By Abigail Withey
Barnsley defender Angus MacDonald has revealed that receiving a signed shirt and boots from his “idol” Aston Villa captain, John Terry, inspired him to achieve his dream of returning to football.
The centre-back, 24, was picked to play for England as a teenager but his career came to an abrupt end when he discovered he had a blood clot on his lung.
MacDonald was told by doctors that he would probably never play football again, which was devastating to the football-focussed youngster.
But after the young defender spent nearly two years recovering he defied the odds and returned to the game.
He has since revealed that receiving the kind gesture from the former Chelsea defender encouraged him to focus on pursuing his dream.
“I got the shirt from JT with a signed pair of boots, and to receive something like that from my idol really inspired me to think: ‘I’m not going to listen to what the doctor said and I’m going to get back to playing football’,” MacDonald told Sky Sports.
“That’s where I wanted to be because it was my dream.”
The pair now have the opportunity to meet almost a decade after the kind gesture from John Terry as Aston Villa prepare to head to the Oakwell to face MacDonald’s side on Saturday.
Both MacDonald and Terry captain their sides so it could be a rather nostalgic and surreal meeting situation for the pair.
Villa are focused on ending their run of frustrating results so it’s unlikely that the 36-year-old skipper will let the link with MacDonald affect his performance or determination to win.
In other Aston Villa news, Steve Bruce opens up about his side’s weakness ahead of their clash against Barnsley on Saturday.