Ipswich Town superfan Poppy Mason to lead Tractor Boys out at Portman Road against West Brom, following in late brother George’s footsteps
An Ipswich Town superfan will be following in her late brother’s footsteps when she leads the Tractor Boys out for tomorrow’s game against West Brom.
Poppy Mason, 15, said it would be a special feeling to follow where her brother George walked in January 2004, leading the players out at Portman Road for a thrilling 6-4 victory against Crewe Alexandra.
George died in May 2004, at the age of five-and-a-half, with Poppy receiving sibling support and counselling from East Anglian Children’s Hospices (EACH) following his death.
EACH is the dedicated charity partner for tomorrow’s game.
Poppy said: “I love watching Ipswich. It’s something I really enjoy and a group of us, including my dad, have season tickets in the Sir Alf Ramsey stand.
“It’s a real honour and going to be a very special feeling given my brother, George, was mascot just before he died.”
Poppy said the opportunity to lead the teams out was very exciting and she was looking forward to meeting her favourite player, Samy Morsy.
George was originally diagnosed with cerebral palsy, but it was later thought he had a degenerative disease called Mitochondrial Depletion Syndrome.
His condition deteriorated while undergoing tests at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, and he was transferred to EACH precursor Ipswich Children’s Hospice, in Walker Close, where he died peacefully three days later.
Mum Sarah said: “We’re forever grateful for the love and endless support we’ve received from EACH.
“We were supported by all the staff, who also guided us with our funeral arrangements as we were so young and didn’t know where to begin.”
Sarah’s twin children Alfie and Max, who were three at the time, received months of counselling and support from EACH.
Then, in 2022 when Poppy started receiving support at The Treehouse, it was with the same counsellor who had supported her brothers years before.
The charity aims to support everyone who might be significantly affected by a child’s death, including siblings, grandparents and other family members.
There will be a bucket collection before tomorrow’s match, as well as information and messages about the charity’s work being displayed in the programme, the giant scoreboard and advertising hoardings.