Atherton schoolboy escorts England players to Wembley win over Brazil

Joe Grainey (front, second from left) on the Wembley pitch as Bobby Charlton greets the England players.

Joe Grainey (front, second from left) on the Wembley pitch as Bobby Charlton greets the England players.

First published in News

NINE year-old soccer player Joe Grainey couldn't believe his luck when he stepped out onto the Wembley turf with his Liverpool FC and England hero Glen Johnson.

He'd enjoyed his ninth birthday just two days before he played his own part in England's famous victory over Brazil last Wednesday evening.

The Anfield regular who attends St Richard's Catholic Primary School, Atherton was the envy of his Atherton Town Juniors FC team-mates when he won the opportunity to escort an England player onto the pitch and lined-up for the pre-match introduction in full England kit after entering a national competition via the McDonald’s Kickstart website.

He couldn't have wished for a better present.

Goals from Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard either side of Fred’s goal for Brazil gave England a 2-1 victory.

Afterwards, Joe, who went down to Wembley with his mum and dad Rachel and Paul and his baby brother Finlay, said: “I couldn’t wait to walk out onto the pitch with the England players. It was brilliant to be at Wembley and to see Brazil and England!”

And this weekend he and his dad will be at Anfield again for Liverpool's game with Swansea and he'll be taking along his England shirt and hopes to get Glen Johnson to sign it.

Sir Geoff Hurst, McDonald’s Director of Football, said: “It is a great experience to walk out on the pitch at Wembley Stadium – it’s something that these young player escorts will never forget. And to walk out before a match against Brazil is very special indeed.”

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