Fullback Joss Rowley, 15, is undergoing chemotherapy. His stoicism through four gruelling rounds of treatment has impressed his doctors, family, and sporting hero.
Lewis retired after suffering a shoulder injury. "But what Joss is going through puts my injuries into perspective,” he said. "When I read the letter I felt that now I'm retired it was an opportunity to meet a young man who is battling terrible adversity in a great way.”
"It's really nice of him to come," said Joss. "He's travelled all this way. He's really nice, funny."
After watching Lewis provide tips to his U15 team-mates, Joss told Mad Dog: "I can't wait to get back out there." The flanker replied: "It will be great to be back out there if you feel anything like I do now."
Proud dad Graeme Stark said that Joss's rugby experience has helped him face the chemo bravely.
"Although he's only been playing six months, his rugby has helped him already. He's the best fullback in Yorkshire. He's got the size, speed, talent - and the heart of a lion. Everything the doctors throw at him, he's taken. The way he has taken everything on speaks volumes and hopefully that's going to get him through the treatment."
Graeme also thanked Joss’s club mates for their help. “Everything the club has done for Joss since he’s been ill is fantastic and it was great to share with the other members rather than just sit with Lewis in our front room and have a cup of tea,” he said.
Lewis added: “I think the support Joss has had from his club shows how good team sports are for the community and those around them.”
As Lewis left the pitch he told the boys: “It’s been a pleasure to meet you all - and it’s been great to meet you, Joss.”
Pictures curtesy of The Star, Sheffield. Read the full here here