Nottingham Forest superfan with autism meets his playing heroes at the city ground

Mascot Split Image 101123
Pictured is Jesús, kissing his Forest badge while meeting Morgan Gibbs White and walking out holding the premier league ball with his Forest hero Anthony Elanga. Credit: Nottingham Forest TV

A Nottingham Forest superfan who has autism was given the chance to be a mascot and meet his favourite players.

Jesús is 13 and has autism and a psychotic disorder. However, despite his day-to-day struggles, one thing stays the same: his love for Nottingham Forest.

For his birthday, the club arranged a special visit to the City Ground for his first ever Forest match, and even surprised him by making him a matchday mascot.

He excitedly posed with Forest players Morgan Gibbs White, Harry Toffolo, Divock Origi, Nicolás Domínguez and others, all while kissing the badge of his favourite team.

While posing with players, Jesús said: "I have no words".

Of all the Forest squad, Jesus has a special place for Swedish winger Anthony Elanga. Jesús even got the chance to walk side by side with his hero onto the pitch for the match against Luton Town.

Post-match Elanga gave Jesús his match worn shirt and wrote a personalised message on it.

In response, Jesús told Elanga: "I love you more than my father".

Speaking about Jesús and his meeting with Elanga and the rest of the squad, manager Steve Cooper said:

"It was nice and it was good to see how some of the players were interacting with the young man, because some of our players are young men too".

"So for them to show the maturity and the affection for a supporter that loves the club is, for me as it should be, but it is good".

"We feel the affection of the supporters and the support and the good will and we've got to give that back".

Jesús' father, talking about his sons experience as mascot, stated: "What you are seeing is very rare, because he usually does not speak, does not relate to anyone and even rejects eye contact".

"He has several disorders, he is autistic. Apart from being autistic, he has a psychotic disorder, he has delusions, he uses a lot of medication on top of that".

"I'm amazed right now that he's interacting".

"For me it is a super, super, super special day".

Jesús echoed that he'll never forget spending time with his favourite players from Nottingham Forest.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…