A lucky young football fan’s dream came true when she met her Arsenal idols as a mascot for their FA cup win over Brighton.
Carrieann Carr, 12, of Bennetts End was picked at random from 25,000 junior Gunners to lead her favourite team onto the pitch at Brighton’s AmEx stadium on Saturday.
The Year 7 pupil at Longdean School also netted a brand-new Arsenal kit, players’ autographs and the chance to greet her heroes in the away dressing room.
Carrieann said: “It was brilliant to have been chosen to be the mascot and to walk the team out onto the pitch.
“I was really happy because Brighton is the team I support after Arsenal. Both clubs have always been special to me so it was the perfect game to be picked for.”
Carrieann’s mum Ann France said: “It was amazing to see Carrieann on the pitch, I was so proud.
“The fact that she was the only girl was really nice, and she has been the envy of all the boys at school. As a huge Arsenal fan, she enjoyed the whole experience, but meeting the players was the icing on the cake.”
Carrieann was signed up as a Junior Gunner as a toddler because her older brother is also an Arsenal supporter. The siblings get their passion from their nan and great uncle, who were also big fans.
According to Carrieann, the highlight of the day was when she met her favourite player.
She said: “I went into the changing rooms and saw that Theo Walcott wasn’t there. I was starting to get quite upset that I wouldn’t meet him.
“Then I was taken around the corner and he was there, having a foot massage.
“He congratulated me on being the only mascot that day, it was amazing.”
Carrieann explained that she often gets stage-fright, and couldn’t believe she was on the pitch in front of 27,113 supporters. She said: “I didn’t really look at the crowd but I knew my mum would be watching proudly. I now have friends at school that are really jealous of me.”