A SCHOOLBOY is hoping for success as the search for a Black Cats superfan hots up.
The Echo has teamed up with ticket marketplace StunHub, to unearth Wearside’s most dedicated SAFC supporter and give them the ultimate festive fan experience at the Stadium of Light.
StunHub is offering one lucky fan and three friends or family members, the chance to enjoy hospitality treatment for the visit of Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City on Boxing Day.
Callum Bradfield, of Shiney Row, is a lifelong supporter who has always shown his colours -–even when times were tough.
The St Anthony’s pupil was born nine weeks prematurely and at three weeks old was diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease – a bowel condition which affects the large intestine.
At the age of four, Callum had five operations in four weeks at Newcastle’s RVI.
He said: “When I was in the RVI, I always hung my Sunderland towel on the back of the door to show I supported the best team in the North East – the Newcastle-mad charge nurse hated that.”
The 15-year-old added: “I have always loved Sunderland and would love these tickets as it would be a great day sitting in comfy seats watching us win.”
After years of medical complications, Callum was given a caecostomy in 2005 which transformed his life.
Mam Trish Umney, 39, said: “The caecostomy was something I put off doing. They had offered it before and I didn’t think it was right, but it was the best thing we could have ever done. It’s basically given him a lot more freedom – a lot more normality.
“He’s a black belt in karate, he plays football for Washington Juniors, and he’s a referee.
“Hirschsprung’s disease does not have to hinder a person’s life.”
“On the positive side we are hoping he will gain full control and get rid of the caecostomy, but it’s rare that will happen.”
The family have been helped by the Hirschsprung’s and Motility Disorders Support Network, which is run by Gerry McGregor – a sufferer originally from the Barnes area of Sunderland.
l To enter, write up to a maximum of 200 words about why you are a superfan. Send your entry to Superfan Competition c/o Steven Carter, Sunderland Echo, Echo House, Pennywell, Sunderland, SR4 9ER, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Entry closes at 4pm tomorrow.