A SCHOOLBOY whose plight captured global attention was given an experience he will never forget when he appeared as the Bolton Wanderers’ mascot on Saturday.

Rhys Williams had the best seat in the house to watch the Whites play Rochdale and his mum Tanya Williams says he “absolutely loved” the whole experience. She said: “Rhys keeps going on about how he wants to go back there again.”

Rhys, aged 14, suffers a painful skin condition which makes his daily life difficult to endure. Epidermolysis bullosa leaves him covered in blisters and the skin on his hands and legs fused together.

After she received a heart-breaking text message from Rhys to say he wishes “a butterfly would come and take him away”, Tanya contacted The Bolton News to help show him he has something to fight for. As a result of our story, on Rhys’ birthday on September 21, he received tens of thousands of messages from people all over the world wishing Rhys a happy birthday.

Tanya had also emailed every football club in England to send a birthday message to Rhys and she received a response from the Bolton Wanderers who invited Rhys to appear as their mascot in their match against Rochdale AFC.

On Saturday, Rhys arrived at the University of Bolton Stadium, Bolton Wanderers’ home ground, where he was given a tour of the stadium and grounds which included meeting the manager, Keith Hill.

He then went to the changing rooms where he was given the chance to meet the players and get some photos with them.

Eventually, Rhys appeared on the pitch as Bolton’s mascot paired with midfielder, Jason Lowe.

Once the match had begun, Rhys was able to sit with his parents and little sister on the touchline and watch the game with one of the best views he could ask for.

Ms Williams said: “It was absolutely brilliant from start to finish. It was a fantastic day and Rhys thoroughly enjoyed it. It wasn’t just because of the whole experience but also because he was seated on the touchline, he could see everything that was going on.”

After the match was over, Rhys was given a Bolton shirt signed by all the players as a memento. And even the disappointment of Bolton losing 3:1, didn’t dim the delight of the day.