Five-year-old leukaemia survivor enjoys his first football match

Little Joseph Devaney has enjoyed a major milestone in his recovery from leukaemia by attending his first ever football match.

Monday, 8th August 2016, 11:01 am
Updated Monday, 8th August 2016, 1:04 pm
Leukaemia survivor Joseph Devaney at his first football match, Morecambe v a Liverpool XI at the Globe Arena on July 30.

Sports fanatic Joseph loved every minute of the Morecambe v Liverpool XI game at the Globe Arena.

The five-year-old from Morecambe still has regular treatment after being diagnosed with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) two years ago.

But you would never have known as Liverpool fan Joseph ran around the Shrimps’ stadium celebrating every goal with a huge smile on his face.

Joseph with his dad Leon.

His proud dad Leon said: “I asked him after the game if it was as good as he expected and he said ‘No, it was much better.’

“He’s football mad. He loves all sport. He wants to play them all as well.

“He collects football cards and he’s got about 3,000. He loves Coutinho and Gerrard. He likes them all, really.

“He will sit and watch a whole game on the TV and he knows all the players’ names of all the teams. He knows all the cricketers as well.

Joseph in hospital during treatment for leukaemia.

“I think he was a little bit disappointed because he didn‘t know any of the Liverpool players because it wasn’t their first team. But he loved being in the stadium.

“I’m going to try to get tickets for him to go with me to Anfield now.”

ALL is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.

It is the most common type of cancer in children.

Joseph with his dad Leon.

Joseph spent many months in Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital after his family were told the devastating news over two years ago.

He was given a course of daily chemotherapy and steroid treatment and had many setbacks on his road towards recovery.

But now he has started school at St Luke’s in Skerton and is trying to enjoy a normal life as much as possible even though his immune system is still weak.

“He’s doing really well but he’s still in hospital every other week having treatment,” said Leon, who runs a printing business at the Festival Market in Morecambe.

Joseph in hospital during treatment for leukaemia.

“Even after the game, I had to take him up to Lancaster Royal Infirmary because he had an ear infection. But he really wanted to go to the football.”

As for the result of the game, Joseph was happy as Liverpool won 2-1.