Terminally ill Rochdale fan given Football League accolade
The English Football League (EFL) has named terminally ill Rochdale fan Joshua McCormack as its honorary player of the month.
The five-year-old, who has a brain tumour, was named on the Rochdale bench for the Checkatrade Trophy match against Hartlepool United on Wednesday.
He was unable to attend the match because of his illness, but the club put his name on the team sheet while his No. 55 shirt hung in the dressing room and was displayed on the bench.
Last week, Rochdale manager Keith Hill and his squad visited Joshua at the hospice where he is being cared for to present him with a shirt signed by the club's players.
In a statement, the EFL said: "As a result of the impact Joshua's inclusion in the squad has had, and the heartwarming reaction from football fans, the EFL has taken the unprecedented step of naming him as the honorary Player of the Month.
"The accolade follows on from the traditional monthly Manager and Player of the Month divisional award winners, and will see a special trophy produced and sent to the club for them to pass on to their youngest ever signing."
Speaking earlier this week, Hill told Rochdale's official website: "It is a real honour to name Joshua McCormack as a substitute for the game. He has touched the hearts of everyone at Rochdale Football Club.
"No child should have to go through what Joshua is going through and we, as a club and a group of players, will continue to do whatever we can to support him and his family."
In February the club presented Joshua and his mother with a cheque to help towards a fundraising campaign for treatment, and he was mascot for a game in August.
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