ROCHDALE have named five-year-old Joshua McCormack among their seven substitutes for Wednesday evening’s Checkatrade Trophy clash with Hartlepool United.
McCormack, who is suffering with a terminal brain tumour, has been allocated number 55 by the League One club for the match at Hartlepool’s Victoria Park.
Despite being too ill to attend the game in the North-East, the youngster will still have his name appear on the official teamsheet and his shirt will be displayed in the dressing room prior to kick-off.
Manager Keith Hill, along with several first-team players, will visit the hospice where McCormack is being treated on Thursday to present him with the team sheet, his official match day shirt and also a junior shirt which is to be signed by all the players.
Manager Hill told the club website: “It is a real honour to name Joshua McCormack as a substitute for tonight’s game.
“He has touched the hearts of everyone at Rochdale Football Club since we met him for the first time back in February.
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.
“We hope this one small gesture can bring some light to his family during this difficult time.
The club, who have previously fundraised to help McCormack and his family, are continuing to provide a support network in what is extremely difficult circumstances.
By Nathan Salt