‘Lucky charm’ George Johnson to lead Sunderland out against Hull

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GOOD luck charm George Johnson will lead out Sunderland’s squad tomorrow as the campaign to fund research into his mystery health condition continues.

The four-year-old has been invited to lead the Black Cats out against Hull at the Stadium of Light.

On Sunday a fund-raising match will be held at the club’s Academy of Light training ground to help his family’s goal of raising £20,000 to send George to America, where its hoped he may finally get a diagnosis.

George has already had more than 75 operations to help him cope with the condition, which means he cannot eat, drink or swallow.

Dad Neil, from Farringdon, now lives with his wife Emma, George and their daughter Ava, five, in the Wirral, with Emma’s family a group of fierce Everton followers.

Tickets are still available for a gala dinner which will be held at the Stadium of Light after the match –which sees teams dressed in the kits of Sunderland and Everton battling it out.

Neil, 33, who will play in the fixture, said: “He was mascot at Everton on Boxing Day and mascot at the Manchester United game and the club has got behind this game on Sunday and have really integrated with George’s story and journey.

“He’s become a bit of a good luck charm and he’s looking forward to making his debut at the Stadium of Light tomorrow.

“He thinks he’s one of the players now and all part of the set up.

“Sunderland have been fantastic with him and really supportive.

“We got tickets for the box at Man United and he’s met the chief executive and Ellis Short has got behind us.”

Spectators can attend Sunday’s match, which kicks off at 3pm, for £5 and tickets for the gala dinner are £50.

The evening celebration will include a drinks reception, a three-course meal with coffee and entertainment from Kevin Ball and a comedian.

For more information call 0871 911 1555 or email conf&banq@safc.com.