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West Ham mascots have special day at Leicester City game

PUBLISHED: 15:30 24 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:48 25 April 2019

West Ham mascot Lucas Gardener with dad Chris and Tracy Tombides from DT38 before the match against Leicester City at the London Stadium

West Ham mascot Lucas Gardener with dad Chris and Tracy Tombides from DT38 before the match against Leicester City at the London Stadium

Archant

Almost a perfect day for Hammers youngsters after mascot experience

Andrew Bruce and son James with Tracy Tombides from DT38 at the Leicester City gameAndrew Bruce and son James with Tracy Tombides from DT38 at the Leicester City game

West Ham may not have won, but it proved to be a wonderful day for matchday mascot Lucas Gardener on Saturday at the London Stadium.

The seven-year-old was one of the mascots on the day after his father Chris pledged £600 for the privilege in an auction organised by the West Ham United Independent Supporters Association (WHUISA) who also pledged £100.

The youngster takes up the story of his unforgettable experience.

“We got up early and went to the stadium when almost nobody was there.

Andrew Bruce and son James at the Dylan Tombides MemoritalAndrew Bruce and son James at the Dylan Tombides Memorital

“I met all the other mascots at our meeting point and also met Martin Allen - my dad said he was a really good player in the old days!”

He continued: “I got my photo taken with all of the other mascots on the pitch and then we were taken to the changing rooms to meet the players.

“I met with Fabianski, Masuaku, Diop, Zabeleta and lots of others and they all signed my autograph book.

“I was a bit sad I didn't see Mark Noble or Declan Rice but it was still fun.

Robert SnodgrassRobert Snodgrass

“We then went out on to the pitch and had a hard training session which I really enjoyed. By now the ground was beginning to get busy which was really exciting.

“I was then allowed to go on the team bus and told where all the players sit. Then it was time for the game to start.

“I was holding Zabeleta's hand and he was really nice and kind. I shook all the hands of the Leicester players and the referees. The noise from the crowd was great.

“After the final whistle we went near the pitch and Robert Snodgrass gave me his match shirt and is now one of my favourite players.

“I had a fantastic day even though we did not win......and thank you Robert Snodgrass!”

That is what it means to a young mascot.

The match also served as awareness day for the Dylan Tombides charity (DT38).

And charity founder and Dylan's Mum Tracy Tombides also helped another youngster to have his dream fulfilled.

The next highest bid at the WHUISA auction was made on behalf of 10-year-old James Briscoe from Melbourne, Australia, who is visiting the UK with his family.

Tracy kindly arranged for young James to also be included in some of the pitch-side mascot activity on the day.

There was also a minute's applause in memory of Dylan during the game.

All in all, a wonderful day.

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