Coronavirus has ripped through the traditional matchday experience for football fans, but Leeds were able to give a teenage supporter the opportunity of a lifetime against Arsenal on Sunday.
Thirteen-year-old Elliot Metcalfe is suffering from Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer that forms in soft tissues, and via the Make A Wish Foundation, he had expressed his desire to be a mascot for the Whites.
Under normal circumstances he would have been able to lead captain Liam Cooper and the rest of the players out at Elland Road, but Covid protocols mean mascots have been sidelined until fans can return.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) November 23, 2020
However, Leeds and Cooper made sure Liam and his sister Verity were able to have a different mascot experience, connecting with the pair on a tablet and making them part of the build-up ahead of the 1-1 draw.
Scotland international Cooper introduced the pair to his team-mates in the tunnel, walked them out on the field and kept them ‘live’ as the Premier League anthem played.
Hope you all enjoyed the game Elliot. You stay strong young man. We are all with you and it was our pleasure to have you walk on the pitch with us. Sending all the love and strength in the world 🙌🏼🤍 https://t.co/XMEsM1f9aV
— Liam Cooper (@LiamCooper__) November 22, 2020
The pair wished Cooper “good luck” before kicked-off and he later tweeted: “Hope you all enjoyed the game Elliot. You stay strong young man.
“We are all with you and it was our pleasure to have you walk on the pitch with us. Sending all the love and strength in the world.”
A Leeds statement added: “On behalf of everyone at the club, we hope Elliot enjoyed his experience as a Leeds United mascot, even under the unusual circumstances, and wish him all of the luck with his treatment.”