Nine-year-old cancer survivor gets to meet his Arsenal heroes

Samuel Van Emden is mascot for the Gunners' Emirates Cup clash with Lyon


A nine-year-old cancer survivor had the “time of his life” on Sunday when he was the Arsenal mascot for the Emirates Cup clash with Lyon.

Radlett Preparatory pupil Samuel Van Emden and his family have been supported by Camp Simcha and the mascot opportunity came about through Arsenal’s partnership with Hertsmere Council, whose mayor, Rabbi Alan Plancey, has made Camp Simcha his charity for the year.

Samuel’s mother, Charlie, explained that during his treatment, “we didn’t want to take him to games because being in crowds would have been dangerous for him. This is only the second time he has been at the stadium. He was so excited.”

Speaking afterwards, Samuel told the JC: “I couldn’t believe I was doing it. I saw all the players up close and one of my favourites, [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, even said hello to me.”

Camp Simcha chief executive Neville Goldschneider explained that the charity was “here for Samuel and his family when he faced years of gruelling treatment.

“Samuel and his sister Ella particularly enjoyed our art classes, outings and our family retreats which brought some much needed fun and family time to them all.

“We’re glad that with the help of Rabbi Plancey, our honorary patron, and Arsenal, we could bring some more smiles to Samuel.”

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