While millions of fans were cheering England’s victory over Poland in the World Cup qualifier, one Preston youngster had an extra special reason to celebrate.
Joe Harrison, nine, walked out at Wembley Stadium with the England football team ahead of their big game.
The soccer-made youngster. from Longton, near Preston, accompanied defender Phil Jagielka onto the hallowed turf in front of an 85,000 strong crowd. Millions more watched him on TV - including his schoolpals and family.
The match saw England secure their place in the World Cup Finals in Brazil thanks to goals from Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard.
Joe, who won the Player Escort place after entering a national competition via the McDonald’s Kickstart website, said: “It was amazing walking out onto the pitch and I am really happy that I saw England win.
“I can’t wait to see England play in the World Cup.”
Joe won his chance to appear with his footballing heroes after entering and online draw.
McDonald’s and The FA have been Community Partners since 2002 and have worked together to help young footballers shine by creating more opportunities for children to get involved in football.
Through this partnership McDonald’s and The FA will support 400,000 volunteers, 6,000 grassroots clubs and create a total of 30,000 qualified coaches by 2014.l.
Sir Geoff Hurst, an ex-England star is McDonald’s Director of Football said: “It was fantastic to finally book our place in Brazil. The McDonald’s football programme is about creating opportunities for people to get involved in grassroots football and to give youngsters footballing opportunities they will never forget. Hopefully this was one of them.”