A YOUNG football fan had the time of his life when he walked out with Champions League footballers live on TV.
Nicholas Butler, eight, is the envy of his classmates and is still “bouncing off the walls” after being chosen as a mascot for Chelsea’s game against Turkish champions Galatasaray.
Nicholas beat youngsters from across the country in a competition to be one of the mascots for Tuesday night’s game.
It meant he took to the Stamford Bridge pitch alongside superstars like John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba.
Nicholas’s proud mum, Sharon, 41, of Juniper Road, Leigh, entered her football-mad son into the competition.
She watched him on TV with Nicholas’s brother Alexander, nine, and sister Cassandra, aged four, while dad Lee was at the game with Nicholas.
Sharon said: “He was one of 22 kids from all over the country. He walked out with Yekta Kurtulus, a Galatasaray player. We were really proud of Nicholas and took pictures of the TV screen and put them on Facebook.
“He’s an Arsenal supporter really, but that didn’t matter.
“I don’t really think he quite realised what it would be like until he was there.
“He walked out in front of 43,000 people and there were photograpers taking pictures – but he took it all in his stride. I was so proud of him.”
Nicholas is a goalkeeper for Leigh Ramblers’ Under-8s Tigers’ team and goes to Blenheim Primary School in Leigh. Sharon added: “They are holding a special assembly for him at school tomorrow for him to tell them all about it.
“He got asked for his autograph and was loving it. He’s still bouncing off the walls.”
Nicholas said: “It was really exciting and nerve-wracking. The best bit was when we went out on to the pitch. Basically, I was just staring at Petr Cech (the Chelsea ’keeper) and the crowd.
“I was onTVand loads of people were texting my mum and dad.”
Chelsea won 2-0 to go through to the Champions League quarterfinals, where they could meet the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona.