See the moment ‘little hero’ Bobby from Ipswich is surprised at school by Town captain

Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A seven-year-old boy hailed a “little hero” by his proud family will lead his favourite Ipswich Town players out at the East Anglian derby this weekend.

Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Little Bobby Lankester was surprised by captain Luke Chambers in front of his fellow classmates at St John’s Primary School with VIP tickets to Sunday’s game – his first ever – and a signed shirt.

The inspirational youngster, who is a huge football fan, spent the summer running 20 miles every month to raise cash for Ipswich Hospital.

His little sister Grace, who is three, is unwell and spends a lot of time there for tests – she enjoys the play room, and thanks to Bobby’s charity efforts almost £500 has now been collected for it.

Now he is being given the chance to become the club’s community champion for the day and lead both teams out for one of the biggest games of the season.

Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Sharing his prediction for Sunday’s match, he said: “I can’t wait for the game, I think the score will be 10-1.

“It was really nice to meet Luke. He is a good player, the best one.”

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The skipper himself said if Bobby’s hunch is correct he will return to the school and high five him next week.

He added: “Once the opportunity to come down to the school and meet Bobby came up I was one of the first ones with my hand up to come and see him.

Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“Thankfully he knew who I was and I wasn’t coming in completely unannounced and it’s just to see his reaction and how happy he is and excited to come to his first game, one of the biggest games of our season, so it’s nice to have someone like him leading us out.

“It’s brilliant, seeing his achievement – it’s such a selfless thing to do.”

Little Bobby’s parents, Louise and Graham, who are both 37, said they could not be more proud of their little boy.

Louise added: “It is amazing and overwhelming to have something like this happen for Bobby. He really deserves it, we are incredibly proud of him.

Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“He’s our little hero. We wanted to make something good out of something bad and Bobby just jumped at the chance.”

She added: “We can’t wait for the game and are so happy Bobby has met his favourite player today.

“He’s taken it all in his stride.”

Bobby will be given the chance to meet and chat with the players on Sunday before leading both teams out onto the pitch.