Leicester City surprise teenage American cancer survivor with dream trip to watch them play
Travis Hackett, a 13-year-old American, says he became a Leicester City fan during their late run to avoid relegation from the English Premier League in 2014/15. During their dream title-winning run the next season, Hackett was undergoing treatment for leukemia, and says the Foxes were his inspiration as he battled against the disease.
“I just loved how they made that great escape and then came back and surprised everyone the next year, beating all the big teams and winning the title,” said Hackett. “It was amazing.
“It was my inspiration to keep on going through all my treatment and they just helped me amazingly.”
Leicester’s miracle has been well chronicled, but Hackett’s story has a happy ending too: the disease is in remission, and he’s been diagnosed cancer-free.
After hearing his story, the Craig Willinger Fund charity arranged a surprise trip for Hackett to visit Leicester, and the young fan was flown out to England where he walked out with goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel ahead of their match against Sunderland on Tuesday.
Says Hackett about the surprise: “I was speechless, I teared up. I didn’t know what to say but I was over the moon. So happy.”
Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare offered his support for the move, saying: “He’ll be made very welcome. We do things like this in the community here – not just local but international.
“When we can make a child’s dream come true like that and we see the smile on his face, there’s nothing better than that.”