Hoddle's a hero..he gave my dying son Ryan the happiest day of his life.HE has become public enemy number one for what was seen as a cruel insult to the disabled. But to tragic teenager Ryan Heath, Glenn Hoddle Glenn Hoddle (born October 27, 1957 in Hayes, London) is a football manager and former player for Tottenham Hotspur and England. He has had spells as manager of Swindon Town, Chelsea, England, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and most recently Wolverhampton Wanderers. was a hero.
The axed England soccer coach made a dying wish come true for wheelchair-bound Ryan.
On the eve On the Eve (Накануне in Russian) is the third novel by famous Russian writer Ivan Turgenev, best known for his short stories and the novel Fathers and Sons. of a vital match, Hoddle made time to arrange for football- mad Ryan to meet his idol, Liverpool's Steve McManaman Steven "Steve" McManaman (born 11 February, 1972, in Liverpool, England) is an English former footballer of the 1990s and early 2000s, who played as a midfielder in a career spanning two of European Football's biggest club football sides in Liverpool F.C. and Real Madrid. , and a host of other England stars.
Yesterday Ryan's mum Michelle, 37, told The Mirror: "Glenn gave my son the happiest day of his short life.
"That man should never have been sacked - he should have been given a medal. He made my dying son experience immense joy, but made me promise to keep it quiet.
"Now I feel I have to break that promise to defend this man. I am outraged with the claims that his comments offended disabled people. That man never offended my son.
"He opened the door to him and granted Ryan his final wish. How could anyone sack a man who cares so much."
Ryan, from Harlow in Essex, where Hoddle grew up, died in his mother's arms in September 1998, aged 16.
He had a brain disorder known as SSPE SSPE
subacute sclerosing panencephalitis
subacute sclerosing panencephalitis.
SSPE Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, see there . It emerged at about the age of 14 because of reactivation reactivation
to become active after a period of quiescence or, as in bacterial and viral infections, latency.
cross reactivation of a measles virus measles virus
An RNA virus of the genus Morbillivirus that causes measles in humans. Also called rubeola virus. he caught as a two-year- old.
From a bouncy teenager in the school football and gymnastics teams, he became unable to walk or talk.
Michelle, now separated from Ryan's father, said: "Before long, he could not use his knife and fork properly, or even tie his shoelaces.
"The final diagnosis was made on December 20 1996. We were told he had only weeks to live"
Michelle, also mum to Jason, 18, and Jenna, 16, said: "It broke our hearts. I decided there was only one thing left to do - to try to fulfil his last wishes."
Ryan had two loves - Liverpool and England footballer McManaman and pop icon For the British television series, see .
For religious icons, see .
A pop icon is a celebrity whose fame in pop culture constitutes a defining characteristic of a given society or era. Michael Jackson Noun 1. Michael Jackson - United States singer who began singing with his four brothers and later became a highly successful star during the 1980s (born in 1958)
Michael Joe Jackson, Jackson .
Michelle said: "I spent a fortune phoning America, but I got nowhere. I also tried Liverpool. They sent us a signed photo of Steve and offered us match-tickets. But Steve was unavailable because he was with England.
"I was desperately worried Ryan would die before achieving his dream. It was my sister Lisa who took things into her own hands and contacted Glenn Hoddle's bother Carl.
"They are a local family and Lisa used to babysit for him years ago.
"I knew nothing about it until the phone rang that night and Glenn was on the other end."
He invited Ryan to meet the squad at their HQ at Bisham Abbey Bisham Abbey is a Grade I listed manor house at Bisham in the English county of Berkshire. The name is taken from the now lost monastery which once stood alongside. The abbey church proper, previously Bisham Priory , Berks, the next day - eve of a World Cup qualifier against Italy.
Michelle said: "He asked all about Ryan and his illness. He was so understanding. As we walked into the foyer of the hotel, I didn't recognise anybody but Ryan went rigid with shock. There in front of him were Paul Ince Paul Emerson Carlyle Ince (born 21 October 1967 in Ilford, London) is a football player who won numerous honours with Manchester United and became the first black player to captain the England team. , David Seaman For the DJ, see .
David Andrew Seaman MBE (born 19 September 1963 in Rotherham, South Yorkshire) is a former English football goalkeeper who played for several clubs, most notably Arsenal and most recently with Manchester City. , Matt Le Tissier and Alan Shearer, all playing cards together.
"From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, Ryan was awestruck awe·struck also awe·strick·en
Full of awe.
overcome or filled with awe
Adj. 1. and could not utter a word.
"Glenn came over to apologise for not meeting us at the door. He had a chat with Ryan and then winked at me, hinting that he was off to get Steve McManaman.
"When Steve walked in, Ryan's mouth dropped wide open.
"Steve shook Ryan's hand and afterwards all my son could do was stare down at his hands - they had touched his idol. I just burst out crying. He worshipped Steve so much.
"It was an amazing thing for Glenn to do during such a pressurised time." England's finest descended on shaken Ryan who stared in wide-eyed wonder.
Gazza and David Seaman joked with him while all the others signed an England sweatshirt.
Steve McManaman, who was celebrating his own birthday, gave Ryan an England top.
Michelle added: "He hardly ever took it off and insisted on wearing it for all their games.
"Glenn was extremely affectionate to Ryan. He kept coming up behind him and squeezing his shoulders like a father. He apologised for not being able to spend more time with us."
"Ryan left clutching loads of presents, photos and England kit. He was still speechless." Michelle firmly believes the dream day in February 1997 improved Ryan's condition.
She said: "The doctors said he was in remission. But he started getting out of the wheelchair and walking. He even tried to kick a ball around in the garden.
"This was all down to Glenn's generous actions. Are these really the actions of a man who believes the disabled are paying for sins in a previous life?
"I know they are not - and so did Ryan. When he told his school friends about his day, he broke down sobbing with sheer joy.
"He was just 16 when he died, but I can never thank Glenn Hoddle enough."