Declan Thompson's dad breaks down into tears son makes Owls debut

Declan Thompson’s dad breaks down in tears as his son makes his Sheffield Wednesday debut in the FA Cup – after he was diagnosed with a rare disease as a child, confined to a wheelchair for 18 months and told he’d NEVER play football

  • Declan Thompson made his Sheffield Wednesday debut on Saturday 
  • His father broke down in tears as he watched with his family at home 
  • The 18-year-old was diagnosed with Perthes disease as a child
  • He was told he may never walk again but refused to give up his dream 

Declan Thompson’s Sheffield Wednesday debut proved just why the magic of the FA Cup is still alive and kicking.  

The 18-year-old came on as a late substitute in the Owls’ 2-0 victory over Exeter on Saturday.

Shortly after full-time a video emerged on Twitter of Thompson’s father, Lee Thompson, breaking in down tears as he watched his son make his first appearance in professional football.

Declan Thompson made his Sheffield Wednesday debut in the FA Cup against Exeter

Thompson’s dad is assistant manager of Stocksbridge Park Steels, the former club of Leicester’s Jamie Vardy,  who shared the video. 

His emotion was particularly strong because of the journey his son has been on to get to the first-team.

The youngster was told he may never walk again after spending the early part of his life in a wheelchair following a diagnosis of Perthes Disease – a rare childhood condition that affects the hips. 

Thompson’s family were emotional as they watched on from home, with his father breaking down in tears 

But the lifelong Wednesday fan refused to give up on his dream of becoming a footballer and signed his first professional deal last year before making his debut last weekend.

‘It was quite emotional to watch the video of my family watching me on the TV coming on,’ Thompson told 

‘Just knowing I’ve made them that proud and you could see how much it meant.

‘My grandad was the same, he’s not very well right now but I could see how happy I’ve made him. It’s what makes the FA Cup and this game so special.’

Thompson is now an ambassador for Steps, a national charity working for those whose lives are affected by childhood lower limb conditions. 

‘I was told I wouldn’t play football when I was younger, he continued. ‘Now I want to be there for other young kids and help push them on and achieve what they set out to. Never say no, it’s not the end.

‘I’m an ambassador for Steps and they are a fantastic organisation, a fantastic charity who help so many kids, I’m always in contact with them and looking forward to working with them more in the future.’

The Owls were drawn against Everton in the fourth-round of the competition. Should they win that game, they’ll face 

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