Nottingham Forest will be welcoming special guest Isaac Smith as the matchday mascot at today’s game against Wolves.
Five-year-old Isaac will lead the teams out at The City Ground, supported by his dad Andy and sister Connie.
Isaac has spastic quadriplegia, the most severe form of cerebral palsy, after he suffered brain damage following complications during his birth.
Isaac can’t do anything independently and relies on around the clock care. He is unable to walk or talk and is visually impaired, but despite all the challenges he is a very happy boy and loves to smile and laugh.
Philippe Montanier and Matty Cash visited the hospice in Loughborough yesterday to view the facilities and speak to staff who look after Isaac and assist his family with his care.
Speaking at the hospice, Philippe said: “It is very important for us to be here as Christmas is for children and we are happy to share it with them. In football we are very focused on our job but we have to open up and see the supporters and children, especially during the Christmas period.
“I am looking forward to welcoming Isaac. When we prepare the game, you see the mascot with us in the dressing room and it is a great tradition in England. Other countries should be inspired to do this as it is a very good thing. We play to get a result but also for the supporters and the children.”
Matty Cash visited the hospice earlier in the year and loved the opportunity to come back yesterday.
He said: “I came to Rainbows Hospice a couple of months ago and it is a fantastic place that does some fantastic work for these children. I'm looking forward to meeting Isaac at the match and I hope he and his family have a great day.”