As a young teenager Shaun was a thriving West End star, treading the boards in hit play Billy Elliot. A huge United fan, Shaun admits he was always playing football backstage whilst the other boys were practising their lines.
A couple of years later everything changed for Shaun. He contracted sinusitis and the infection backtracked into his brain, leaving him in a coma with only a 10% chance of survival.
Whilst Shaun was in hospital the Manchester United players visited during their annual Christmas trip. On the same day Shaun walked again for the first time in six months and his journey with Manchester United began.
“We didn’t know if we’d ever get our son back,” said Julie, Shaun’s mum. “He’d gone from being fully able bodied, to having a left-sided weakness, to having epilepsy – at one point we didn’t know if he’d ever walk or even talk again. Manchester United Foundation has been Shaun’s lifeline.”
During his recovery process, Shaun’s physiotherapist recommended Ability Counts, the Foundation’s disability football programme. Now 21, Shaun volunteers on a weekly basis, coaching the younger participants and training with the older group. He has also had the opportunity to be reunited with club vice-captain Michael Carrick who visited him on that special day in hospital seven years previously.
Shaun’s journey with Manchester United has made him an inspiration to his peers and his heartwarming story can be viewed in the latest #UnitedandMe film.