Gesture comes after bike ride for medical research charity.
Cure Leukaemia patient and West Brom fan Allan Morris from Hanbury in Worcestershire had a birthday to remember as he visited the West Bromwich Albion training ground to meet goalkeeper Ben Foster.
Allan was being treated for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia when Foster took part in London 2 Paris: Inspiring the Revolution alongside former England, Crystal Palace and Wolves footballer and blood cancer survivor Geoff Thomas to raise funds for Cure Leukaemia in the summer of 2015.
The Baggies and England goalkeeper raised £10,000 for riding the 500km from London to Paris and those funds went directly into helping patients, like Allan, battling blood cancer.
Allan, who is 72 years old, has recently been told he is in remission from AML after Cure Leukaemia’s funding of specialist research nurse Donna Walsh allowed Allan the opportunity to receive a world first clinical trial not currently available through the NHS.
Foster, who took part in the bike ride alongside over 230 fellow fundraisers last year, was delighted to meet someone who has directly benefitted from Cure Leukaemia’s fundraising: “It was humbling to meet Allan today and I am thrilled he is in remission from this terrible disease. Riding London to Paris last year was an amazing experience I will never forget for a truly inspirational charity in Cure Leukaemia. Spending time with Allan makes you realise what a life-changing difference the charity helps make for patients in the Midlands. I hope he enjoyed the day and I look forward to seeing him down at the Hawthorns soon!”
Allan, who is a former hotel manager and father of two, said: “What an experience to meet Ben at the training ground today. I grew up in Smethwick and have been a Baggies fan for over 60 years so I couldn’t have wished for a better birthday present. Ben’s fundraising for Cure Leukaemia has helped people like me and if it was not for this charity I may not have been able to celebrate my birthday this year.”
He continued, “I am in remission but I still have long road in front of me as I will need a bone marrow transplant to rid my body of the disease once and for all but without Cure Leukaemia I may not have had this opportunity to look to the future. I look forward to being well enough to get back on my motorbike and watch Ben in action soon.”
Allan brought a West Brom shirt for Ben to sign and the England International went one better and said he would ask the whole squad to sign the shirt for Allan.
To sign up for London 2 Paris: Inspiring the Revolution 2016: www.l2prevolution.com
To donate to Ben’s Cure Leukaemia fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/BenFosterL2P