FOOTBALL mad Max Potts loves to play soccer.

Now, thanks to his new lightweight wheelchair, the energetic seven-year-old can continue enjoying his favourite sport.

"It has made a massive difference," said his mum Kim, 35, from Winsford. "He had outgrown his old wheelchair.

Winsford Guardian:

Max Potts, seven, is now able to continue playing football with his new lightweight wheelchair

"Max is able to self propel himself. This new wheelchair means he can carry on doing everything and live as independent a life as possible. He can get about by himself."

Middlewich Round Table donated £1,090, Compass Minerals UK contributed a third and Max's family paid a third towards the new £3,400 wheelchair.

Winsford Guardian:

Middlewich Round Table donated £1,090 from the Cider Festival towards Max's new wheelchair

Winsford Diamonds FC also donated money from a mum's boot room which sells pre-loved football boots.

Josh Hicks from Middlewich Round Table, said: "This is all thanks to the wonderful people who attended our Cider Festival in June. It is going to give Max more independence and allow him to carry on playing football."

Max was born prematurely, eight weeks early, weighing just 3lbs 7ozs.

"Every complication you could have he did have," said Kim. "It left him with cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus and visual impairment. He has had surgery on the brain 10 times."

Max underwent his latest operation in April.

"He was really poorly," said Kim. "We were really worried about him but came home from hospital two days after surgery and went back to school a week later. Nothing much stops him."

Winsford Guardian:

Max with his brother Theo, one, and sister Esme, nine

Max, a pupil at Whitegate CE Primary School in Northwich, has astonished everyone with his resilience and determination.

"He is very bright and intelligent," said Kim. "He has so many friends at school and just wants to get on with life. He wants to be given the opportunities that everyone else has. He wants people to see him, not the disability."

"He is like any other seven-year-old boy. He likes laughing at inappropriate jokes. He is very funny."

Winsford Guardian:

Max likes laughing

Poor eyesight means he relies on practical experience and hands-on activities to develop his skills.

"Vision causes his biggest issue," explained Kim. "He is unable to read and write because of his vision so the greater experience he has, the greater he is able to understand everything.

"He goes on lots of school trips. He needs to do things and be immersed in something. Experiencing things at first hand is really important."

Max loves spending time with his sister Esme, nine, brother Theo, one, mum Kim and dad Jon.

Winsford Guardian:

Max loves spending time with his brother Theo, one, mum Kim, sister Esme, nine, and dad Jon

"We try and do lots of things as a family," said Kim. "We have lots of breaks and weekends away. We went to Alton Towers at the weekend and took him on all the rides.

"Max loves public transport so we take him on trains and trams. He also adores the emergency services and would like to be a firefighter."

Winsford Guardian:

Max loves the emergency services and was thrilled to get the chance to sit on a police motorbike

Manchester United fan Max belongs to Winsford Community Disabled Football Team.

"He is massively into football," said Kim. "He loves to be fully included and enjoys being part of a team.

"This has boosted his confidence and given him other opportunities. He is going to be in a football themed episode of CBeebies in January."

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Winsford Guardian:

Max having fun with his sister Esme

Kim wants to thank everyone who generously donated towards Max's new wheelchair.

"It is not easy to ask people for money but £3,500 is a lot to find. We are very grateful to everyone who helped."