When a quick-thinking Whitwell youngster was rewarded for a brave deed with a Guardian Rose, he never dreamed it would lead to a kickabout with the likes of football superstar Neymar.
Spencer Presho, 10, captured hearts in October when he received the accolade for ripping his prized FC Barcelona shirt to make a bandage for his friend after she cut her leg open.
Thanks to Spencer the little girl, Kasey Clarkson, made it to the hospital for urgent treatment safely after he dressed her wound and called for help.
His selfless actions quickly caught the attention of FC Barcelona’s relations team, who contacted the Guardian and offered not only to replace Spencer’s shirt but an added once-in-a-lifetime chance to rub shoulders with his heroes.
Spencer was then whisked off to Manchester on November 1 for a kickabout with the team and also enjoyed VIP seating during their game against Manchester City at the Etiad Stadium.
Spencer’s dad David, who accompanied him on the special trip, said: “Spencer was absolutely over the moon throughout the whole thing- the players treated him like royalty.
“They all signed his new shirt and as an extra surprise he was even given a gold pin badge from the team’s president, Josep Bartomeu, for his bravery.
“Spencer chatted away to Luis Suárez, his favourite player, for ages. He never stopped smiling.
“It was wonderful to see him recognised in this way.
“It’s an experience that he will never forget.”
FC Barcelona spokesman, Olivier González, said giving Spencer the opportunity to meet the team was “a delight” and called the Whitwell Primary School pupil “a credit” to his parents.
Mr González said: “We were most impressed to read about Spencer’s bravery and his quick reaction to assist his young friend in need.
“Respect, effort, ambition, teamwork and humility define FC Barcelona’s values and Spencer represents all of these.”