Rochdale AFC full-back Joe Bunney and his Dale teammates have shown their support for World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) with the help of two little mascots.
At their League One fixture against Millwall on Tuesday night, Joe’s cousins, Harry, who has Down Syndrome, and his brother Henry, led the teams out ahead of kick-off.
Speaking after the game at the Crown Oil Arena, Joe said: “Days like today are about raising awareness of Down Syndrome and celebrating ability rather than disability.
“I was so proud to walk out onto the pitch with Harry and Henry. They had a great night and loved the attention from the fans who were brilliant! I’m thankful to the club and supporters for getting behind WDSD – the reaction we had on social media and at the game was fantastic.”
Joe wore brightly coloured odd socks, while the players adorned pink t-shirts during their warm up, which had the Twincess logo emblazoned on the front.
Twincess is a charitable trust supported by Joe and was set up by parents Matt and Jodi Parry after their twin daughters, Abigail and Isobel Parry, were born with Down Syndrome in 2011 at odds of two million to one.
“I’m delighted to have been able to add my support to the Twincess charity over the last few years. Matt and Jodi, along with Abigail and Isobel who are two amazing young girls, do some brilliant work to challenge negative perceptions and misconceptions.”
Every year World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated on March 21st.