In an unexpected bonus during Saturday's World Health Day, Southend United captain Ben Coker proved to be the perfect inspiration and role model for a diabetic youngster who regularly attends Blackburn Rovers Community Trust’s junior football sessions.
Logan Prince is a virtual ever-present at the charity’s Football Camps and Premier League Kicks sessions at the Blackburn Rovers Indoor Centre, with the Community Trust staff trained in how to assist him if his Type 1 diabetes poses any problems for him whilst taking part.
However, this doesn't seem to hold Logan back, and his talents have seen the Community Trust recommend him to the development centre sessions linked to the club's Academy.
With hopes of making his mark in the game, Logan and his mother Joanne approached Coker on Saturday after his side's 1-0 defeat to Rovers, so that they could ask the best-known Type 1 diabetic in British professional football if he had any hints and tips on how to manage the condition as a high performance athlete.
They were delighted with his response, with the Shrimpers skipper taking plenty of time to talk about medication, football, school and advice on how to control his bloods during matches in a lengthy discussion.
Logan's mother Joanne - who is the talented artist that brought the GAME Room and Rover's Kennel to life at Ewood Park with some fantastic wall displays - spoke highly of 28-year-old Coker's care for her son, explaining: "As someone who has been able to manage the condition alongside the demands of being a professional footballer, we've described Ben as being Logan's 'Type 1 hero'.
"It made Logan's day that he stopped to chat for ages about all kinds of things, even down to whether he was undertaking multiple daily injections or an insulin pump, with Ben having managed the same type of diabetes since he was 15.
"He's an absolute top bloke, inspiration and role model - we're delighted he was able to spend so much time with us."
Adrian Ward, head of marketing and communications at the Community Trust, added:
"It was a really unusual coincidence that the conversation happened to fall on World Health Day, but it was a perfect example of how professional footballers undertake kind gestures on a daily basis that make a huge difference to the supporters.
"After being on the wrong side of a tight defeat, you wouldn't have blamed Ben for wanting to get back on the coach home as quickly as possible, but it speaks volumes for him as a leader that he was willing to spend so long chatting with fans of the opposing team to talk about health matters. That conversation can potentially make a huge difference to Logan and his family as he hopes to do as well as he can in the world of football.
"Ben was a credit to Southend United and we're very grateful that he took so much time to help a Blackburn Rovers-supporting family."
Ben's conversation has already gone viral, with a photo of his meeting with Logan having already received more than 500 likes and 60 shares across various social media platforms, including the Community Trust’s Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/BRFCTrust) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/BRFCTrust) accounts.
Blackburn Rovers Community Trust were also commended by the EFL Trust on World Health Day, with the governing body official charity’s website praising the five health projects that the charity operates for the benefit of around 2,500 people in our local area.