A wrestling fan from Hanworth has returned from meeting champion Jeff Hardy thanks to a wish granted by Starlight Children's Foundation.

Tom Trussler, 12, of Watermill Way, who was diagnosed with a rare bone marrow condition - Congenita Dyskeratosis - aged four, enjoyed an all expenses paid trip with his parents Lesley and Mark, to New York where they spent the day with the fighter and received ringside tickets to watch Impact Wrestling.

The family made the 3,500 mile trip for six days where they met the wrestler backstage ahead of the live event at the Manhattan Center on Tuesday, August 5.

Tom spent the afternoon hanging out, talked wrestling, had his face painted to match the 'Charismatic Enigma's' own face paint, and a meet and greet autograph session with other wrestlers including Lashley, Bully Ray, The Wolves and Mr Anderson.

 

Tom said: “The thing that caught my eye about Jeff is his determination, and I like that.

“Ever since I first saw him on TV Jeff Hardy has been my favourite wrestler.

"It was good to meet Jeff Hardy. I spent about three hours with him.

"He took me backstage and painted my face the way his is and met all his co-workers.

"He was nice and polite and always asked me if I was okay."

Mr Hardy said: “It was an honour for me to spend the day with Tom and his parents.

"He is an incredible kid and I am happy to now call him my friend.”

The Twickenham Academy pupil underwent a bone marrow transplant in July last year, at St Mary's Hospital in the Starlight Children's ward where children are asked to write down their three wishes and the charity make one of these come true.

Following the transplant Tom was housebound for six months for recovery and during this time watched professional wrestling, in particular matches of Jeff Hardy on Impact Wrestling.

Many months later he received the good news that he along with his mum and dad would be travelling to New York to meet Hardy himself.

Mrs Trussler said: "Tom had a bone marrow transplant last year because of the steroids he has been on for years were affecting his liver.

"While at St Mary's Hospital in the Starlight Children's ward kids get to ask for three wishes.

"Tom was housebound for six months following the transplant when TNA Wrestling were in the UK so we couldn't go.

"Then all of a sudden we got an email about this trip.

"It was something he'll remember for the rest of his life."