Holly Willoughby in tears on This Morning as blind Manchester United fan, 10, gets surprise – Manchester Evening News
12 February 2019 MUSIC
A young Manchester United fan has been given the opportunity to be a mascot when England take on the Czech Republic next month.
Declan Bitmead was given the surprise on This Morning on Tuesday when he was on to talk about his appearance on other ITV show This Time Next Year which airs tonight.
The 10-year-old lost his sight and 96% of his skin at the age of seven after a rare condition left him registered blind.
In March 2015, Declan was diagnosed with tonsillitis and prescribed the antibiotic amoxicillin but had a severe allergic reaction which left him in intensive care for three weeks.
Declan, who appeared on the programme with his mum Ashleigh Bitmead, was on to talk about his appearance on other ITV show This Time Next Year
It was revealed as Steven-Johnson syndrome, a rare, and potentially fatal, skin condition which affects the tongue and eyes and causes the skin of sufferers to shed.
During his time on This Time Next Year, which is hosted by Davina McCall, viewers will see the youngster receive a message from Man Utd and England footballer Jesse Lingard as well as show him enjoying a VIP day at Old Trafford .
But determined to impress Declan further, the This Morning team had another surprise up their sleeves leaving him gobsmacked and show host Holly Willoughby in tears.
Phillip was excited about giving football-mad Declan the news
Phillip Schofield said to Declan: “The FA are inviting you to be a mascot for England’s key Euro 2020 qualifying game against the Czech Republic at Wembley on March 22.
“You’re going to walk out with one of the stars of the three lions in front of 90,000 spectators. How does that make you feel?”
Whilst Declan, from London, who appeared on the programme with his mum Ashleigh Bitmead, was left speechless and grinning from ear to ear, Holly couldn’t contain her emotion.
After co-host Phil passed her some tissues, dabbing at her eyes, the mum-of-three said: “I’m sorry, it was your face when we told you, it was so nice.”
Holly Willoughby was reduced to tears after letting Declan in on the secret that he will be a mascot at the big game next month
Despite his diagnosis, Declan’s love of football never went away.
Declan’s appearance on This Time Next Year sees him learn to play blind football, where everyone puts blind folds on and has rattles inside of footballs.
He said that getting back into football has been “pretty good” and that “as long as I can play football, I don’t mind.”
This Time Next Year is on ITV, tonight at 8pm and This Morning airs weekdays at 10.30am