Posted: 20.07.21 at 08:45 by The Editor
THE mother of brave youngster Ashton Hulme says the Crewe Alex Academy keeper and his family are looking forward to tonight's pre-season fundraiser against Stoke City.
Vicky Hulme says the match at the Mornflake Stadium (K.O 7pm) is a "dream come true" for the young goalkeeper, who had been playing for Crewe's under-12s side.
All the proceeds from the game with the Potters will swell the coffers of Ashton's fundraising page as he undergoes treatment for osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.
The young footballer underwent a leg amputation earlier this year after the removal of a tumour and is looking forward to having a prosthetic leg in place later in the year as he targets a return to sport.
He has been supported in his battle by both Crewe and Stoke; Alex boss Dave Artell and the club's backroom and Academy staff completed a circuit of the area's professional football grounds, as part of several fundraising initiatives.
Ashton's mother said: "It's just like a dream come true for Ashton and it's going to be such an emotional night because of the support we've had from both clubs, the fans, the players, the managers, all the staff and all the parents of all the Academy players.
"Just to have everybody under one roof is going to be incredible. I'll be an emotional wreck, but Ashton will just be soaking it all up and enjoying it.
"As a family we're born and bred Stoke fans. But we support two teams now."
After completing his chemotherapy treatment Ashton faces a year of rehabilitation as he learns to walk and run again, but his family are determined he can get back playing "the sports he loves so much".
"There are so many ups and downs. We're in cycle four of his chemotherapy treatment in Birmingham at the moment, so it's nice to come out and see people and say thank you as the support has been incredible, especially all the footballing community," said Vicky.
"Ashton is so positive, he inspires me every day and he is just phenomenal. We go from one treatment to the next and I can't believe how he handles everything. I'm just so proud of him."
"He is so determined and he sets goals. He wants to get back playing football and cricket. Being a goalkeeper at Crewe - that is his ultimate goal."
A large crowd is expected for the charity match with Stoke having already sold 1,000 tickets for a game in which they will come under the glare of their fan base for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
Crewe put tickets on general sale this week as the country came out of lockdown and they can be bought online here.
or from the ticket office on 01270-25610.
Prices are £12 adults, £8 seniors, £5 12-16-year-olds and £2 for the under-11s.
Alex Assistant Manager Kenny Lunt is looking to build on Saturday's warm-up win (1-0) over Wolves, but knows the focus will also be elsewhere when he said: "The more people that come [tonight] the better as this is for a great cause. It is great that Stoke are coming along to play us. I'm sure everyone is looking forward to it and coming along to support Ashton."
Defender Rio Adebisi said: "It's great that we're doing this for Ashton and the two local sides coming together will be a great game. Hopefully, we can put on a good show for Ashton. It's a local derby and I think it's going to be a battle, especially as it's for Ashton - everyone will be up for it for him."
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