Of course it had to be.....................

Discussion in 'Barnsley FC Memories' started by JLWBigLil, Aug 11, 2005.

  1. JLWBigLil

    JLWBigLil Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2005
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    Barnsley V Wrexham Tuesday 5th April 2005.

    I had asked to be a Mascot and was given the chance. This is what I remember of the evening.

    I was supposed to be joint mascot but Laurie couldn't contact the other little girls family, so I was asked a few days before if I was well enough to do it on my own. Of course I said I would be.

    I was (we were) given a letter telling me (us) to arrive at Oakwell around 6pm and that we could park around the back of the Academy near to the Players Entrance but not to park in Mr. Shepherd or Mr. Cryne's parking spaces, (lol).

    We were met by Laurie who presented me with a clipboard and information about Barnsley Football Club, Oakwell and The Players.
    We then went on a tour round to The Boardroom where I was met by Mr. Shepherd, his wife and one of his sons. I took my coat and trousers off to show them my Goalkeeping kit (Scott's green strip) with Laura No. 1 on the back. We had a chat and dad took a photograph of me with Mr. Shepherd infront of the Trophy Cabinet.

    We then went to the dressing room to see if any of the players had arrived. I was allowed to go in and get my sheet autographed by them and have some photographs taken. Some of the players were even getting changed while me and Mum (and Dad) were in there (clap). Andy Ritchie said he hoped the team would play well for me and I said "just do your best".

    We then went next door and met the Referee and his Assistants. They had a good chat with me and the Referee, Mr. Miller, gave me an official F.A. Match Official Badge.

    While Andy Ritchie was giving his team talk/players were getting changed we went out and had a walk on the pitch just to see what it felt like. As we went outside I was stopped by Dave Cooper who introduced himself to us.

    Then We went for a cup of tea in the Directors Lounge. Dad was overwhelmed as we were having a cuppa with the likes of Dave Penney, John Breckin, Peter Jackson, Phil Parkinson and Martin Foyle. Ronnie Moore was on the Guest list but we didn't see him.

    Then I had to get back to the dressing room to go onto the pitch with the players to warm up. I went onto the pitch with Daniel Nardiello, mum and dad told me that they had been laughing when I came off as the look on Danny's face was a picture. He looked very nervous and didn't know what to do with me in tow. I think he was relieved when I left the pitch to talk to Allen (Journo Tyke) live on Oakwell AM. As I was talking to Allen, Toby Tyke came out and wanted me to go back onto the pitch to play football with him.

    I was getting tired by now but I was enjoying every moment. The best bit was still to come.

    We left the pitch to go back inside and get ready for running out to start the match. As I was going back inside Mr. Shepherd was stood at the Tunnel entrance to say Good Luck to the Players and to ask me if I was Ok and enjoying myself.

    I went to stand at the door at the end of the tunnel, I started to feel nervous. The ground had a lot more people in than the last time I had looked round.

    The Referee and the Assistants came and stood with me and Mr. Miller had a joke with me. He asked me "If I had enjoyed the game, but I had not heard him right and said "yes" so he asked me "what was the score then?" and started to laugh with me. It stopped me feeling nervous and the teams came and lined up.

    The music started and we were off. I was running onto the pitch with Paul Reid. On the pitch I even did some stretches with him.
    I shook hands with the Wrexham Captain, Darren Ferguson (Alex's son) and the Officials, had my photo taken and then ran off to join Mum and Dad.

    We went to sit in seats just behind the Managers Dugouts.
    As I went to sit down Laurie came up to me to tell me that originally both goalkeepers had brought their Silver kits and the Referee having seen me in my green kit told Scott Flinders that he would have to be the Goalkeeper to change strip.

    The football match was very good and very entertaining. I thought we started quicker than Wrexham and looked a strong side. When we scored I jumped up out of my seat.

    Just before half-time I had to go to the edge of the pitch and wait for Scott to come off as I had been told that I was needed for a photograph. Someone from The Chronicle had come down to see me.
    I then had to go and do the half-time draw.

    I was just going to go for another cup of tea to warm me up as I was told that someone in the crowd wanted to speak to me and had a donation for Cystinosis. It was Mr. X. Thank you for your money.

    The second-half Wrexham started very strongly and Barnsley were under alot of pressure. Their players suddenly seemed to be massive compared with ours. I suppose when you have Chris Shuker at 5ft 5ins against Dennis Lawrence at 6ft 7ins then it does seem that way.

    Wrexham equalised and kept the pressure up. They needed the points so when they scored their second goal and Barnsley still looked rocky it looked as if the next goal would also go their way.

    But Andy Ritchie and Barnsley managed to rally round and the game changed again when we pulled it back to 2 - 2.

    Not long after this I started to feel ill. I felt shaky and headachy so mum gave me some dextrose and Laurie got me some Jaffa Cake biscuits and they took me inside where it was warm to sort me out. Thank you to the Ladies in the Directors lounge who helped to look after me. I continued to watch the tv in there.

    After a while I decided I felt better and wanted to go back out. I just got back out as Danny was being helped off the pitch.

    After the match, I went back to wait outside the dressing room so that I could say "Well Done" and "Thank You" to the players.
    Andy Ritchie came and apologised to me for Barnsley not winning.

    The Players were quite down, it was as if they had lost the game.

    I said Goodnight to Daniel as he left and hoped that his injury wasn't too bad. Also I said Goodbye and good luck to most of the Wrexham players as they left.

    I walked out of Oakwell at 10.25pm last night with Paul reid and stood chatting to him for a while in the carpark. He wanted to know more about my illness.

    I really enjoyed myself. I had a fantastic evening and will be writting to All at Barnsley Football Club who helped to make last night one I will remember.

    I got home very tired, hungry and achy (my legs were really hurting) at about 11pm.

    It was a very memorable evening and I have plenty of photographs and autographs to keep looking at to remind me in future. My memories are more about the good people at Barnsley Football Club and what they were like off the pitch rather than on it, so I'm sorry if you expected an account of the way the team played.



  2. JLWBigLil

    JLWBigLil Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2005
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    Thank you City Tyke for adding my photos
  3. Tomi

    Tomi Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2005
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    Great story, Laura

    The photos are ace too, and the one with Chris Shuker always makes me laugh. :D

    Sounds like you had a great time (despite of feeling dizzy at one point), I'm sure you'll never forget that evening. :)
  4. Gue

    Guest Guest

    RE: Great story, Laura

    Great photos laura
  5. Gue

    Guest Guest

    Great story. I would love to be a mascot one day but i won't get the chance now because im too old. Your story really touched me and you were right when you said that it's nice to find out about players lives off the pitch and not just on the pitch. I'm so jealous of you it's unbelievable. Great story, 10 out of 10.:) (england)

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