Stockport County’s clash with Bradford Park Avenue today will be a special day for County mascot Zach Tierney.
In February, six-year-old Zach was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease Renal Dysplasia, giving him the kidneys of an 80-year-old.
The disease is causing his kidneys to fail, which will mean he will require dialysis and a transplant.
Stockport County have joined forces with its Community Foundation to organise a bucket collection in aid of Kidney Research UK, and invited Zach to lead the team out at Edgeley Park on Saturday.
Zach’s mum and dad, Michelle and David, will also be at the game to see Zach lead out his heroes ahead of the National League North clash.
David said: “Kidney Research UK is close to our hearts and this collection will form part of our ongoing fundraising for the charity, raising awareness of kidney diseases and helping towards funding for research.
“Every penny counts no matter how small the donation.”
The money raised at County on Saturday will help buy dialysis and improve the lives of children like Zach.
Football has been a huge release for Zach – he plays football for Spurley Hey FC and loves going to Edgeley Park.
Michelle, who works as a nurse, said: “It is a scary disease as you don’t know anything about it before it’s too late.
“But he’s a cheeky little boy who talks about his kidneys as if they are people inside him. He’s very brave and resilient and interested in what is going to happen to him in future.”
Zach, who has two sisters Aoife and Niamh, and a little brother, Samuel, is on a strict diet with very limited protein, dairy and fat intake.
David, 38, added: “Zach is always in a football kit, he always wants to play football and watch football. He loves coming down to Edgeley Park and sitting in the Cheadle End watching County. He loves all the singing and the chance of getting really close to the players.
“We want to thank everyone at Stockport County, the Community Foundation and the supporters for their support and time.”
- If you would like to help Zach raise money for Kidney Research, visit his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/zachskidneysuppourt/