8 year-old boy makes round trip from Essex to become Plymouth Argyle's honorary mascot

Joe Mitchell travels to Home Park from his home in Stansted for homes games Credit: ITV News West Country

An eight year-old boy with complex health problems and learning difficulties from Essex has become Plymouth Argyle's honorary match-day mascot.

Joe Mitchell makes the regular 10 hour round trip from Stansted to Plymouth with his mother and sister to cheer on the Pilgrims at Home Park.

He's now a familiar and well liked face in the dressing room as well as on the terraces - he chats with the manager, high-fives the players, lays out cones for the warm-up, and generally "bosses everyone around".

Plymouth Argyle's manager believes Joe is Credit: PA

Pilgrim Pete is the official mascot but wherever Joe goes, he's there waiting for us. His mum and sister travel everywhere with him and every time I wake up and look at my twitter I see they've left at 6am in the morning. He's a great little character. We love having him around. He bosses people around, he's got his cones, he's wanting the (tactics) board. He's fantastic, he's special to us.

Ryan Lowe, Plymouth Argyle Manager
Pilgrim Pete is Plymouth Argyle's official mascot. Credit: PA
Joe likes to boss people around at the club. Credit: ITV News West Country

His confidence has grown massively. He'll now talk to anyone, which is a blessing and a curse! What I think he gets out of it is joy - it's just pure and utter joy. He loves it.

Lauren Mitchell, Joe's sister

Joe was born prematurely at 25 week and spent much of his early life in hospital.

When his mother, Claire, adopted him aged three and a half Joe did not know how to play and had no friends.

But a chance match-day outing to Home Park during a visit to Plymouth has helped him to grow in confidence.

The club is now his extended family and the supporters have taken the affable boy to their hearts - some recently presented him with a themed blanket for the long car journeys.

Fellow supporters present Joe with a specially made quilt for his long car journeys b Credit: ITV News West Country

On his difficult days, even the fans high-fiving him and the players talking to him just cheers him up.

Claire Mitchell, Joe's mum
Joe's mother and sister accompany him to matches. Credit: ITV News West Country