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Villa ace Jack calms mascot Josh's nerves; leukaemia-battling boy meets his heroes.

Byline: MAT KENDRICK With Villa mat.kendrick@

THIS is the moment Aston Villa star Jack Grealish helped brave young fan Josh Nicholson overcome his Villa Park stage-fright.

Josh, who is battling leukaemia, was selected to be mascot for Villa's Premier League match against Stoke on Saturday.

The six-year-old from Solihull was nervous about meeting his favourite player Grealish until the winger put him at ease.

Josh, who attends Grealish's old school Our Lady of Compassion Primary in Solihull, enjoyed the day despite Villa's 1-0 defeat.

As well as Grealish, the youngster also got to meet Joleon Lescott and was given Jordan Amavi's shorts as a souvenir.

His mother Vicky said: "Josh was very nervous when getting ready to go.

"He and his dad arrived, met the Villa officials and the lady who greeted them was very nice and was aware of Josh's diagnosis.

"The children were taken off to go to meet the players for autographs and Josh was clinging to his dad terrified.

"He came back very happy that he met the players and also got the chance to tell Jack that he was his favourite player.

"Jack lit up when he saw Josh and went straight to him. He was so kind and genuinely happy to speak to Josh and then they had their picture taken. Josh was totally thrilled. It was the best moment ever. Josh loved every minute. He felt very special."

Josh was diagnosed 14 months ago with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, a cancer of the blood cells. He has undergone various forms of treatment including chemotherapies, bone marrow biopsies, lumbar punctures and other medications. Josh also developed acute pancreatitis due to the drugs used and was in excruciating pain in hospital for three weeks.

The treatments could take more than three years and his family have set up a Go Fund Me page to raise funds for his care and for treats.

To make a donation visit his page |at


Josh with his signed photo of Joleon Lescott and Jordan Amavi's shorts

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Oct 7, 2015
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