DISCUSSING football with Paolo di Canio was a Christmas Wish come true for Tommy Thomas.

The 10-year-old met the Swindon Town manager at the County Ground last week and was the team mascot at the Doncaster match on Saturday after being nominated by his mother, Karla Peverley.

Tommy, who is a pupil at Seven Fields Primary School, was nominated after losing his great-grandmother to a stroke, losing his grandmother to cancer, seeing his dad battle cancer, and coping with his other grandmother suffering from a stroke and a heart attack.

“I’m a big Swindon Town fan,” he said.

“Grandad and dad got me supporting them. I think Paolo is a good manager.

“It was great to meet him. We talked about players and how to get a good score. I told him I like to play right back.

“Meeting him was even better than I hoped. It has been a great end to the year.”

Paolo gave Tommy a signed photo of himself as part of the Christmas Wish.

Paolo said: “Tommy is special – his smile is infectious. He gave me some advice for the Doncaster match and told me which players to use. He has got good knowledge.”

Tommy went along to the County Ground with his dad, Michael, 16-year-old brother Darryl, Grandad Darren Sansom and mum Karla.

He also starred on the pitch on Saturday when he appeared as the Swindon Town mascot in front of hundreds of football fans.

Karla, 28, of Penhill, said: “His nan on his dad’s side passed away with cancer at the same time his dad had cancer. My nan died of a stroke and then my mum had one. He has gone through a lot.

“His dad got checked out early and they caught the testicular cancer. He is all clear now.

“We have got Swindon Town season tickets and he comes here all the time. He’s a huge fan and always has been.

“It is great for him to be able to forget about his worries and enjoy a special treat.”

Karla also nominated Tommy because he has Perthes Disease, where the top of the thigh bone softens and breaks down, which means he has had to stop playing football.

“He was diagnosed when he was younger but he is getting back to normal now,” she said.

“Thank you for granting a Christmas Wish for Tommy.”