'Lots of banter' - Norfolk girl enjoys gaming session with England star
- Credit: Together for Short Lives
An 11-year-old football fan from Cringleford had a Christmas to remember after enjoying some gaming fun with Chelsea and England star Mason Mount.
Bethany Smith, who receives care and support from East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), was one of four lucky youngsters invited to take part by the charity Together for Short Lives.
Mount is a patron for the charity and his gaming session was streamed via Twitch on Christmas Eve.
“It was a great experience,” said Bethany’s dad, Steve Smith.
“Bethany was very excited beforehand as she has been following Mason’s career since last year’s European Championships.
“They had lots of banter. It was very competitive but always in a very fun, jovial way.
“Mason was so down to earth and interacted with the children brilliantly, just like they were little brothers and sisters.
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“He was very humble and caring and it was lovely to see. Bethany absolutely loved it and was on a real high afterwards.”
The pair played Mario Party on a Nintendo Switch and Bethany also received a signed photo and personalised Christmas card.
Bethany has Mitochondrial Myopathy, a life-limiting condition that affects her muscles and energy levels which means she has to use a wheelchair.
But she does not let anything hold her back and has even competed in powerchair football with England Powerchair captain Jon Bolding.
The Smith family receives support at The Nook, EACH’s hospice in Framingham Earl, just outside Norwich.
Mount said he and Bethany were the “dream team”.
He added: “I’ve played against some incredible opponents in my career, but these are the ultimate VIPs and they really gave me a run for my money.
“It was great to combine two of my passions – gaming and Together for Short Lives.
“I’m so pleased to have been a part of some special new family memories for the children I met. Hopefully the stream helps raise vital funds and awareness for this important charity.”
A video of the stream session is being released on YouTube at 6pm on Thursday, January 6.