Cormac O’Neill, 10, who has a rare genetic disorder, has undergone more than 40 operations for his condition, with the latest procedure taking place the day after the game.
After learning of his story, the club invited Cormac to meet the players pre-match, where he collected photos and autographs from his favourite first team stars, before being presented with a signed shirt from manager Steve Kean.
Dad John, who became a Rovers fan whilst working for the Metropolitan Police in London in the 1980s alongside a blue-and-white obsessive from Darwen, said: “A huge 'Go raimh agat' (thank you very much) from us all.
“Cormac, his brother and I had a fabulous day. Cormac couldn’t get over how open and welcoming all the Rovers players were to all the kids – Cork City and Blackburn Rovers fans alike – on the day.
“They were great ambassadors for the club and I have no doubt this will increase the fan base in Cork. Football players often get the headlines for the wrong reasons, but these players, the manager and staff were a credit to the club.
“Cormac was tired at 4am the next morning as he was driven up to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Dublin, but he was still chatting about the game, which he thought was very exciting.
“He wanted to thank everyone for looking after him so well and I wanted to say a final huge thank you from me. This may not have seemed a big deal to organise, but Rovers made a dream come true for a very sick little boy.”
Picture caption:Cormac (centre) receives a signed shirt from Rovers manager Steve Kean, watched by David Dunn, Bradley Orr and his brother.