FIVE seriously ill children are being offered the chance of a lifetime to cheer on their heroes at Wembley.

The youngsters will be supporting Sunderland in Sunday’s cup final showdown with Manchester City thanks to the Box 4 Kids campaign.

The five, all patients at hospitals in the city, will travel down to the Capital One Cup Final with their parents and two of the region’s athletics greats: Steve Cram MBE and Olympic bronze medallist Charlie Spedding.

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And with the Black Cats looking to win their first major silverware since 1973, each of the youngsters will be given their very own personalised Sunderland shirt to wear on the day, as well as cup final scarves for their parents donated by Sunderland Football Club.

The showpiece game coincides with the national launch of the Box 4 Kids campaign, originally set up by philanthropist Barrie Wells in 2010 when he bought an executive box at Liverpool FC exclusively for the benefit of deserving children. Since then, a number of top football and rugby teams have also donated boxes.

Mr Wells said: "I am delighted to be able to create the opportunity to give these Sunderland children such a great chance to support their home team at Wembley".

Steve Cram added: "This is such a fantastic opportunity for the children: thanks to Barrie and Box4kids, we’ve been able to make the Cup Final a reality for a special group of youngsters.

"Hopefully it will be a day that will live long in their memory and we’re so grateful to everyone who has made the opportunity possible."

Ken Bremner, the Chief Executive of City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust said: "It was very difficult to select the children, but they have all been chosen by their respective community nurse or the ward that they frequently attend for treatment.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am sure that they will have a fantastic time particularly if the result is hopefully a good one for Sunderland".

Minster Self Drive of Sunderland will provide transport and a driver to take the group from Sunderland to Wembley and back for the exciting trip.