THEY came from the Galactic Empire with one mission in mind – to surprise a Linthwaite schoolboy.
And members of the 99th Garrison did just that when Lucas Bearder opened the front door to dozens of Star Wars foot-soldiers.
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Nine-year-old Lucas was amazed to see the Stormtroopers outside his Linthwaite family home – and was even more surprised when they gave him a present.
Mum Gaynor Bearder said her friend, former Almondbury High School teacher Morag Kerr, organised the surprise for Lucas to “put a smile on his face.”
Lucas is the big brother of Joel Bearder, who underwent heart surgery 10 weeks ago.
Gaynor, along with husband Antony, said the Stormtroopers helped put Lucas at the centre of attention and make him feel special after a tough time for the family.
Gaynor said: “Morag asked if she could do something for Lucas and she arranged it.
“Because Joel has been in hospital she wanted Lucas to feel special.
“We kept it top secret, we told Joel a few minutes before because we didn’t want him to be scared after his recent heart operation.
“So when they banged on the door we took Joel upstairs and asked Lucas to open the door.
“His face was a picture.
“They came into the house and gave him and Joel light sabers and they gave Lucas an extra gift of some Star Wars Lego.
“They told him they were there because he’d been a brilliant big brother to Joel.
“Then Lucas led them up the street to the play area – he was beaming all the way.”
The Star Wars Stormtroopers are part of the 99th Garrison which formed in 2010. Members become Stormtroopers and make visits to bring a smile to people’s faces and raise funds for charity.
At exactly 13.00 hours Lucas became their sole target – and the fun got underway.
After Lucas and Joel got their gifts, Lucas led the way as children from throughout the Banks Road area of Linthwaite joined the march.
And they got up to some mischief too – stopping cars to ask for permits and even ‘arresting’ the Examiner’s photographer, Andy Catchpool for not producing his permit quickly enough.
Gaynor added: “The joy on the faces of all the children made it so much more special.
“Lucas is an amazing big brother to Joel, he understands what Joel has to go through and as parents we do all we can to split our time evenly.
“When you have a sick child it’s difficult. Lucas was four when Joel was born so he’s grown up with it and is an amazing big brother, really supportive of Joel.
“This was about him and for me seeing Lucas smile so freely was just amazing.”