England v USA Under 17s - Meadow Lane
I was working in Central London on Thursday when John Daniel phoned me asking if we could supply 6 kids to be flag bearers for the game at Meadow Lane (Notts County Ground) on Monday 17th. The names of the 6 chosen kids had to be at the FA by Friday morning. After several phone calls, I managed to get the six children: Billy Bennett, Chelsea Bennett, Charlie Schoolar, Michael Lee, Laura O’Neil and Callum Bradwell.
We arranged to meet at the Top Club at 5.45pm on Monday and Gerry had agreed to take the kids and parents in the new community mini bus to Meadow Lane. When we arrived, Brazil were playing Portugal in the first game of the 4 team tournament at 6.45pm. On arrival we met up with John-Paul Consadine and John Folwell (Notts County Council Football Development Officers) who took us into the ground to watch 15 minutes of the Brazil match. We then made our way to the reception of NCFC where we met the PR Company who were sorting out the flag bearers and the ball boys (the children were so excited, smiling, laughing, and jumping around). Then the England side passed us shaking the kid’s hands and the famous ex-Liverpool and England goalkeeper. Ray Clemence, came through speaking to the kids.
We then went to get the kids changed into the Calvo Colts kit and the England jumpers. When they were all changed, Gemma (from the PR Company) said how smart the kids looked. When walking through the tunnel, the Brazil and Portugal players came off the pitch passing us in the tunnel, tapping the kids on their heads and shaking their hands.
|Bill Bennett with 2 F.A. Representatives (John Paul Consadine & John Folwell) and the 6 Flag Bearers
||A rare picture of the Calverton players with the
Manager of Brazil Under 17s
With the kids getting excited, we went out onto the pitch looking around at the stadium and crowd with all the kids waving at their parents in the Jimmy Sirrell Stand. We then met the coaches of the Brazil and USA teams (see photos) and also spoke to some of the USA players. We then went back inside to collect the FIFA fair play flag and to practice the walk and how to hold the flag in the proper format. With 10 minutes to go before the kick off, the kids walked down the tunnel carrying the flag past Sky Sports presenter Nigel Spackman (ex Chelsea FC player). The kids, with smiles longer than the Trent, walked out onto the pitch to a warm applause. They walked out into the centre circle and then turned to the player’s tunnel awaiting the players coming out. Charlie was dancing about, Billy straight-faced. Laura, Chelsea, Michael and Callum laughing to themselves.
With the teams out the national anthems started with the USA first, England’s then began with Billy trying to sing to it (bless him) whilst Charlie and Laura still laughing at me and Jean (Laura’s mum).
When the anthems finished the kids went back down the tunnel and we met up with Gemma and Simon from the PR company, they said how well the kids had done and that they should be proud of themselves. Gemma then gave the kids the England jumpers they were wearing, a goodie bag and a huge thank you.
We all then thanked Gemma and Simon and walked around the pitch to the Jimmy Sirrell stand where Billy and Charlie were stopped and asked if they could give some kids their autograph!!
We sat and watched the England game which they lost 1-2 to the USA.
I would like to thank John Folwell, John Daniel, Gerry Nelson, Notts County Football Club, Bern (he took all the photos), all of the parents who came down to the game, Andy Miller and last but not least all of the kids who behaved superbly. A super night for Calvo Colts, kids and parents.