Spur Of The Moment
There can be no shortage of young boys and girls who dream of walking out onto the ground of their favourite football team to play in front of thousands of adoring fans alongside a team packed with stars. Alas not everyone gets to fulfil their dream. Marshall Johnson can count himself among the select few after the eight year old, who lost four limbs to meningitis when he was just one, made a half time appearance on the hallowed turf of White Hart Lane during Tottenham Hotspur’s match against Southampton in May. Accompanied by Spurs star Mousa Dembele, the youngster took part in the substitutes’ half time drills in front of the home fans. And the Spurs faithful clearly liked what they saw, as they repeatedly chanted ‘Sign him up Sign him up!’ and ‘We love you Marshall, we do!’
The big day out all came about after a video of Marshall showing off his football skills in a Tottenham shirt went viral. One anonymous stranger was so impressed that he or she gave the young fan and his father two tickets to watch Tottenham take on Southampton. Eventually the video reached the Premier League club itself who invited the boy from Perranporth in Cornwall to kick a ball with his heroes. His mother Stephanie said “He was worried about playing football as he thought that people would laugh at him – which is weird because he’s normally such a confident boy. Our friend Mark took some pictures and a video of him to give him his confidence back. Since then, it’s gone absolutely crazy.” It is all a far cry from Boxing Day in 2008, when Ms Johnson noticed a rash on the head of her then one year old child. Marshall was rushed to hospital where his organs failed twice and doctors battled to save his young life. Proving what a fighter he is Marshall survived but he had to have both his hands and legs amputated. That hasn’t stopped him leading his life to the full and according to his family ever since he was given a new set of prosthetic limbs his confidence has rocketed. Marshall Johnson, remember the name.