The Chelsea and England midfielder will be competing with children on Christmas Eve for the charity Together for Short Lives
While most Premier League players will be enjoying a quiet Christmas Eve with family, Chelsea star Mason Mount is spending the day locked in competitive action.
But the England international is not taking to the field on Friday. Instead, he is swapping his football boots for a controller.
Mount is giving four families a Christmas Eve they will never forget by taking them on in some festive gaming fun.
What is Mount doing on Christmas Eve?
As patron for Together for Short Lives, a charity that helps the 99,000 seriously ill children and their families across the UK, the 22-year-old midfielder has been joining young gamers for one-on-one matches that have been streamed live on Twitch and YouTube.
While Mount has been getting schooled on Mario Kart, the talented midfielder has proven a tough challenger on Mario Party when he and 11-year-old Bethany combine to form a ‘dream team’.
He has also turned out to be surprisingly good at Let’s Dance, with his young opponent Ruby telling him to “go on Britain’s Got Talent with moves like that”.
Indeed, Mount found the experience more exhausting than he expected, admitting it made him “more tired than playing a whole match!”
What has been said?
“I’ve played against some incredible opponents in my career, but today’s are the ultimate VIPs! And they really gave me a run for my money!” Mount said.
“It was great to combine two of my passions – gaming and Together for Short Lives. I’m so pleased to have been a part of some special new family memories for the children I met today… even if one of them admitted that he benches me when he plays FIFA!
“I hope today’s stream helps to raise vital funds and awareness for this important charity. Happy Holidays.”
Who will Mount be gaming with?
The lucky kids who will be gaming with Mount are Bethany, who despite having a very serious illness which affects her muscles and energy levels, meaning she uses a wheelchair, doesn’t let anything hold her back. Bethany has even competed in Powerchair football with the England Powerchair Captain, so she relished the chance to challenge another England sporting hero. Her family receive the very best care from The Nook, part of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.
Like many other boys his age, 14-year-old Ian is mad about sport, but he is unable to play because of his condition called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Ian is really close to his younger brother and gaming partner Joel. The bond between the boys has grown since they lost their dad to Motor Neurone Disease in 2016. Children’s Hospice South West provides lifeline care for them all.
There is also Ruby, aged 18, a huge Mason Mount fan, even calls herself ‘Mrs Mount’. She was a young carer to her sister Holly for the whole of their life together. They were best friends and sisters like no other. Sadly, Holly died during the pandemic, leaving the whole family heartbroken. Claire House Children’s Hospice has been there for the whole family throughout Holly’s life and supporting them since she has died. Mum Hayley says their lives would have been ‘very different’ without their hospice.
And 16-year-old Abdullah, who was diagnosed with a life-limiting congenital condition – Pompe Disease when he was just two. Abdullah could not go and play with other children or be involved in games like playing football, so from a young age has loved computer gaming instead. He even dreams of working in the gaming industry. Vital care and support from Richard House Children’s Hospice means the world to the whole family.
Mount took huge interest in getting to know Bethany, Ian, Ruby and Abdullah, and probed the latter about his ambition of working in the gaming industry.
“If you could create your own game what would it be?” Mount asked Abdullah. The teenager excitedly told him all about a new strategy game that he’d call Sharkaron. Mason said: “I love that idea – I hope in the future you can make that happen.”
Ruby’s mum Hayley said of the opportunity given to Mount and the children: “Christmas is a very difficult time for us and I am so delighted for Ruby to get a moment of some Christmas magic that is just for her and that I know will truly put a smile on her face that will last a long, long time.”