Mum's pride as son becomes England rugby mascot

Matthew has a catastrophic form of epilepsy and his family were told he would not make it past his 12th birthday. 

His rugby-fan mum, Emma Williams from Surrey said seeing Matthew line up with the England squad during the national anthem at Twickenham in front of thousands of spectators was a proud moment.  "It was always my dream for my son to play for the England rugby team," she told the Surrey Mirror, "but sometimes your dreams change. I was just so proud of him. It was such an emotional day; I was in pieces," she admits. Matthew, who suffers with a catastrophic form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome, was England's mascot when they thrashed the Barbarians on May 31.  "We are a rugby-mad family, it is part of our family life and he was able to share that special time with his sister Alice. They both had a fabulous day." It was through 19-year-old Alice and her Saturday job at Simply Sports in Oxted that Matthew was able to meet the team after the shop's managing director, Adrian Pointer, pulled some strings. Emma explained: "It came up in conversation with Adrian that I had always dreamt of Matthew playing for England. Adrian then contacted a few people and told Alice to keep it a secret from me. "When he told me he had it confirmed I just burst into tears – it was a dream come true for my boy to go on to the hallowed ground that is Twickenham and be the team's mascot." She said the team were fantastic and all greeted him and his sister, who escorted him, in the tunnel before the match. "They were all calling him 'big man' and Stuart Lancaster and Danny Cipriani made a special effort to go up to him and say hello. "Alice and Matthew may not have the same memories as other siblings but they have that special time together and they will always treasure that memory. "I was a mess, I was crying so much; to see my son up there while the national anthem was playing was amazing. Doctors told me he would be dead by the age of 12 and there he was aged 20 up there with the England team." Emma has recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the charity she set up called Matthew's Friends.
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