World-class footballer Mason Mount, is swapping his boots for a controller this Christmas Eve as he gives four families the chance to join their idol for some festive gaming fun.
As patron for Together for Short Lives, Mason Mount has helped to make memories that will last a lifetime by joining some very deserving young gamers for one-on-one matches against him, streamed across Youtube and Twitch. This special opportunity has been organised and run in collaboration with Combat Gaming.
Hayley, mum to one of the young gamers, says of the opportunity ‘Christmas is a very difficult time for us and I am so delighted for Ruby to get a moment of some Christmas magic that is just for her and that I know will truly put a smile on her face that will last a long, long time.’
Mason says ‘I’ve played against some incredible opponents in my career, but today’s are the ultimate VIPs! And they really gave me a run for my money! It was great to combine two of my passions – gaming and Together for Short Lives. I’m so pleased to have been a part of some special new family memories for the children I met today… even if one of them admitted that he benches me when he plays FIFA! I hope today’s stream helps to raise vital funds and awareness for this important charity. Happy Holidays.’
Meet the players
The ultimate Christmas gift for any Mason Mount fan, the children who got the chance to play against him on their Nintendo Switch are:
Bethany (11): Despite having a very serious illness which affects her muscles and energy levels, meaning she uses a wheelchair, she doesn’t let anything hold her back – she has even competed in Powerchair football with the England Powerchair Captain, so absolutely relished the opportunity to challenge herself against another England sporting legend. Their family receive the very best care from The Nook, part of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.
Ian (14): Just like many other boys his age, Ian is absolutely mad on sport. However, he’s unable to play as other children would, as he has a condition called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He is really close to his younger brother Joel, who is his gaming partner – a great friend and support to Ian. And the bond between the boys has grown since they lost their Dad to Motor Neurone Disease in 2016. Children’s Hospice South West provides lifeline care for them all.
Ruby (18): Was a young carer to her sister Holly for the whole of their life together. They were best friends and sisters like no other. Sadly, Holly died during the pandemic, leaving the whole family heartbroken. Ruby is the biggest Mason Mount fan and calls herself ‘Mrs Mount’. Claire House Children’s Hospice has been there for the whole family throughout Holly’s life and supporting them since she has died. Mum Hayley says their lives would have been ‘very different’ without their hospice.
Abdullah (16): Diagnosed with a life-limiting congenital condition – Pompe Disease, at the age of just two, Abdullah couldn’t go and play with other children or be involved in games like playing football, so from a young age has loved computer gaming instead. He even dreams of working in the gaming industry. Vital care and support from Richard House Children’s Hospice means the world to the whole family.
It seems like Chelsea and England might have to watch their backs as Mason calls himself and 11-year-old Bethany, who suffers from a life-limiting condition called Mitochondrial Myopathy, the ‘dream team’ when they play together on Mario Party.
Hilariously, 14-year-old Ian, even asked Mason at one point ‘What are you going to tell your manager about this Mason?’ as the footballer suffered a defeat in Mario Kart.
And while Mason proved to be a surprise hit at Let’s Dance, with his young opponent Ruby telling him ‘you should go on Britain’s Got Talent with moves like that’, he admitted it made him ‘more tired than playing a whole match!’
Mason also took a huge interest in getting to know the children. Hearing 16-year-old Abdullah had dreams of working in gaming, he asked ‘If you could create your own game what would it be?’ To which Abdullah excitedly replied all about a new strategy game that he’d call Sharkaron. Mason said ‘I love that idea – I hope in the future you can make that happen.’
Together for Short Lives CEO, Andy Fletcher, says ‘We are so grateful to Mason for giving some of the families we’re here for the best Christmas present ever this year – the chance to game against their hero! The children involved in this special event have faced challenges beyond their years, whether that’s living with a very serious illness, caring for a brother or sister who will die young, or having had to say goodbye to their sibling who they love so dearly. What we’ve heard time and time again is that the gaming world provides a vital escape for these children – a chance to be themselves and to play on a level playing field. So, it means the world that Mason Mount has given them a gaming experience they’ll never forget. Together for Short Lives is here to help families make memories that will last a lifetime, and today Mason has helped us achieve that for Ruby, Bethany, Abdullah, Ian and Joel.’
Watch the stream from 3pm on Christmas Eve at twitch.tv/combat.