A father has shared the touching moment his five-year-old son saw his team’s football ground for the first time.
In footage which has been shared thousands of times, Mike Quinn, a lifelong Everton fan, takes his son Harrison into the terraces at Goodison Park before Everton’s 2-1 FA Cup victory over Lincoln on Saturday.
After the pitch comes into view, Harrison turns around and is wearing a beaming smile.
Mike said the moment was “extra special” because Harrison had stage three heart surgery in September.
“Harrison’s reaction was just priceless and everything about the day just made it perfect,” the 29-year-old from Skelmersdale told the Press Association. “My dad took me (to Everton) when I was about Harrison’s age.”
Harrison was born with a heart condition which meant he spent the entire first year of his life in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. He was kept in for another two months after his surgery last year.
Barring complications, Harrison should not need any further operations.
Since going viral Mike’s video has inspired other parents to share their children’s experiences.
Tom Lambert and his son Jack are fans of Everton’s Merseyside rivals and they travelled to Anfield on Boxing Day for the 10-year-old’s first Liverpool game.
Jack has autism and Tom wasn’t sure whether he’d ever be able to take him to Anfield due to the noise.
“He struggles with sensory things in terms of noise,” said the 37-year-old. “He’s always been desperate to go, but we didn’t think he’d cope.”
The opportunity to attend Liverpool’s 4-0 win came after Jack got tickets from Father Christmas and the family were even given a box, offering him added security if needed.
“He got through the whole game,” said Tom. “He could pre-empt when the cheers were coming and was able to cover his ears.”
Along with the box, Jack was also treated to a meeting with his favourite players Mohamed Salah and Virgil Van Dijk.
“It was a very special day, one of the best days of his life,” said Tom. “It escalated from getting a ticket to the game, to a box and spiralled into something we didn’t expect.”
The videos from Mike and Tom were met with warmth from fans from across football on Twitter.
“The reaction has been great. It’s been great to hear all other stories from different fans from different clubs about their and their children’s first time at matches,” said Mike.
“I would just like to thank everyone for the comments and let them all know that it has made a little boy very happy.”