Tess Nichol is an NZME. News Service reporter.

Football club's kindness lands super fan for life

Leicester City took Charlie Keyworth on a tour of their facilities two days after his mother Sandra's death from cancer. Photo / Supplied
Leicester City took Charlie Keyworth on a tour of their facilities two days after his mother Sandra's death from cancer. Photo / Supplied

If Leicester City beat Manchester United on Monday morning in the Premier League the underdogs will make history - as well as one little Kiwi boy's dreams come true.

Leicester City will win the Premier League title for the first time in their history if they win at Old Trafford, creating one of sport's most unlikely fairytales.

Charlie Keyworth, who lives with his dad Mike in Carterton, has supported Leicester fanatically for six months, after learning his great- uncle Ken Keyworth played for the side in the 1960s.

The 9-year-old's fandom was cemented when the club took him on a personal tour of their King Power Stadium in February, just two days after his mum Sandra died of cancer.

The heartfelt trip came during the team's charge to an unlikely, but now very realistic, tilt at the title.

"It took me a while, I liked another team and then I found out my great-uncle played for Leicester so I thought I might as well [support them]," Charlie told the Weekend Herald.

The support has developed into full-blown fandom, his dad said.

"I hope that they can pull it off and win - really, really, really, really, really badly," Charlie said.

Leicester started the season at 5000-1 outsiders to win the league, but are leading the table and are poised to make sporting history.

A win over Manchester United will mean their closest rivals Tottenham Hotspur will be unable to catch them.

Charlie moved to the football-mad UK while Sandra sought treatment in her home country while battling liver and bowel cancer, and his love for the sport blossomed.

Sandra died in February, just over a year after her diagnosis.

While in the UK, Charlie wanted to visit Leicester and get a scarf and a mug, but when his uncle Rob Keyworth heard this he went one better.

A tweet to Leicester resulted in Charlie being shown around the club's facilities to see the pitch and the changing rooms on a personal tour, a special memory Charlie will treasure from a very difficult time.

"I was just very lucky to have that time because not many people get stuff like that, so I was just really glad," Charlie said.

Charlie Keyworth at Leicester City. Photo / Supplied
Charlie Keyworth at Leicester City. Photo / Supplied

Because the Premier League games are played on the other side of the world they screen too early in the morning for Charlie, so instead he watches the highlights on his tablet.

Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester's goalkeeper, is his favourite player.

"He's doing really well and I want to be a goalkeeper when I grow up, so he's also my guide," said Charlie, who plays for the Carterton Dolphins.

Mike Keyworth said his son was coping well with the death of his mum, and the two of them spoke about her often.

"He's 9 years old, it's a huge thing for anybody let alone a 9-year-old. One of my concerns before he came back was that he would not think about it, but he does think about his mum a lot, especially at bed time.

"We have a little bit of a cry, both of us, just remembering mum and what she meant to us.

"It will get easier over time."

If Leicester wins, Charlie will be far from the only one delighted.

Actor Tom Hanks claims he put 100 ($210) on Leicester City to win the Premier League at the start of the season, meaning the already wealthy movie star could pocket some serious coin if Leicester win the league.

UK betting agency Sky Bet is also nervously watching the outcome of the race for the Premier League.

The agency faces a total estimated payout of 3.6 million to punters who backed Leicester City at 5000-1 at the beginning of the season.

One hundred and twenty-eight punters jumped on those odds seven months ago.

- NZ Herald

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