DREAMS came true for one lucky Blackburn Rovers fan when he met his heroes.
Ben Talbot was offered the opportunity to visit the club’s Brockhall training ground yesterday and meet the players as a special 18th birthday treat.
The teenager has spent the past two years caring for his mother, Lisa, while she was unwell, still managing to pass all of his exams and secure two unconditional offers to universities at the same time.
Young Carers’ Project worker Candi Martin wanted to do something special to mark Ben’s birthday and, as well as having a special Rovers’ cake made, she contacted the club to ask whether Ben could visit for the day.
Blackburn Rovers were happy to accommodate her request, and Candi was able to surprise Ben with the trip to see his idols up close and personal.
Candi said: “I asked him what he wanted for his birthday and he said he didn’t want anything, I thought I would change that, and organised this. He deserved a reward. He’s done really well at school. It’s a massive achievement.”
Ben went to the training ground with his 16-year-old brother Liam, where they watched the squad prepare for Saturday’s match against Doncaster.
The boys then had the chance to chat with the players over lunch, including Ben’s favourite Rovers star, striker Jordan Rhodes.
Manager Gary Bowyer even let the pair sit in on his press conference, where he briefed the media ahead of the home game.
Ben said: “It’s so kind. I was absolutely surprised - excited wasn’t the word.
“I’m quite proud because these players are people’s heroes.
“My mum is quite proud of me because she knows I’ve always been a big Rovers fan.
“I’m fanatical about Rovers.
“It’s a dream come true.” Blackburn Rovers manager Gary Bowyer said: “First and foremost, the two lads were brilliant and they deserve this reward for what they do.
“It’s a massive sacrifice that they make and I’m sure their family really appreciate it and are very proud.
“Being able to do this, as a thank you to them, was an easy gesture on our behalf.
“But it’s something that we definitely support.”