Jack, a football-mad student from Highfurlong School, was given the opportunity of a lifetime when he was invited to Poolfoot Farm to spend the morning with Fleetwood Town’s manager and players.
After pledging his support for local special school, Highfurlong, Chairman of Fleetwood Town Football Club, Andy Pilley, made a real connection with 16-year-old Jack when he visited the school last month to launch the partnership.
Andy chatted to Jack about his football dreams, and invited him to Poolfoot for a morning to remember.
When Jack arrived, he was greeted by Andy and presented with a goodie bag full of Fleetwood Town merchandise, including a shirt, scarf and autograph book.
During his visit, he chatted with first team players who all signed his shirt, he watched the players train, met Joey Barton who had him laughing his socks off, and he was treated to lunch at The Crossbar.
Andy Pilley said: “I met Jack during my first visit to Highfurlong a few weeks ago and was amazed by his football knowledge and passion for the game - he's definitely the young man you want on your quiz team!
“Jack told me about his dream to work in football coaching in the future, so I thought the best way to kick start things was to get him along to meet the manager and players, and to watch the first team training.
“It's been wonderful to see the smile on Jack's face today, and since he's already proven to be a good luck charm for the team, we can't wait to welcome him back when we play Blackpool at home."
Jack thoroughly enjoyed his visit and can’t wait to return.
“I had an amazing morning at Poolfoot Farm,” said Jack. “I got to meet lots of the players and they all signed my Fleetwood Town shirt.
“It’s hard to choose a favourite moment, but if I had to, then I think it would be meeting Joey Barton – we had a good chat and he was really funny. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in action at the Blackpool game next week, and I’ll be there cheering them on.
“I’m also going to be completing my work experience at Poolfoot in June, which I can’t wait for because I’ll find out what it’s like to work in a sporting environment.”
Highfurlong School, which is rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, delivers education and care to children and young people with a wide range of physical, medical and neurological conditions aged between two and 19 years old.
Through the partnership, Andy wanted to not only provide students with fun experiences, but also the chance to learn key skills they can transfer to the workplace, which is crucial especially as they reach the end of their school careers.