Free Kicks Foundation were honoured to be asked by Darlington Football Club to arrange one of their mascots for the FA Trophy final against Mansfield Town at Wembley.
We contacted St. Teresa’s Hospice in Darlington and they nominated local family, the Kellys to be our guests for the day. We organised for the whole family to come down to London by train so they could all enjoy the day. Twelve year old Patrick was picked to be mascot and to have the huge honour of walking on to the pitch with the players ahead of kick-off.
I popped down to Wembley to meet the Kellys before the game to deliver their tickets, some goody bags and sample the atmosphere around the stadium. Patrick was taken to meet an FA official before having a trip to the dressing room and practising for when he walked out with the teams. After that he had some lunch before meeting the Darlington players and then it was time for final preparations before walking on to the hallowed turf!
Patrick was then taken to be reunited with the rest of his family who had made their way to their seats in the stand. To top off a fantastic day, Darlington won the game 1-0 with a goal in the last minute of extra time!
We would like to thank all at Darlington FC for helping us with our first Wembley kick, especially Mandy Sousa for allowing us the opportunity.