A disabled Barnsley fan is ‘devastated’ that his friend Ryan Hedges has left the Reds but has been invited to visit the winger at his new club Aberdeen.

Joe Morris has had both legs amputated in the last two years after suffering from hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy (HSAN) which affects his muscles, tendons and nerves.  The 20-year-old lifelong Barnsley supporter, who also has autism, has grown close to Hedges since the player got in touch after seeing a tweet by Joe’s father Andy.

The Wales international has been meeting Joe roughly once a month for the last year at Toby Carvery in Dodworth.  Andy said: “Having both your legs amputated is a massive thing for anyone, especially an autistic teenager. But whenever Joe has been particularly down, I have contacted Ryan and he has changed his plans to meet up with us. He’s even introduced Joe to his girlfriend.

“Joe absolutely adores Ryan and I think the feeling is mutual. He’s got some of his signed boots and two of his shirts. As a family, we would like to thank him for everything he’s done.”

Hedges this week secured a move to Scottish club Aberdeen after rejecting Barnsley’s offer of a new deal.  Andy said: “Joe is devastated but Ryan has told us that Joe can go up to Scotland to visit him and that has cheered him up a lot.” 

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Joe now walks with prosthetic legs and, after missing four years of action at Oakwell due to his condition, went back to being a regular fan last season.  Andy said: “Joe’s aim was to walk into Oakwell for the first game of the 2018/19 season and he managed it. He went to ten home games during that season and his aim now is to better that next season.”