THE Correspondent helped a dream come true for Gracie Naggs as the Mossley schoolgirl met her footballing hero, Manchester City and England goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck.
In last month’s newspaper, we ran the story about 12-year-old Gracie’s unlucky break just as her football career was taking off.
Mossley Hollins High School student Gracie was about to have trials with Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers only to break her wrist is a freak accident.
Gracie’s hero is Ellie, avidly follows her career and before lockdown attended Manchester City matches in the Women’s Super League so she could watch her in the warm-up and during the game.
The Correspondent asked City whether Gracie could meet her idol to help put a smile back on her face after the recent disappointments.
And while lockdown restrictions prevented Gracie from meeting Ellie in person, Emma Norris, communications manager for Manchester City Women, kindly set up a Zoom call.
Dad Glenn, a former semi-professional footballer, said of the meeting: “Gracie’s made up and has not stopped talking about it.
“Ellie said Gracie can go and meet her next season at a game and she will give here a pair of gloves and a top. She’s so happy.”
Mum Janine explained Gracie was playing with a friend who was on a rope swing when the accident happened.
“Knowing the trials were on the horizon, Gracie would not go on the swing for the fear of being injured but, while she passed the rope to her friend, she slipped down the embankment and broke her wrist,” she said.
Gracie started playing football while at St Joseph’s RC Primary, Mossley, as Janine explained: “Gracie was probably in Year 4 when she began at school.
“The boys didn’t want her to play with them so shoved her in goal and that is how she became a goalkeeper.
“It is funny because when boys are playing in the park she will offer to go in goal. They get a surprise when they start smashing balls at her and they see how good she is.”
Gracie began playing for Mossley Juniors and before her injury starred for Winton Diamond Warriors and Stockport County.