Eight months ago, Swardeston’s Bud Bailey nearly died. But in October the Norfolk teenager was over the moon at having been selected to play cricket for his country.
The 14-year-old, of Goffe Close, Watton, has been selected to join the England Under-15s – despite losing 4st and being rushed into hospital with Type 1 diabetes in February this year.
It is the culmination of a dream for the Wayland Community High School teenager, who announced that he wanted to play for England when interviewed by the EDP when he was just 12.
Bud said it is all he has ever wanted to do, and his mum Caroline said he was jumping up and down on his bed with excitement when the news came.
It is a far cry from when he was suddenly taken ill and had to be rushed into hospital after training on his birthday on February 19.
Mrs Bailey said: “He started feeling ill and dizzy after training. By the next week he had blurred vision and couldn’t stand.
“By Sunday he was terrible. He had just lost everything out of his body. He lost 4st. You could see right through him. We thought we had lost him.
“He was back playing cricket a week later. It was the cricket that saved him. If it wasn’t for his fitness he wouldn’t be here today.”
Eight months later, he still has not put all the weight back on and has to inject himself with insulin four times a day.
Bud, who was christened Shaun but is always known by his nickname, said the regular injections and careful eating had started to become routine.
“I am getting used to it now,” he said. “I know what I have got to do. During matches, mum is on the side with the injections.”
In summer he spends up to five days a week training, and has just signed a contract with Northamptonshire cricket academy. The biggest problem now is finding cricket shoes that fit, as Bud has size 15 feet and is 6ft 4in tall. His next pair will have to be specially made at a cost of £300.
He said he was grateful to everyone who helped him, particularly Steve Goldsmith, his former trainer. Bud still played alongside his father, Andy, for Swardeston men’s team and for him, cricket is very much a family affair.
He says: “All my family play cricket and I just like cricket. Both my granddads used to play, and I started playing at my grandparents’ house. I just like all of it really.”
Anyone interested in sponsoring Bud can call Mrs Caroline Bailey on 01953 889263.