A beautiful festive picture taken by a former Birmingham Mail photographer has been delivered to postboxes across the UK this Christmas.
The shot (below) of a severely ill Birmingham boy with Aston Villa footballers was chosen by the Premiership club to adorn its official 2008 Christmas card.
It was taken by Loretta Brennan, who recently left the Trinity Mirror title, and features seven-year-old Luke Webster with star defender Martin Laursen.
Luke suffers with an incurable paralysing disease and is a regular at the city’s Acorns hospice charity which Aston Villa sponsors.
The club’s American owner Randy Lerner will be sending out the card to the great and good across Birmingham and nationwide including supporters, corporate clients, residents living around Villa Park and possibly Prince William and David Cameron who are both Villa fans.
When the contract with Aston Villa’s previous shirt sponsor ended, the club decided to emblazon the Acorns logo across its home and away shirts, instead of seeking a new sponsorship deal.
Mail editor Steve Dyson blogged: “Premiership clubs get knocked for lots of things….even Villa were criticised for the price of beer in the ground last week.
“But some efforts put certain clubs above the others, and not many in football take Villa’s commitment to Acorns lightly.
“The Birmingham Mail was certainly proud to be of assistance.”