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Kind strangers help seven-year-old AFC Bournemouth fan Ethan Burney who's losing his eyesight

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Date: Thu 22/Oct/2015, 10:02

LITTLE Ethan Burney is bouncing with excitement after the kindness of strangers made his dream come true.

On Sunday the seven-year-old from Canford Heath, Poole, will be cheering on the Cherriesfrom the stands as they play Spurs.

The avid Cherries fan, who suffers from a rare syndrome and is losing his eyesight, will be sitting with his dad Gareth, 36, while grandad Dave King, who made the appeal for help, will be watching from his own seat.

“He’s a fanatical Cherries supporter. He lives and breathes Cherries,” said Dave, 64, who lives with the family at Puddletown Crescent and has been supporting AFC Bournemouth for 40 years.

“Now they are in the Premier League it’s so hard to get tickets,” he said.

So he put an appeal on Facebook which was taken up by his friend Michael Ponchaud. “It escalated from there,” said Dave.

And out of the blue not only did season ticket holders Steve Moody and his son Louis, of St Leonards, give the family their tickets for the home match, shirt sponsor Mansion Group has donated tickets for the Newcastle game.

“It’s a fantastic gesture,” said Dave.

“We want to take him to as many matches as we can while he can see.”

Ethan, who is one of only around 12 children in the UK with Aarskog Syndrome and has undergone numerous operations on his feet and legs, said he was “very excited” to be going.

He predicted Bournemouth would win 1-0 and will be cheering for his favourite player, Matt Ritchie.

Mum Gemma, 35, said Ethan did not like crowds or noise but: “We took him to a friendly and he absolutely loved it.”

She said Ethan was among only two sufferers who were losing their eyesight. “We were told he will have a guide dog by the time he’s 10,” she said.

She said she was very grateful to the supporters who had given up their tickets. “This just shows you there is still kindness in the world,” she said.

Mr Moody, who is taking his 16-year-old son on holiday this weekend, said: "I am a Spurs man born and bred, but we have been season ticket holders at AFC Bournemouth for seven years now and Louis was in the Junior Cherries.

"Unfortunately it just happens one of the few games I will miss is the game against Spurs.

"I saw the appeal on social media and couldn't think of a better use for the tickets. The club is always welcoming and does a lot for kids."



     
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