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Four-year-old Norwich girl battling cancer to have football dream fulfilled

PUBLISHED: 10:54 24 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:54 24 March 2018

Sophie Taylor has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Picture: Taylor family

Sophie Taylor has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Picture: Taylor family

Archant

Since being diagnosed with bone cancer, a little girl's dream of becoming a football star for a day had become uncertain.

Sophie Taylor, far right, with mum Kirsty, sister Evie, brother Connor and dad Alex. Picture: Taylor familySophie Taylor, far right, with mum Kirsty, sister Evie, brother Connor and dad Alex. Picture: Taylor family

So her community brought her wish to her, and organised a match for the four-year-old to take part in.

On her last birthday, Sophie Taylor asked for a full football kit and trawled clubs with her parents Alex and Kirsty to find a club she could play for.

Since her diagnosis with osteosarcoma, it became unclear whether Sophie would be healthy enough to play the competitive game she wished for.

So tomorrow the Sprowston youngster will be having a kick-about with dad Alex’s former Norwich CEYMS teammates at Dereham FC.

Sophie Taylor, far right, with sister Evie, seven, and brother Connor, three months. Picture: Taylor familySophie Taylor, far right, with sister Evie, seven, and brother Connor, three months. Picture: Taylor family

Mr Taylor, 30, said: “We just want her to have these memories, and for us to have them too.

“We were supposed to have the match last week but it was cancelled due to bad weather, but Sophie is really excited to be playing with Daddy’s team.

“She has said to me ‘I will be nervous’ but we’ve told her she can just have a kick-about.”

Sophie is currently undergoing chemotherapy to combat the cancer which started in her knee, then spread to her thigh and lungs.

Sophie Taylor. Picture: Taylor familySophie Taylor. Picture: Taylor family

Mr Taylor, who is a secondary school teacher, said: “She’ll be involved as much as she wants to be involved, as long as her health allows and we manage contact with people. It’s her day without her really being aware it’s her day!”

“She needs to go out and have some fun.”

Dereham Town Football Club have volunteered their ground for the event from 11am until around 3pm.

Mr Taylor added: “They’ve also lent the teams which are 
both made up of Norwich 
CEYMS so they’ve been very helpful.”

Sophie Taylor, four, right, with her sister Evie, seven, and brother Connor, three-months-old. Picture: Revolution PhotographySophie Taylor, four, right, with her sister Evie, seven, and brother Connor, three-months-old. Picture: Revolution Photography

The match will also feature a half-time penalty shoot-out, a raffle and the opportunity to buy #takeasophie merchandise.

Mr Taylor explained: “Everywhere we’d go I’d take a picture of her and she’d just stick her tongue out, so we’re encouraging people to #takeasohpie and raise awareness.

“All the money raised will go into Sophie’s fund to help her, and if it grows enough we want to help other families going through what we are.”

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