time the last year with, travelling to and from London for his radiotherapy then straight onto a 12-month course of chemotherapy, he has been through more in the last year than many adults do in a lifetime – it’s hard to watch as a parent but to see him doing so well fills us full of joy.
‘We are both season ticket holders in the North Lower and as Harry’s father it will be one of the proudest days of my life watching him lead out the Pompey team at a full-to-capacity Wembley.’
According to Cairan, Harry is filled with excitement ahead of his big day, with a minibus full of his family and friends also coming to watch him.
‘After the year he’s had he’s just looking forward to the big day – it’s a great opportunity and I can’t thank the club, Pompey in the Community and everyone else for everything they have done for Harry.’
Claire Martin from Pompey in the Community says that everyone at the charity immediately thought of Harry when the opportunity came up.
‘I think it’s lovely for him to be able to do it – he’s a brilliant lad and has been through so much,’ she said.