League Cup - Cancer survivor allowed to lead Bradford for Cup final

Bradford City have been allowed to use two mascots for the League Cup final against Swansea City after a Facebook campaign helped cancer survivor Jake Turton gain Football League approval to join another brave youngster on the pitch.

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League Cup - Cancer survivor allowed to lead Bradford for Cup final
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Gary Jones and Jake Turton

Turton, nine, led the Bantams out for their semi-final first-leg win over Aston Villa, making headlines after skipper Gary Jones kissed him and handed over his shirt after the famous victory.

The youngster had successfully undergone an operation to remove a potentially fatal tumour. Fans were so moved by his story that they launched a Facebook campaign asking the Football League to allow Bradford to have two mascots before the final at Wembley.

Around 20,000 fans joined the online campaign, leading Bradford to launch a special appeal to the Football League.

They asked for two mascots because Ryan Siddall, 12, had already been selected by the League Two side. He is only alive because his father donated a kidney.

A Bradford City spokesman said: “We wanted to give both of these incredibly brave boys the opportunity to walk out with the team at Wembley and have a truly special day.

“We approached the Football League and asked if we could essentially have an extra mascot on the day as we didn’t want to have to choose between Jake and Luke. The League have been very kind and understanding to enable us to do this.”

The hosts of the Facebook page thanked fans for their support in a special message on the site.

“Well what can I say apart from a massive massive thank you to each and every one of you that has shown your support to this amazing cause,” the message said.

“It is now official that Jake Turton will lead Bradford City out at Wembley alongside the other mascot on the club’s biggest day. The League Cup Final!

“Huge thanks to every comment, every like, every post, every picture, every share, every tweet, email and phone call. The amount of love and goodwill shown from supporters all over the world has been fantastic."

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