How Mesut Özil Made My Best Friend’s Dream Come True

How Mesut Özil Made My Best Friend’s Dream Come True
May 28, 2017

Arsenal Featured

There’s a lot in the media about football players being very charitable and supporting people young and old through their tough times. Whether this is helping them with their fight from a life threating illness, helping young children with education in more unprivileged countries or just donating money to their hometown to build better facilities. Players are very charitable in all different ways.

If you follow football news, then you will see this with various children such as Bradley Lowery, who is spending a lot of time with Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe. Bradley has a very rare form of cancer and Defoe heard about this and had tried to make his life the best it can be and help him through this fight.

He now regularly attends Sunderland games and gets to spend time with Defoe after the game and during his spare time, he more recently went to his birthday party. Obviously, this is amazing for anyone, but when it happens to the people closest to you, it’s just completely different.

My best friend Brendan has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma; this is cancer that develops from cells in the lymphatic system (part of the body’s immune system) called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that helps the body fight infections. He’s a massive Arsenal fan and loves Mesut Özil, with a simple email telling Özil’s agent that he is unwell in hope just for a little support, maybe a signed photo or a letter. Instead, he get’s invited to watch the North London derby in Özil’s private box. He also had the opportunity to meet some of the players as well, which is unbelievable for any football fan. This was just the start.

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A few months later, Brendan gets an email from Mesut Özil’s agent once again this time inviting him to the last home game of the season vs Everton. It would be from Özil’s box once again. This time he was allowed to bring someone with him, Brendan chose to invite me to come. As a Manchester United fan, it was hard to miss the last game of the season as I haven’t missed a game for so long, but you can’t turn down the opportunity to have a great day out, also watching two great teams battling it out. Hey, it’s not every day you get invited to watch Arsenal in Mesut Özil’s box, free food, free bar. Happy days.

Before the game even started, Özil had even organised for us to sit in the players and family lounge, which, you guessed it, were where the players who weren’t playing go before and after the game as well as their families. We casually stroll in and see Robert Pires, Santi Cazorla and Lucas Perez. Which is just ridiculous for any football fan let alone an Arsenal fan. We greeted them, got a few photos and before you know it we’re in Özil’s box.

Arsenal played excellently throughout, especially in the first half. They won the game 3-1, with Aaron Ramsey scoring the peach of the lot in final few minutes. Watching Özil and Alexis Sanchez play live especially was incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it. Having watched players such as Ronaldo, Scholes, Rooney, Pirlo, etc. it was a breath of fresh air watching them two play. I find it incredibly fascinating how Özil can pick out some of the passes he does. As for Sanchez, his work rate is remarkable as is his dribbling.

After the game, we got to meet most of the team and the leading man himself, Mesut Özil. Such a nice person, asking Brendan how he’s doing, etc. We both got a picture with him, and it was an amazing experience for me and especially for Brendan, but the most phenomenal thing was, he was doing it with other people who were going through a tough time. He’s been doing it all year around, but it’s gone unnoticed up until he met a young Arsenal fan called Charlie who has a very rare brain tumour. He gave the young boy his man of the match award as well as took him around the stadium. This was highly covered in the media, but it’s been going unnoticed all year around. Brendan and I even met Charlie at the game, showing Özil is supporting this young boy going through a frightful time in his life.


Brendan wasn’t able to get tickets for Arsenals FA Cup final vs Chelsea and Mesut Özil couldn’t provide them either but even when he wasn’t there, Özil still dedicated the win to him with a wonderful tweet.

Mesut Özil is truly a world class player but he’s an even better person.

  1. Avatar
    Alex Harris says:

    Keep strong cuz x

  2. Avatar
    Nuala says:

    This is brill what a great player and what a great mate you have been

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