A proud mum today told how she was brought to tears by her son’s moving tribute to her brother – who has been unconscious in hospital for a month.
Dylan Webbe, 14, celebrated scoring a goal in a junior football tournament at Bloomfield Road by revealing a T-shirt with the message: “Get well soon uncle Nick.”
The surprise gesture was for his uncle, dad-of-two Nick Lovell, who has a rare disease that affects his nervous system and could be in hospital for months to come.
Zoe Webbe, of Kelvin Road, Cleveleys, told The Gazette she had no idea her son was planning the gesture, which left her “in floods of tears”.
The 37-year-old said: “When he scored the goal he ran to the stand where we were and flashed the T-shirt he was wearing.
“It was for my brother who is in Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
“I was really proud – I thought what he did was really thoughtful.”
The Hodgson School pupil was playing in the Hogan Cup Final on Saturday, at the home of Blackpool FC.
Normally a midfielder, he was asked to play in defence on the day and knew he would have his work cut out if he was going to score a goal.
But his moment came when he headed his side’s second goal as Kirkham Blues Under-14s defeated Blackpool Rangers Revolution 3-0.
He said: “All my family was there but my uncle wasn’t and I thought since he couldn’t be there I would do a T-shirt to say ‘get well soon’.
“Being asked to play in defence made me a bit more determined to go and score.
“I thought it was my only chance to score when I did.”
Mr Lovell, 32, of Blackpool, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare disorder that means his immune system attacks part of his nervous system.
Although the cause of the syndrome is unknown, it is often triggered by an infection.
It is thought Mr Lovell picked up a virus after having a cold, shortly before the symptoms began.
Mrs Webbe said doctors are hopeful her brother will make a full recovery in time – but it could take months.
“It’s heart-breaking,” she said. “We are all missing him like mad.
“The whole T-shirt idea was Dylan’s idea.
“I didn’t know anything about it.”