A true friend moved parents and teachers to tears at a school sports day when he made sure his pal with cerebral palsy didn’t come last – by running alongside him.
Kind-hearted Albert Lutkin, six, ignored his classmates whizzing past him in the sprint and chose to match mate Jake Gladstone stride-for-stride.
The moment they crossed the finish line together was captured on video – and left every spectator choked with emotion.
Susan Allison, Jake’s carer at Bricknell Primary School in Hull, East Yorks., said: “There wasn’t a single person who didn’t have a lump in their throat.
“What Albert did for Jake was marvellous.”
Albert’s mum Hanna (corr) Lutkin revealed how her considerate son came up with the idea of running with Jake himself.
Hanna, 38, who lives in Hull with her husband, Simon, and four-year-old son Stan, said: “Albert is such a caring boy and he
and Jake have become really close over the last year.
“They started playing together and Jake is such a lovely boy.
“When the race finished, it made me so emotional and so proud.
“The nicest part about it all from Albert’s point of view is that he doesn’t even realise what a great thing he’s done – he can’t work work out what all the fuss is about.
“He’s just done it without really thinking because Jake’s his friend. For him, I guess it just felt like the right thing to do.
“But Jake is so popular in the class I wouldn’t have been surprised if every one in his class had offered to do the same thing.”
Hanna, a freelance stage manager, added: “It was actually Jake’s teaching assistant that told me Albert had decided to run with Jake.
“I told Albert how proud I was of him but also reminded him that he would make sure he didn’t forget and just run off when the whistle was blown.
“It was such a kind thing of Albert to do. It’s far better than coming first, second or third.”
Jake, six, suffered a stroke when his mum, Sarah Gladstone, 38, was six months pregnant with him.
Despite being born with no noticeable disabilities, at four weeks old Jake had difficulty moving his right hand.
Sarah took him to the GP and MRI scans revealed that a stroke had damaged the left side of Jake’s brain which means the right side of his body does not function properly.
This makes it harder for Jake, who is also on the autistic spectrum, to keep up with the other children and he also had focal epilepsy and developmental delays.
Sarah, a police officer from Hull, said: “The school has been amazing to Jake and this is just another example of it.
“Jake gets on with everyone and they are quite protective of him but he didn’t have a clue what it all meant, but what Albert did for him was so sweet.
“Jake’s really popular at school so I think any of the kids would have done it with him.
Sarah, who is married to fellow police officer Paul, 43, added: “It’s good to know he’s got friends because that’s all you want from your kids to know they are sociable and happy.
“The other parents were really supportive too, they even taped an egg to a ladle and he was running along with it upside down which made a lot of people laugh.
“We are just hoping for more of the same at the next sports day.”
Ms Allison added: “Albert is a really lovely, thoughtful and caring young boy, so before the race he asked me if he could run with Jake.
“I told him I thought it would be a really good idea but when the race started we weren’t sure he would actually go through with it. Then he did and it was just so lovely.
“The whole day was really special.”
Here is the heartwarming video: