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Women's Football News
Manchester City Football Club received a visit from a very special young fan last week, uniting players from both the men's and the women's teams.
Bethany O'Brian, aged 10 from Manchester, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy within the first few months of her life. Her condition means that she is susceptible to dangerous seizures, as well as having difficulties with movement.
The Starlight Children's Foundation offered this brave youngster the chance to see one dream come true and, being a massive blue, she wished to meet the City players.
From the moment Bethany was collected from her home in a limousine, she had no idea that she was about to be whisked off to the City Football Academy for an action filled day with her heroes. Alongside her sisters Lexie, aged four, and Morgan, aged 12, the family were all invited to welcome Manuel Pellegrini's players onto training, before getting up close and personal for a pitch side seat.
But it didn't stop there. Having heard about her visits to the Academy Stadium, players from the Manchester City women's team also welcomed the Bethany to their training session, for a chat and penalty shootout.
Toni Duggan, MCWFC striker, said: "Any time we get a chance to do this I get more from it than playing football to be honest, it's a special feeling.
"I love the integration that we have here at City. We really get out into the community, we make fans feel welcome, feel special and give them opportunities that they wouldn't get elsewhere. As a player, I love being a part of it - it could take five minutes out of my day, it could take four hours, but as long as the kids and the fans are smiling, then that's what matters."
Rounding off the day with a selfie from each MCFC player, Bethany had been given the unique opportunity to experience life at City Football Academy in its entirety. Something which Mum, Leanne O'Brian, insists she will never forget.
She said: "Each day to us as a family is a blessing and we live day by day. But our girl is still here and she really deserves her final wish - this is it, City.
"Bethany hasn't stopped going on about City since the age of eight and, for this to become a reality for Bethany, she's really excited, emotional, happy. She will take this away with her for the rest of her life."
Bethany's visit was part of Manchester City's ongoing work with 'wish-granting' charities, to support fans and help to make their dreams come true.
Willy Caballero, MCFC goalkeeper, was delighted to take part in the day's events. He said: "We were once kids and when we were younger, our desire was to know and meet the famous players. Now we are on the other side and we have the opportunity to bring a big smile to the faces of fans. This makes us very happy as well."
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