Lords result for cricket-mad Port Talbot schoolboy Nathan Donaldson
HOWZAT for a story of triumph over adversity.
A dream came true for cricket-mad Nathan Donaldson when he was selected to play for his country at Lord's.
That was quite some achievement for a 14-year-old schoolboy — all the more remarkable when you consider Nathan has cerebral palsy and is epileptic.
There was also an unexpected result for his mum and younger brother and sister, who travelled to London with him and had a close encounter with a musical legend.
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Nathan, who lives in Brwyna Avenue in Fairfields and attends St Joseph's Comprehensive School, plays for Port Talbot Cricket Club.
"He's been with them for three years," said mum Danielle Casey. "He wanted to play. We took him down there and he just took to it.
"He's cricket-mad. It was his birthday a few weeks back and he saved his birthday money so he could buy a new bat when he went up to Lord's."
Danielle said the cerebral palsy affected him physically, but that did not stop him playing cricket.
"He has paralysis in his right side, and he has no motor function in his right hand," she explained.
"He wears a splint on his foot and a splint on his hand, but he has to take it of to play otherwise he couldn't hold the bat.
"But he gets over it and he's able to play pretty well. He is a bit of an all-rounder. But it takes it out of him. He's absolutely shattered for days afterwards. He's physically ill, it takes it out of him so much."
Through the Port Talbot club, Nathan was put in touch with the Glamorgan Greencaps disabled cricket club and travels to Cardiff every other week to play at their Sophia Gardens base.
The coach put him forward to represent Wales, and Nathan was selected to play against England at Lord's. Batsmen were limited to 25 runs and Nathan ended up scoring 21 before being caught out. He took a wicket too, helping his country to a 91-90 run victory.
Nathan is hoping his performance will win him a Wales recall for the next match, taking place at Old Trafford in late April.
Danielle took Nathan to Lord's with her two other children, Brooke, aged seven and six-year-old Taylor, and her mum Denise Williams.
As well as the memory of seeing Nathan realise his dream, they also have a memory — and a souvenir — of Sir Paul McCartney.
"He uses the gym there and I couldn't believe it when I saw him," said Danielle. "He posed to have his picture taken with us."