AN INSPIRATIONAL young boy was invited to a world renowned football player's house.

Callum Axford, eight, of Strangman Avenue, Benfleet, was welcomed by Arsenal Football Club player Mesut Ozil into his home in London, after the star specifically asked for Callum to visit.

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Arsenal FC player Mesut Ozil with Callum, Sophie, Faye and Carl Axford 

Callum was born prematurely with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, and has since been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, neurofibromatosis type One and chronic lung disease.

He spends a lot of his time in and out of hospital, but thanks to the charity Rays of Sunshine, who grant the wishes of seriously ill children in the UK, he has had many of his dreams come true, including meeting various Arsenal players, including Mesut, last year when he watched a game from an executive box in the Emirates Stadium in April.

Last month, he joined singer Alfie Boe on stage at the Royal Albert Hall to sing.

Following this, Mesut, who is an ambassador to the charity, enjoyed meeting Callum so much he invited him to come to his home in London for a kickabout and some lunch.

Callum along with mum Faye, dad Carl and sister Sophie, four, went along his home on Thursday.

Faye said: "It was quite a surprise call we had from Rays of Sunshine. They phoned up at the start of last week saying they had an unusual request, and said that Mesut wanted to see Callum again at his home.

"It was such a lovely surprise, we told Callum that he was due to have an appointment on Thursday, but then we said it had had to be changed to a private clinic in London, as if we took him to a house when we told him it was a hospital he would know straight away.

"He never likes missing school, he was telling us to cancel.

"He and Sophie were walking up to the front door, when we told him to turn around, and Mesut was standing there. He immediately went over to him to give him a hug."

Mesut Ozil spent the day at home with the family, playing football in the garden and getting to know Callum more.

He shared a video of the day on his Instagram account, which has since gained more than 240,000 views.

Faye added: "Rays of Sunshine really has made such a difference to our family.

"It was really nice of Mesut to invite all four of us. With Sophie getting older now she notices much more what Callum has to go through, so it's nice she can be involved in some of the things he gets to do.

"As soon as Callum met Mesut, he introduced Sophie to him.

"It was a fantastic day from beginning to end."

Basildon Standard:

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