A LITTLE boy who touched the hearts of Leader readers has met his footballing hero.
Five-year-old Harley Noble, who suffers from the extremely rare form of cerebral palsy, schizencephaly, had all his dreams come true when he met Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.
Harley, who is unable to walk and has an usual side effect of his condition in that he has an aversion to grass, could not believe his eyes when Gerrard stopped by at his physiotherapy group Stick ‘n’ Step based in Wallasey.
Mum Christina Lace, 27, said: “It absolutely made Harley’s day. He got to play football with his hero.
“Steven picked him up and was cuddling him and he signed his football shirt.
“It brought a tear to my eye watching Harley’s face light up. We told him a few days before that he was going to meet Steven Gerrard and he was counting down the days.
“He is Harley’s hero. He has got a big canvas of him in his bedroom.”
Harley captured the hearts of Leader readers when his family launched a mammoth fundraising campaign to build a specially-adapted bedroom and wetroom for him at their home in Cadnant Drive, Bagillt.
The family managed to raise £7,500 through a series of fundraising initiatives and charity events.
The project was finally finished last month and Harley, and his four-year-old sister Lilly, are both loving their new bedrooms.
Christina added: “He absolutely loves his new room. He has got it decorated in Liverpool colours and he just loves playing in there.
“And the wetroom has made such a massive difference to our lives, it is so much easier because he can just be wheeled straight into the shower.
“Lilly loves her new room too – it’s a bright pink princess room, but she also loves playing in Harley’s room with him.”
Now the family has launched a fresh fundraising campaign to enable little Harley to play in his back garden.
Harley has a serious aversion to grass and just touching one blade can make him physically sick.
Christina added: “He has got a really serious dislike of grass and when it touches him he gets sick.”
Artificial turf has already been laid at the front of their house, but now the family need it in the back garden.
“He is fine with artificial grass, but it’s not safe for him to play out at the front because we don’t have gates,” added Christina.
The family suspect they need about £1,000 to fund the project and dad Jonny, 27, along with Christina’s brother James Talley, 19, are getting on their bikes in a bid to raise funds.
The pair will cycle the 100 mile journey from Holyhead to Bagillt before finishing of with a fundraising evening at The Blossoms in Bagillt on Saturday, August 13.
If you would like to sponsor the pair or donate to the Harley Noble Fund call Christina on 01352 763100.
See full story in the Leader