Hospital auction gives Ryan the chance to train with his Ipswich Town hero
An aspiring footballer has thanked West Suffolk Hospital Charity after a Christmas auction allowed him to train with his hero - Ipswich Town keeper Scott Loach.
Ryan Nunn, of Ipswich, celebrated his 18th birthday in style last week after visiting Ipswich's training ground to be put through his paces by Loach, the club's goalkeeping coach Malcolm Webster and former Blues keeper and current club masseur James Pullen.
The dream prize came about after the Town stopper supported the Neonatal Unit Christmas Auction, won by Ryan's mum Trish.
Lifelong Town fan Ryan, who plays for Clacton United senior side and Frinton and Walton Under-18s, said: "I was given the prize as a Christmas present and I was speechless.
"Scott is my favourite Ipswich player and to train with him was a dream come true."
His mum, Trish, who paid £195 for the auction item, added: "We were over the moon to have won this auction lot - excited was an understatement.
"It was worth every penny to see the look on my son's face when we gave him the letter on Christmas Day. And what makes it more special is that the money helps such a good cause."
In addition to offering him one-on-one goalkeeping coaching, Scott also donated some Ipswich Town goalkeeping kit and a signed pair of gloves.
He said: "I am big into charity and I am always happy to help. It is an honour to be a professional footballer and this is just a chance of giving something back.
"Ryan did really well. I think he saw how difficult it is to be a goalkeeper for a professional club, but he learnt some good basics from Malcolm Webster.
"If he can replicate that and not over-complicate things, I am sure he will do well."
The Hospital's inaugural Christmas auction raised £5,700 for the Neonatal Unit with prizes including a chance to meet with Brendan Cole, star in your own picture courtesy of Beano cartoonist Barrie Appleby and an opportunity to get up close and personal with champion racehorse Frankel.
To find out more about the 2014 auction, please call Dave Gooderham, the hospital's Fundraising Manager, on 01284 712952.