Dream come true as footie fan gets to experience life as an England star

Richard Watson-Darby with Gary Neville
Richard Watson-Darby with Gary Neville
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Aylesbury football fan Richard Watson-Darby won the dream chance to experience the life of an England footballer last week.

Richard, from Michaels Mews in Aylesbury, won the opportunity to train at the new England team headquarters at St George’s Park and run out at Wembley as part of an England fan competition organised by the national team sponsor Vauxhall.

Thirty competition winners enjoyed a two-day experience as a ‘day in the life of an England player ahead of a big game’, including a coaching session from current coach and former right back Gary Neville.

After an intense training session the winners had time to recover in the state of the art facilities at St George’s Park and after good night’s sleep the players travelled to Wembley in the England team bus to play in the game of their lives on the hallowed turf.

As a surprise on the day the two teams, who were captained by former Premier League stars Graeme Le Saux and Steve Claridge, also found out that they would be managed by England legends Stuart Pearce and Ray Wilkins in a game refereed by World Cup final official Howard Webb.

Richard said: “The last two days have been a dream come true and an unbelievable experience.

“We have had an access all areas pass to what life is like inside the England camp and the facilities at St George’s Park are phenomenal.

“To be coached by Gary Neville and then managed by Stuart Pearce and Ray Wilkins – all England heroes was a real surprise.

“And running out at Wembley is something I will never forget – it really has been two days that every football fan dreams of.”