Brave Ross meets NI heroes

Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty with Ballyclare boy Ross Patterson. Photo: David Cavan
Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty with Ballyclare boy Ross Patterson. Photo: David Cavan

Football-mad Ballyclare boy Ross Patterson met some of his football heroes at a special event at the weekend.

Ross (7) is in remission after being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukamia in February 2014 when he was just four-years-old.

Kyle Lafferty had a huge impact off the bench on Saturday evening. Photo by Kevin Scott  / Press Eye

Kyle Lafferty had a huge impact off the bench on Saturday evening. Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye

The Ballynure Primary School pupil attended the special meet and greet event with the Northern Ireland squad at the Daisy Lodge facility in South Down while they were home for the games with Azerbaijan and Croatia.

Speaking to the Times, Ross’ mum Claire said: “Ross was over-the-moon when he found out he was getting to meet the Northern Ireland players.

“We had stayed at Daisy Lodge for a weekend before and Ross was invited back to this special event.

“He was given signed shirts for both him and his brother Jack, which he was really pleased with.”

Ross was not over-awed when he met the players and even tried to nutmeg Kyle Lafferty during a kick-about with the striker, Steve Davis and Josh Magennis.

Steve Davis said Ross should join them for training before the match on Tuesday, but Ross said he couldn’t make it as he had training with Ballyclare Colts.

Claire added: “Paddy McNair had sent Ross a signed Manchester United shirt earlier in the year and Ross made a point of thanking him when he saw him.

“I can’t thank the players enough. The smallest thing you can do can mean the world to someone. This is one small act which Ross will always remember.”