BRAVE Daniel Butler got to meet his Baggies hero Chris Brunt and team-mate Gareth McAuley following yesterday’s 2-1 victory over Norwich – after featuring on The Jeremy Kyle Show’s Christmas Surprises special on Friday.
Devoted Albion supporter Daniel, 12, from Erdington, suffers with Marfan syndrome – a condition that affects his heart, eyes and connective tissue and also restricts him to a wheelchair most of the time.
Club captain Brunt appeared on the hit ITV show via video link and invited Daniel and his family to the Canaries clash.
Daniel featured on the show in an effort to educate people about his condition - before being presented with a new electric wheelchair courtesy of Whizz Kidz, a signed Baggies shirt and an array of other gifts.
The Butlers enjoyed VIP hospitality in the West Stand’s Cyrille Regis Suite and watched Albion’s first triumph of the month.
After the game, Brunt and his Northern Ireland colleague McAuley visited the suite, when the Baggies skipper presented Daniel with his match shirt from the victory over City.
“Yesterday was extraordinary - nothing like that has ever happened to me before,” said Daniel.
“I was just shocked when the players walked in after the game. I felt weird that they had gone out of their way just to see me.
“We got three points which makes it even better, but I had to watch the last five minutes from under my coat!
“I want to thank everybody who has made this possible.
“When the announcement was read out at half-time about me being at the game, I started to cry as I didn’t expect it.”
Daniel’s mum Dawn thanked the club for providing the final surprise of what has been a memorable week for the Butler family.
"Daniel's little face lit up when the players came into the room - he said ‘mum, look who’s just walked through the door!'," she said.
“It was amazing and the whole day was just fantastic.
“I can’t thank the club enough for what they did for Daniel.
“He hopes that going on The Jeremy Kyle Show, and also going to the game, will help people understand his condition better and educate them as to why he needs the wheelchair.
“Daniel has always hidden his illness away from all his school friends and for them to see and understand is going to change his life.
“It’s going to result in more acceptance for Daniel.
“He held me and sobbed during the half-time announcement.
“He was overwhelmed that everyone who was clapping at The Hawthorns was clapping for him.
“I’d like to thank everybody who was involved in what was a special day for Danny.
“More than his wildest dreams came true. It has made his Christmas.
“It means the world to Dan because the Baggies are his life.”
Brunt was delighted the team were able to put the icing on the cake for Daniel by bagging three vital points.
“When The Jeremy Kyle Show contacted the club about Daniel, we all felt he deserved a special day,” he said.
“Daniel and his family were very brave going on the show and it was an absolute pleasure to meet them all.
“I’m particularly pleased for Daniel that we got the win.”
For more information on Whizz Kidz, the charity which provided Daniel’s £4,000 electric wheelchair, click here
To watch Daniel’s appearance on The Jeremy Kyle Show click here
PIC (TOP): CHRISTMAS COMES EARLY...Daniel (centre) meets Brunt and McAuley, alongside (from left to right) his dad Martin, sister Jodie, grandfather Bill and mum Dawn