Boy with Duchennes Joins England’s Rugby World Cup

October 7, 2015

When little Jack Johnson joined England’s Rugby World Cup stars on the pitch at Twickenham last night, it made his mum and dad ‘the proudest parents in the world’ – but it was also a moment weighted with poignant emotion.

For the seven-year-old, whose winning smile has stolen the hearts of the squad, is slowly succumbing to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which will eventually leave him paralysed. Soon he will lose the use of his already fragile legs, but his cheeriness in the face of the cruel muscle-wasting disease has inspired players to perform the ‘hooked figure’ on the pitch. It represents the two Js of the charity set up in his name, Joining Jack.

Last night Jack joined his father Andy, 41, an ex-rugby pro with Wigan, carrying the flag on to the pitch in front of 80,000 spectators.

Watching from the stands, ‘a box of tissues by my side’, was his mother Alex, who told The Mail on Sunday: ‘His dad was with him as the flag is too heavy.

‘Jack is the most sweet-natured boy and he never complains. I watch him face up to every examination and blood test with a smile and a giggle and I am so proud of him, but watching him representing his country out there on the pitch makes me the proudest mum in the world.

‘He was so excited about joining the players. They’re his heroes, and he joined them for a training session. He is very affectionate and was hugging them all.’

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