Hammers Advent Calendar - Day 19

Day 19 of West Ham United's video Advent Calendar swings open today and reveals to Hammers fans the story of 17-year-old Luke Brunt.

A lifelong West Ham fan, Luke was born with a rare life threatening liver disease called Biliary Atresia.

He had a life-saving operation when he was just eight weeks old. This was not a cure but a chance for Luke to keep his own liver for as long as possible.

Luke was invited to take a seat in the Director's box for the Club's match against Sunderland on 14 December after his mum, Tracy, had nominated him to receive a Like My Dreams experience.

Tracy explained her nomination to West Ham TV: "Luke was born with liver disease and when he was just eight weeks old he had a life-saving operation.

"Because he's been through so much in his life I thought this would be a really good thing to do for him. He's been a West Ham supporter his whole life so I thought that this would be a dream come true for him."

After informing Luke of her submission of the Like My Dreams nomination, the pair didn't expect to hear anything back, but how wrong they were.

Luke said: "I'm really excited. When my Mum told me that she had nominated me I didn't believe that we would hear anything back. When we got the email back I was just so excited for today.

"I've supported the club for most of my life and my Uncle used to take me to games when I was younger. My Mum's side of the family come from Canning Town so that's where it all started for me."

The youngster arrived at the Boleyn Ground at around 1pm on the day of the match and was greeted at reception from where he was whisked off to the manager's office.

Sam Allardyce was ready and waiting to greet our nominee and spent some time talking tactics with Luke before it was time for the young man to meet someone else very important to the football club.

After a drink in the Billy Bonds lounge, Joint-Chairman David Gold arrived to meet Luke who thoroughly enjoyed the day, even if the result was not quite perfect.

Luke Brunt

Luke and Tracy pose for a photo in the home dug-out

"It was a shame that we couldn't get the three points but the day as a whole has been really good.

"I got to meet Sam Allardyce, something that I never thought would happen plus I got to see David Gold which was great as well."

Tracy was also delighted that her nomination had proved to provide a great day for her son, and she was full of praise for the Like My Dreams initiative.

"I think it's a really good idea from the club. It's the first year the club have done it and I think it's a brilliant thing to do. Luke was really pleased when he found out that he'd been picked and we'd like to thank the Club for making this possible."