Terminally ill Royal Navy veteran fulfils his life-long dream and meets his hero

Terminally ill Royal Navy veteran fulfils his life-long dream and meets his hero

A terminally ill Royal Navy veteran, whose dying wish was to see England play at Twickenham, had an extra treat when he met match-winning hero Marcus Smith after England’s dramatic 23-22 Six Nations victory over Ireland.

He also went home with a unique souvenir, Marcus’s muddy England shorts.

Smith whose drop goal won the match said: “It was great to share that moment pitch side with Toby and his dad and to celebrate the win with them.”

Toby Brann, aged 23, served five years in the Navy including a memorable spell aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth during exercises in the United States.

His father, Rob, a Commander serving in the Surface Flotilla based in Devonport, Plymouth, and his wife Helen, issued an appeal across social media to try to help fulfill Toby’s dream.

The former SAS soldier and best-selling author Chris Ryan picked this up and it went viral on X (formerly Twitter) and the rugby organisation Rugby4Heroes, which supports injured soldiers and the families who have lost loved ones gave Toby and Rob tickets for the Ireland match.

Rugby4Heroes is a rugby and music festival run by Old Leamingtonians RFC to support Armed Forces charities. Volunteer and member Mike Vallance donated his own tickets to the pair, saying: “It was the least I could do for a young man who has served his country and is showing such courage in such difficult circumstances.”

Toby, who is now wh

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