West Ham dreams come true for Brentwood nine-year-old

A NINE-year-old boy has won a contract with West Ham United thanks to a �40 birthday present that almost never happened.

Harrison Sullivan, who goes to St Mary’s Hare Park School in Gidea Park, not only got the chance to follow almost every young boy’s dream but has bagged three goals in his first two games for the club’s under-nines.

Proud mother Elaine booked what she thought was a fun footballing day out at Fairlop Oaks, Hainault, in December to celebrate her son’s birthday.

The event had to be called off due to the bad weather and moved to January.

British Telecom manager Elaine, of Mountnessing, Brentwood, said: “We nearly didn’t go but in the end I thought we should as it would be a bit of fun.”

Get Signed Up (GSU) organise trial days where youngsters can be tested on their speed, agility and other technical skills as well as play matches watched by qualified coaches.

Hi-tech equipment measures the player’s abilities and gives them a rating.

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Elaine said: “It was part of his birthday present and nothing to do with trying to make him a superstar or anything like that.

“GSU popped up on the website and I said ‘do you want this as part of your birthday present? He said ‘yes’.”

Afterwards Elaine checked the website and saw her boy had come second on the day which she thought was “pretty good”.

She added: “A few days later a guy phoned me and said they made a mistake and he had come first in the country. It’s been really exciting and I’m really proud.”

Harrison topped a list of 5,000 hopefuls of his own age and in a whirlwind few weeks has signed for the Premier League Club and played two matches, scoring against Charlton in a 3-2 defeat and twice in a 9-2 victory over Ipswich.

Harrison, whose favourite player is Manchester United’s Nani, said: “It was a present – I just went along thinking it would be a fun. It went very, very well. I was surprised because I thought I came second at first because of a mix-up with the papers. It’s been great. I have enjoyed it a lot.”