A young Crystal Palace fan’s dream came true on Sunday as she became a special mascot for the day.
Scarlett Hewitt, eight, was born with cerebral palsy and is trying to raise £65,000 which will go towards a life changing operation in the USA to enable her to walk unaided.
The operation is not available on the NHS so she has to be treated at the St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri.
Scarlett, who is a massive Palace fan, had the opportunity of a lifetime on Sunday as she spent a day at Selhurst Park as a mascot for the game against Manchester City.
Scarlett in the dugout
The eight-year-old’s family and friends collected donations on the day around the ground and the club put information in the programme as well as the big screen on how to donate.
She also got the chance to meet her Palace heroes and have a tour of the ground before the game.
Scarlett then walked out on to the pitch with Yannick Bolasie as the two teams got ready for kick off.
Scarlett is carried by Yannick Bolasie
Palace fans have rallied round the New Addington youngster since the family began looking for donations for her operation.
The Five Year Plan fanzine raised more than £700 for a signed Julian Speroni poster and they are also donating half their proceeds from their next fanzine issue which is being sold next Monday as Palace take on Liverpool.
As an added gesture, the Crystal Palace first team are also having a collection and are due to present the family with a cheque next week in what is expected to be a four figure sum.
Scarlett walks out of the tunnel with Bolasie
So far nearly £20,000 has been raised for Scarlett.
John Hewitt, Scarlett’s dad, said: “The whole day was fantastic, everyone at palace looked after Scarlett brilliantly.
“She loved every minute of it, and it was a very emotional day for all the family seeing her walk out with Bolasie.
"It was a Palace dream come true."
Crystal Palace co-chairman Steve Browett said: “I was delighted to meet Scarlett and her family at Sunday’s match.
“Seeing Scarlett on the pitch with Yannick brought a tear to the eye and let’s hope, thanks to all the donations from the Palace family, that one day she’ll back on the Selhurst pitch walking unaided.”
To donate go to her Just Giving page.
Scarlett with Joe Ledley