SICK YOUNGSTERS BUOYED BY VISIT

Cobham played host to our first Community Day of the season yesterday (Tuesday) morning, where a group of young terminally and seriously ill Chelsea fans came down to the training ground to meet the players.

Arranged through various charities, the group of nine and their carers were able to watch the first team in training before coming face-to-face with their heroes.

Billy Belderson, 14, has suffered in the past with a brain tumour, and the youngster, an aspiring central defender with Kingstonian FC, was chaperoned by his grandfather.

'I've had a really good day,' he said. 'We watched the whole training session, which was brilliant, and it's a lot more intense than you would think.

'I enjoyed watching Eden Hazard, he looked really sharp and Victor Moses did as well. It was really special, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.'

The visit coincided with the players having their individual photos being taken for the new season, as well as the squad shot.

Fortunately for the children, this meant that as well as meeting the players, they were also able to have their pictures taken with both the Champions League and FA Cup trophies.

Once the training session was complete, the players were then on hand to meet the kids, have photos taken and sign shirts and various other pieces of Chelsea merchandise.

Cystic fibrosis sufferer Leo Crotty was barely able to keep the smile from his face, and the youngster, accompanied by mum Kym, couldn't contain his delight at meeting his favourite player Fernando Torres.

'It's been great,' said the seven-year-old. 'I enjoyed watching the training session most of all. Fernando Torres is my favourite player and he signed my shirt for me which was amazing.'

Kym, it would be fair to say, matched all of the children in terms of enthusiasm, taking pictures at every opportunity, and she admitted that seeing Leo so happy made it a day that they would never forget.

'We've had a lovely day, it's brilliant to see the smile on Leo's face, and we really appreciate the fact that Chelsea have done this for the kids,' she said.

'Moments like this are really special and we'll keep the photos forever. To see the players close up, when you're so used to seeing them on the television, was amazing.

'The most difficult thing for me now will be to try to stop him talking about it because he'll be going on about today for weeks to come.'