Date published: 10/05/2013
Five year old Niall Redman from Dimsdale had his dream come true when he led out Stoke City FC at the Britannia Stadium against Norwich City FC on Saturday 27 April.
On the day, Stoke took all three points with the only goal of the game coming a minute into the second half through Potter’s midfielder Charlie Adam.
Niall regularly attends cricket coaching sessions at his local Barclays Spaces for Sports site, Silverdale Cricket Club, and was selected by the site to be an official Barclays Premier League mascot after being drawn out of a hat during a free raffle at the club.
Niall’s whole family are Stoke City fans and he described walking onto the pitch with his hero, Steven N’Zonzi, in front of mum, dad and 25,000 others at the Britannia Stadium as “the best day ever”.
The opportunity came from the Barclays Spaces for Sports programme which has built 200 community sports sites in partnership with the Football Foundation.
The programme uses sport to revitalise disadvantaged communities and tackle key social issues by helping young people develop a range of life and employment skills. It is part of Barclays community investment programme and wider Citizenship agenda.
Jim Rowley from Silverdale Cricket Club said, “Silverdale Cricket Club is very proud of the significant benefits it brings to the local area and I’m really pleased that Barclays Spaces for Sports was able to give the rare chance of being a Barclays Premier League mascot to one of the youngest members of the club.”
A Barclays spokesman said, “Barclays Spaces for Sports is delighted to provide this unique opportunity for Niall to be an official mascot of the Barclays Premier League game between Stoke City FC and Norwich City FC. This is one way in which the programme supports the many thousands of participants at our 200 sites across the country.”
Niall said, “I like playing cricket at Silverdale Cricket Club and it was great to be on the pitch with Steven N’Zonzi. It was the best day ever.”