by Chris Tobin
Football and sport in general has come under an increasing spotlight recently highlighting the proprieties held by some within the game and those custodians of “The Beautiful Game”. The negativity that seems unparalleled and constant and it would seem that football has found itself alienated and disenfranchised from its roots, with no redeeming features. It would seem that football the once belle of the ball has become an ugly sister.
This week the Cutter has had its faith in football restored – Ever forgetful that as we reach adulthood, our favourite friend left behind long ago, he that we had forgotten and out-grown, would for some still hold that special unique place at the heart, the centre of a life. What it would mean and how it would assume the role of a place to go, where troubles become less and its importance elevated. Football still resonates through the innocent eyes of a child, the way it should be.
The Daisy Cutter have this week been fortunate enough to interview Joshua Jackson – Football mad Josh was kind enough to talk to us in an exclusive interview.
For those who have not had the pleasure or fortune to know who Josh Jackson is, then let us take a moment to introduce this incredible, likeable Liverpool supporter and we might add Twitter & Facebook favourite of thousands of football fans around the country.
Liverpool fan Josh is currently battling Leukaemia for a second time in the last 5 years. At 8 years old Josh would suffer a relapse in October 2012 after being in remission since 2010. The battle for this incredible young man would begin in June 2007 when he would complain of an earache. At first doctors assumed this was nothing more than an infection which could be treated with antibiotics. However his symptoms would worsen, eventually leading to Josh being referred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where Josh’s parents would receive the devastating news that their child was suffering from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.
Josh would once again start chemotherapy on 30th January this year, and currently his treatment involves 3 days of chemo followed by 3 days of rest. This program of treatments will continue for 6 months then being reduced to 1 day per week thereafter.
We started our conversation by asking Josh about his followers and what it means to him to have such support from his new found friends.
Cutter: We all know you are a massive Liverpool supporter Josh, so if you were lucky enough to one day play for the club, what position would be your favourite?
Josh: I would love to be a defender, stopping all the strikers from scoring goals.
Cutter: Who is your favourite Liverpool player?
Josh: I like all the players but my favourite is our captain Steven Gerrard because he scores great goals for us and he works very hard for the team.
Cutter: Josh you have some very famous followers on Twitter and Facebook who is your favourite from those following you?
Josh: I like all my friends who are following me, and who make me smile with all the messages when I am having Chemo . My biggest and favourite though is Kenny Dalglish. That has made me very happy.
Cutter: How does it make you feel to have over 7,000 followers on Twitter? Are your friends envious that you have all those followers?
Josh: It feels great and I think they may be jealous. On Facebook there are 8000 likes too. The page is Joshua Battling Cancer. I am very lucky to have so many friends following me.
Cutter: Have you got your eye on anybody who you would love to be following you?
Josh: I would really like it if Steven Gerrard would follow me that would be good.
Cutter: I am sure our readers and those following you would like to know about your other family members?
Josh: I have a big sister Courtney who is 12, my brother Connor who is 10 and then my 2 year old brother Thomas who at the moment has chicken pox.
Cutter: What other things do you like doing when you are not receiving treatment for your illness?
Josh: I love playing on the Wii with my brothers and sister. I like playing football with Connor when I am at home and away from the hospital treatment.
Cutter: What are the worst and best things about spending so much time at Birmingham Children’s Hospital?
Josh: The very worst are the “hot-dogs”; they are nasty. The nurses are really great and I really don’t mind the injections that I have to be given. Sometimes it does get very boring so I build Lego and make things.
Cutter: It can’t be nice going through the horrible chemotherapy sessions at the moment Josh, so what can people do to cheer you up and make you smile through Twitter and Facebook? I hear you are raising awareness and funds for Birmingham Children’s hospital – How can people help?
Josh: People can help by buying the red YNWA Joshua Battling Cancer or the blue/green Helping Special Heroes bands. All the money will go to Ward 15 at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. They look after children with cancer from all over the country and the money will help make it an even nicer place to stay as we stay a long time. Andy is also cycling from Newcastle to London and he has to do this in 24 hours.
People can sponsor him www.justgiving.com/andywhelan999
The wristbands can be found on Ebay http://bit.ly/YudhPq or www.liverpoolfcfanscorner.com they are helping me on Twitter and their Facebook page and have a link that tells my story and also a blog that Andy fills in.
All the proceeds will go to http://www.bch.org.uk/ Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Cutter: Josh it has been a pleasure interviewing you for The Daisy Cutter – What would you like to say to our readers?
Josh: Thank you very much for all your nice messages and photos. I am very lucky to have so many friends. Thank you to all the Liverpool fans especially who have let me join their family and to everyone else who tweets and Facebooks me every day. You all make me smile lots #thankyou
Sometimes the restoration of our faith in football happens through a child’s eyes –
If you wish to donate on behalf of Josh then please do so, every little will add a huge smile to this young boys face J