'When Danny Ings had headphones on like me, I was really happy' - Villa mascot on striker's gesture

ITV News Central reporter Mark Gough visited Riley and his grandad John

Aston Villa striker, Danny Ings has been praised for wearing noise cancelling headphones alongside a mascot with autism as a gesture of support.

Riley Regan attends Aston Villa FC Foundations Ability Counts disability football sessions and was chosen as a mascot ahead of Villa's game against Brentford on Sunday.

Riley's family first found out that he had autism when he broke down, emotionally screaming at the noise at a Villa game.

Riley is a huge football fan and an Aston Villa supporter, but because of his autism he struggles with loud noises, which made going to games incredibly difficult.

Now though, whenever his grandad John takes him to support Villa, Riley wears his ear defenders. Without them, his grandad says "it's a different ball game."

On Sunday 23 October, Riley's dreams came true when he walked out of the tunnel as an Aston Villa mascot.

But his grandad John told ITV Central that prior to the game, Riley was worried he might look a bit strange with ear defenders on. He was particularly concerned that people would laugh at him.

But Danny Ings, in a gesture of support to the fan, wore them too so that Riley wasn't alone.

Riley said: "When I was coming out of the tunnel, I was feeling emotional. When Danny Ings had headphones on like me, I was really happy."

Riley's grandad John said: "He knew he had got to wear them. He was not only worried that people would laugh at him but the players would laugh at him as well.

"We knew that wouldn't happen so we asked the question would it be possible for a player to take him out wearing ear defenders.

"Ings did such a fantastic job."

Since Ings' gesture, the response online has been phenomenal.

Thousands have applauded the positive message sent out by Danny Ings.

Riley's grandad said: "The response on social media, there has been thousands and thousands of people liking it and sharing it, i've had messages from all around the world.

"It's unbelievable, It's fantastic, I don't think Ings realises just how good it is."

Subsequently, many have taken to Twitter to applaud Ings.

Parents who have children with autism have displayed their admiration for the Villa striker.