A FOOTBALL fan from Redditch has met his hero in a surprise visit following his cancer treatment.
Seven-year-old Anderson Pollard was diagnosed with a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, following bouts of stomach ache.
In September, after four months of gruelling treatment, the family were told the incredible news Anderson was cancer-free.
Anderson’s mum, Debbie Bath, said: “It was incredibly emotional – when you go through that trauma, you expect the worst.
“It was such an incredible relief.
“We just felt such gratitude to everyone who made it possible.”
Anderson is a massive Manchester United fan and was recently invited down to Carrington for what he believed would just be a routine tour around the club’s training facilities.
Little did he know, Alejandro Garnacho, Anderson’s favourite player at the club, was waiting in the wings to surprise him, in what transpired to be a heartwarming meeting between the two.
The Manchester United star holds a special meaning to Anderson who used ‘Garnacho’ as the answer to his emergency question ‘Who has played with Ronaldo and Messi?’.
The emergency question is used when children are under treatment for aggressive forms of cancer and is asked by parents and doctors to test their cognitive response.
Sam Pollard, Anderson’s dad added: “Man United picked up on the story about West Midlands Police gifting him tickets to a game and someone reached out to me to ask if they could do something special for him.
“We had no idea what they were planning to do, but there was a lot of communication about what we were going to tell Anderson and how we would make it a surprise.
“When Anderson saw Garnacho, it was wonderful. He was in so much shock and awe at meeting his hero and he gave me such a big cuddle.”
A club spokesperson said: “Serving as a reminder of the impact footballers can have, we also hope Anderson enjoyed his recent visit to Old Trafford too, during our 2-2 draw with Tottenham earlier this month.
“It was great to see him at Carrington, to be able to commend the youngster on his inspiring bravery.”