Footballer, 13, who had a stroke, returns to his Thetford home to continue his recovery

  • Watch a video report by ITV News Anglia's Andy Ward

A 13-year-old boy who suffered a stroke after a football match three weeks ago has returned home.

Austin Dale, from Thetford in Norfolk, was playing for the Thetford Bulldogs U13s on 21 May when he felt unwell during the game.

He was taken off at half-time and later collapsed at home.

The damage caused him to lose feeling down one side of his body but his recovery has been so rapid that doctors at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge have now discharged him - to the delight of his parents.

Austin in hospital after suffering a stroke Credit: Family photo

"It's fantastic" his mum Marie Dale told ITV News Anglia.

"It's so much more relaxed and Austin can feel settled in his home and do his own things now."

Austin back home reading some of the get well messages from the footballing community Credit: ITV News Anglia

Despite being home, the ongoing weakness in his muscles can make things like walking up and down the stairs difficult.

"It's really good to have him back home" his father Paul Dale said.

"But one thing that is quite noticeable is that obviously when you're in the hospital, there's all that support and now he's released back into the community, there's not the same amount of physios, occupational therapists - there's not that same amount of support around him really."

The teenager will continue to receive weekly visits from physios and is due to have another brain scan in a year's time.

Messages of support are still coming in for Austin and his family Credit: ITV News Anglia

His story though is one that continues to touch the hearts of the football community.

Having been spurred on by video messages from footballers including England players James Maddison and Nick Pope, the former Peterborough United player Bobby Copping, who himself had to retire at the age of 19 due to a head injury, reached out recently to offer advice.

A hand-written card and training top was also sent to his home by ex-Norwich City star Todd Cantwell.

It is estimated that around 400 children have a stroke in the UK every year.

The Stroke Association has resources on its website which had help people who have had a stroke.

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