MILLIONS of people watched a young Hartlepool football team meet their heroes as they appeared on a popular television show last night.
The 14 lucky players, who make up Throston Tornado’s under 13s team, featured on the new series of ITV show Surprise Surprirse where they got to meet the full England team, had a training session with former star Robbie Savage and got the chance to take penalties at Wembley.
The youngsters, all from the town, also got the chance to meet show host Holly Willoughby when they made the visit to London to the show studio.
Allison Kelly, 46, the team’s secretary, said: “The kids couldn’t put into words how much they enjoyed it, it’s something they will still be talking about in years to come.”
As reported in Saturday’s Mail, the team manager and Allison’s partner, Chris Forsyth, 42, applied for the team to feature on the show after being hugely impressed with their never-say-die attitude – despite the fact they only won one game in two years!
And the lads who make up the team were given a string of surprises they will never ever forget.
They were given professional advice and coaching when former Leicester City, Derby County and Wales midfielder Robbie Savage made the trip to Hartlepool and ran a training session with the team.
And there was more to come for the youngsters, who train at Throston Primary School and play their games at Grayfields, in the town.
They were then treated to a visit to the capital for England’s World Cup qualifying game with Ukraine.
But their visit didn’t just involve watching the match.
They watched the full England team train at Arsenal’s training facilities before getting the chance to meet their heroes afterwards.
They also got the chance to hone their knowledge of the game when they had a chat with television pundits.
And just when they thought it couldn’t get any better, the lads got to take penalties on Wembley’s famous turf at half-time.
And as a memento of their amazing time, the team also got a granite stone laid in Wembley Way along with hundreds of others – and a copy of the brick to bring back to Hartlepool with them.
Their treats were shown on last night’s episode of Surprise Surprise, enjoyed by all of the team and their parents who watched the show together in the Golden Lion pub.
Allison, a teaching assistant at Springwell Primary School who lives in the Throston area of Hartlepool with Chris and their children, Amy Forsyth, 14, and Ben Forsyth, 12, said: “It was just an incredible opportunity for all of the team and it was brilliant to watch it all together last night.
“It just got better and better and better for them, what an experience.
“What you saw on the show was brilliant, but it doesn’t get across the whole experience which the kids had.”