Team spirit has kept alive a teenager's dream of playing football again.

Callum Worthington was warned by doctors he'd have to give up his beloved sport after he received a devastating diagnosis earlier this year.

The then 14-year-old was playing for St Michael’s DHFC in October 2020 when a tackle resulted in a broken leg.

He passed out the next day and after three days of tests - with medics unable to explain the loss of consciousness - he was discharged for a follow-up at Alder Hey.

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But in February doctors broke the devastating news to Callum that he had hypertrophic myopathy - a form of heart disease - meaning he'd have to give up football, the sport he’d loved to play for the last 10 years.

Supporters including his teammates in the under-16s squad have now rallied to his cause and undertaken first aid training as well as launching a fundraising appeal to buy a defibrillator to sustain hope that Callum, now 15, might be able to play again.

Amy Osborne, who set up a gofundme page, said the events involving Danish footballer Christian Eriksen’s collapse at Euro 2020 brought home the importance of having fast access to first aid skills.

Doctors told Callum to give up his passion after the devastating diagnosis
Doctors told Callum to give up his passion after the devastating diagnosis

Callum’s mum Kerry Hughes hopes the extra layer of safety will be enough for his consultant to let him play again.

She said: “It came as a shock.

“He was playing as normal and he fell and broke his leg, which is normal in football.

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“The next day he passed out and we took him back to hospital and after tests and all sorts they found out he had a heart condition.

“The consultant said he’s got to give up his passion.

“He’s played since he was five and with a lot of the lads since he was small.

“Even the parents were upset about him having to pack it in.

Callum Worthington, 15, back row, sixth from left, and his St Michael's teammates
Callum Worthington, 15, back row, sixth from left, and his St Michael's teammates

“He still goes along to watch the matches.

“One of the mums approached me after the Christian Erikson incident and she said ‘we want to do some fundraising to get a defibrillator we can take along in the hope if we’ve got some equipment he could still play, even if it’s not full matches and maybe half’.

“And they suggested everyone doing first aid training.

“So all the lads are doing first aid training.

“They’ve given up their summer holidays.”

Despite missing playing, Callum still does his bit from the touchline.

Kerry said: “It does frustrate him but he does want to there with all his mates and support them all.”