A FOOTBALL-mad youngster undergoing treatment for leukaemia has been thrilled to learn he will be a mascot for his beloved Newcastle United.

Seven-year-old Jude Grayson, of Spennymoor, had been going through a tough patch after his latest gruelling round of chemotherapy.

But his face lit up in a beaming smile when he was told he would be joining his team on the hallowed turf of St James’ Park, when they take on Manchester United on October 6.

He will meet all the players in the dressing rooms before picking his favourite player to lead him out of the tunnel.

Jude won the day out through a competition run by the Bishop Auckland-based Angel Trust – the prize donated by the charity’s ambassador, Paul Anderson and wife his Paula.

Jude said: “It’s great. I never thought it would happen. Yay, it’s amazing. I am looking forward to meeting Joelinton and the other players.”

Mum Kerry Grayson said: “Jude is football mad. He has been playing since he was two, but hasn’t been able to since February, when he was admitted to hospital.

“He was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in April and now has to undergo three years of treatment. He is six months in and has been going through a bit of a rough patch. We think the next few weeks he might lose his hair.

“So this is a big boost to him. It is the icing on the cake. It will give him something to work towards.”

She added: “Jude is a superstar. He is always smiling. He cannot understand why everyone thinks he’s so brave. When people say he’s a hero he says 'but why I’m not doing anything I have just got to do it'.”

Mr Anderson, who runs a Bishop Auckland accountancy firm with his wife, said: “I have donated sponsorship of the day to promote the Angel Trust and the mascot goes with that.

“There were a lot of worthy applicants for the prize. Jude stood out because of his love for football and what he has had to go through. There were 18 different people who people had nominated him. I am so pleased for Jude being able to be mascot on the day.”

Angel Trust chief executive and founder Clair McGregor said: “We asked people to nominate a special child who was either poorly, a carer, or had done something outstanding.

“We were inundated with 23,000 views and 4,000 applications. We let Paul and Paula pick the winner. There were other cases that came to light that we are going to help.”

Jude will be joined at the match by his mum and dad Neil and siblings Summer and Alfie.The Angel Trust, supports individuals and organisations in Darlington and County Durham. It backs projects that enhance and improve the community, promote good citizenship and healthy recreational activities and offer relief from financial hardship.

A gofundme page has been set up under the name Jude Grayson.