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Dream come true for Romford boy as he takes to the pitch with his West Ham idols

PUBLISHED: 16:30 16 January 2017 | UPDATED: 16:30 16 January 2017

A dream came true for six-year-old Ishmael Belony. Picture: Griffiths Photographers.

A dream came true for six-year-old Ishmael Belony. Picture: Griffiths Photographers.

Griffiths Photographers

A brave boy who spent nearly the first year of his life in hospital got the chance to walk out with some of his football idols.

The boys were first out the tunnel with captain Mark Noble on Saturday. (Picture: Griffiths Photographers.)The boys were first out the tunnel with captain Mark Noble on Saturday. (Picture: Griffiths Photographers.)

Ishmael Belony, six, of Romford, had a day to remember as West Ham’s mascot for Saturday’s clash against Crystal Palace.

The day was made even better for the six-year-old after the Hammers managed to comfortably beat Crystal Palace three-nil.

It marked a great day for Ishmael and his family after difficulties arising with Ishmael’s health at the start of his life.

Little Ishmael was born at just 24 weeks and diagnosed with necrotising enterocolitis, a condition that affects the digestive system and meant he had to undergo surgery just a few weeks after birth.

Ishmael and some of his family at the London Stadium on Saturday.Ishmael and some of his family at the London Stadium on Saturday.

Mum Iman Othman said: “It was a really difficult time for the family, but every day is a blessing,”

“We are incredibly proud of Ishmael, he has been through so much yet he continues to smile and has a zest for life,”

“One of my favourite quotes is ‘Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away’. Ishmael continues to bless us with these moments every day.”

Ishmael was part of an awareness campaign on Saturday for the Richard House Children’s Hospice which provided respite care to the family in 2011.

West Ham players wore t-shirts encouraging donations as they warmed up on Saturday.

Club captain Mark Noble is a patron of the hospice and has supported it for many years, having lived just a few streets away as a child.

Richard House provides care and support to children and young people who are at risk of death because of a life-limiting or complex health condition.

“The constant support and care from Richard House has made life that much easier,” Iman said.

“Knowing that I can leave Ishmael in a safe and fun environment, surrounded by staff who love and care him, puts my heart at ease.

“Richard House continues to give us stability that enables us to remain upbeat and positive despite going through the most difficult times.”


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