Watch the heartwarming moment Brentford FC players celebrate with fan Woody, 8

17 August 2021, 07:19 | Updated: 17 August 2021, 09:38

Mother of football fan talks to LBC after heartwarming moment

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Watch the heartwarming moment Brentford FC players celebrate with one young fan, making his day.

Brentford manager Thomas Frank delighted one young fan when a video of the two celebrating after the club's 2-0 win over Arsenal on Friday was viewed over 6.5 million times over the weekend.

Frank, leading a lap of honour around the pitch, was captured running over to a famous fan called Woody, who has suffered a well-documented battle with Down Syndrome.

Natalie O’Rourke, Woody's mother spoke LBC's Nick Ferrari.

Woody is eight years old, non-verbal, and has Down Syndrome. He can only communicate through sign language, a very limited vocabulary and an incredibly infectious smile. A couple of years ago, Woody underwent major heart surgery which gave him a much needed new lease of life, and with that a desire to play football like any other child.

Nat, Woody’s mum, tried to get Woody into their local football team but was turned away. She turned to social media late one night to raise awareness of the issue and a friend told her to get in touch with Brentford. Nat went to bed that night and through the powers of social media we were in touch! She woke up to 100’s of notifications from friends and missed calls and messages from the club.

Fans celebrated with the young player after the victory
Fans celebrated with the young player after the victory. Picture: Getty

That day, Woody came to our match and was made mascot for the day. He led the Bees out in his new kit with “Woody 6” on the back. Nat described it as “the best day of his life”. Woody and Nat have been back to Griffin Park several times since and now have a very special bond with the club and the staff. When we recently played Stoke City, Peter Crouch even took some time out to chat and posed for a picture.

Nat says that “watching Brentford is better than any speech therapy as Woody knows what other fans are saying, recognises the names and the songs, it interests him and he now copies what he hears. Coming here has really helped him with four syllables”

“When I see him running on the pitch with his ball my boy looks like any other child out there dreaming of being a footballer. The club have really changed his life".