Burnley brain bug victim Josh meets Paralympic sports heroes

Josh meets his sports heroes
Josh meets his sports heroes

A BRAVE youngster from Burnley who was struck down by deadly brain bug meningitis almost four years ago got the chance to meet Paralympic sporting heroes during a VIP trip.

Josh Ford, a pupil at Shuttleworth College in Padiham, had to have both legs amputated below the knees to save his life after developing the most serious form of the disease when he was nine.

He recently got the opportunity to visit the BT Paralympic World Cup at Manchester Sport City as a VIP along with two members of school staff.

Josh watched the seated volleyball, where Great Britain narrowly lost to the Netherlands, and later saw Canada defeat Team GB in the wheelchair basketball.

He later got the opportunity to take part in wheelchair fencing which staff said he thoroughly enjoyed.

Following Josh’s illness the Burnley Express launched a campaign to raise money for the football-mad youngster to have special prosthetic legs which would allow him to play sport again.

Shuttleworth College deputy head Mr Steve Campbell said: “Ian Yates, the brother of our head of technology Alison Yates, works at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

“Ian knew about Josh and he arranged to get the VIP tickets. Josh had an amazing day and he has been given a link to a website where he can log in and type in his disability and it shows him the accessibility for different sports in this area. He thought the basketball was so physical, he said it was amazing.”