This is easily our favourite story of the day. Over the summer transfer rumours drive us crazy, but this is about as heartwarming a story as you could imagine!
Some fans will remember a tragedy which involved former Academy player Sean Highdale. Back in 2008, Highdale was involved in a car crash in which two of his friends were killed. He sustained critical injuries and was lucky to survive, but his football career was over aged 17.
Eight years later, Highdale has been selected to represent Great Britain at this summer’s Paralympics after he decided to continue playing despite his disability.
“I’m really happy that my place on the team is confirmed,” he told the Echo. “Like many of my team-mates, this will be my first Paralympic Games but I’m so excited for the opportunity and it’s such an honour to represent your country on the international stage.
“I hope we can make everyone back at home proud, and I’m so grateful for all of the support that I’ve had to help me get here.”
The story shows that great things can happen from terrible situations through positivity and will power. We cannot imagine the strife Highdale went through as a teenager, and think it’s incredible that he’ll soon be representing his country at the sport he loves in spite of his accident.
He was a mighty talent in our Academy, and we’re going to do all we can to watch him competing in Rio this year. Not many footballers get to play in an international tournament held in Brazil!