A DREAM came true for best friends Theo and Taylor when they were mascots for the Boro v Huddersfield game.
They could not believe their luck when they were selected at random to be mascots at the game on Saturday 22 October. To make the day even more special, nine of their school friends were also chosen to take part in the pre-game player walkout.
This is their account of the day in their own words (with a little help from their teachers).
“We had the great honour of being Middlesbrough FC match-day mascots. We were very nervous and didn’t get any sleep the night before due to excitement. We woke up so early, it was definitely a morning where our mams did not have to shout us out of bed! We had been given brand new strips from MFC and wore these to the game – we looked so smart and felt very special.” Theo & Taylor
1.15pm Theo and Taylor, ready in their new white kits, arrived at the Ayresome Park gates accompanied by their mums and were greeted by MFC Foundation’s PLPS Coordinator Natalie Guy. Both mascots also received a commemorative medal, an MFC football and match day programme.
“When we arrived at the ground, we met Natalie who looked after us so well, she calmed our nerves down so much. Natalie gave us gift bags which contained a ball and mascot medals, we will treasure these medals for the rest of our lives.” Theo & Taylor
1.30pm After entering the stadium and walking pitch side for their first glimpse of the hallowed turf, the boys went to the home dressing room to meet the players and staff and were able to get their new footballs signed.
1.45pm Whilst the players were finishing their pre-match preparations, the boys learnt more about the stadium, including where the media and press teams are located and also where all the security cameras are positioned.
2pm One hour until kick-off. Generation Red Family Zone, an interactive and child-friendly area of the concourse, was next up for the boys, before heading back round to the tunnel in time for the players warming up.
2.15pm The boys were joined in the stadium by their fellow classmates, and greeted each other close to the tunnel with beaming smiles on their faces and plenty of high fives.
2.45pm As kick off approached, the boys became more and more excited. With the noise of the crowd slowly rising and the booming sound of the legendary Boro anthem Pig Bag echoing around the stadium, some nerves started to creep in.
“We couldn’t believe how noisy the crowd was, we couldn’t hear ourselves think.” Theo & Taylor
2.55pm This was their moment of truth, it was time to walk onto the Riverside Stadium pitch. All the children had beaming smiles and loved walking out with the team. The children’s parent’s cameras were clicking away frantically, trying to capture every precious moment.
“It was now the time for our big moment, the music kicked in and the crowd were electrifying. The players came out and we walked out with the captain Jonny Howson. Our hearts were beating so much we felt like they were coming out of our chests. It was the most phenomenal time of our lives and we actually thought we were in a dream!” Theo & Taylor
“The children have had a day they will never forget, some of the children had never been to a game before let alone the chance to walkout alongside the players. They will talk about this day for the rest of their lives.” Natalie Guy MFC Foundation PLPS Coordinator
“I am so grateful that MFC provided our children with this phenomenal opportunity. I felt very privileged to share this day with our children and their parents – it was an absolute pleasure to witness our pupils’ dreams come true! I can’t thank everyone enough who was involved in making this memorable day so special for our children and their families.” Claire McNicholas, Head Teacher, St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Primary School
“We absolutely loved our experience and we truly know that we have been so lucky to have this once in a lifetime opportunity. We made lots of amazing memories that we will never ever forget. It was the best experience we’d ever had! Thank you MFC and MFC Foundation for making our dreams come true. UTB!” Year 6 children from St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Primary School