Wearside sporting star Ryan Thompson will be swapping the building site for the football pitches of Poland this summer - but he needs your help to get there.
Sunderland Deaf AFC player Ryan, 19, has been told he is selected for the Great Britain squad for the Under-21 Deaf European Championships in August.
The good news follows on from the East Herrington lad winning the national league with the Black Cats earlier this year.
Loving family, including mum Claire, dad Derek, whose bricklaying company Ryan works for, and sister Olivia, 14, are all set to travel to the championships and cheer him on.
“There was a trial for the GB team, but Ryan really wanted to parade the league title before the Sunderland fans at the Chelsea game,” said Claire, 48.
“Then, he was called back for another trial earlier this month and found out that he was selected.
“We’re all so proud of him and can’t wait to travel over there to watch the games.”Claire Thompson
“We’re all so proud of him and can’t wait to travel over there to watch the games.
“To get in the team at 19 is a great achievement.”
Ryan will be accompanied by Sunderland team mate and pal Jake Rowan, who was featured in the Echo last month.
Previously a goalkeeper with junior side Washington United, 6ft 4in-tall Ryan is now a goalscoring midfielder for the Black Cats.
“Sunderland have a great team and the lads who play are all good friends too,” added Claire.
“They’ve all been playing together since the team first started and you can see that they all get along.”
Great Britain have been drawn in Group B alongside Germany, Czech Republic, Turkey and Russia.
In Group A are Poland, Sweden, Ukraine and Greece.
All players have to self fund-raise £1,000 towards the cost of the trip, with Ryan and his family now appealing for donations to get him on the plane.
The GB Deaf Football team do not receive any funding at all from any Government body in the UK, with money needed to pay for interpreters, kit and accommodation.
“It’s a lot of money and even though he has £600 in he’s still got a bit to go,” said Claire.
“If there is anyone who can help it would be appreciated.”
To donate to Ryan’s fund go to https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/RyanThompsonteamGB?utm_id=2&utm_term=XwPE8pERN.