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Gunners fan proves he’s the fastest on the draw
FOOTBALL players seem to get younger every year, but this one has really jumped the Gunners.
Lucky nine-year-old Freddie Richens, from Faringdon, was chosen at random from more than 30,000 young Arsenal fans to be Arsenal’s mascot for a Premier League match.
He led the team out on to the pitch before their 1-1 draw against Everton on Sunday.
Being a member of Arsenal’s junior supporter’s club, the Junior Gunners, gave Freddie the once-in-a-lifetime chance of walking the team out on to the pitch for the kick-off at the Emirates Stadium.
He even got to meet his heroes ahead of the game, including the side’s record £42.5m signing, midfielder Mesut Ozil.
Freddie, who goes to Longcot and Fernham CofE School, near Faringdon, said he was delighted.
He said: “It was brilliant to have been chosen to be the mascot and to walk the team out on to the pitch.
“I got to meet loads of players; it was really exciting.”
Mr Ozil said the feeling was mutual: “It was great to meet Freddie. He was really excited and a passionate young supporter. It was good to see.”
Freddie, who lives in Marlborough Gardens, Faringdon, inherited his love of Arsenal from his uncle Stacey, who picked the Gunners to support when he was growing up in Faringdon.
Now the whole family – Freddie, his big brother Toby, 14, uncle Stacey, cousin Mia, 10, and granddad Peter Wright, all go to watch them play a few times each year.
Mr Wright, who also lives in Marlborough Gardens, said: “How good does it get? What a lucky young man.
“When his mum Amanda saw him walk out on to the pitch she burst into tears.”
Freddie also plays tennis at county level and takes in the odd round of golf with his granddad.
Sue Campbell, manager of the Junior Gunners, said: “We were delighted to offer Freddie the chance to be our mascot for the game against Everton.
“This is one of the many occasions throughout the year where our Junior Gunners get the opportunity to meet their heroes, and it is always a memorable event.”
- Information on the Junior Gunners and becoming an Arsenal mascot at www.always aheadofthegame.com/junior
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