Chase’s FA Cup Final Mascot experience 

Chase’s FA Cup Final Mascot experience 

 

If you follow me on my social media channels you won’t have missed one or two posts about Chase at the FA Cup Final this weekend!

How did chase get to be a mascot?

Chase entered a competition ran by Emirates airlines.  I first noticed this competition on fellow blogger and comper Di Coke’s Superlucky blog page on Facebook.  To enter the competition you had to send a video of your child aged between 7-11. During the video the entrant had to give a half time pep talk to their team.

Giving a half time pep talk is quite difficult however when you don’t have your own voice! Luckily Chase has a VOCA which he’s getting better with every day.  We sat down together and went through what he would like to say.  It was a very slow process typing it on to his VOCA.  Chase was a complete superstar though and patiently sat through 20 minutes of typing to get his message ready and on the VOCA

Chase got the perfect video in just two takes! I loved how he cheered when he shouted GOAL!!! You can watch Chase’s winning entry here.

Arranging the Prize

When I first received the details through of Chase’s prize I was slightly alarmed that we would be leaving him in the hands of the FA with no parents fror 3 hours before kick off.  I need not have worried at all.  Emirates and the FA were both amazing in adjusting the prize to fit round Chase’s needs.  Part of Chase’s prize includes two nights stay in a posh Mayfair hotel.  Emirates made sure that he had an accessible room and also offered to arrange alternative transport to and from Wembley if we wanted to bring Chase’s electric wheelchair.  The FA also were so accommodating allowing Chase to have a carer with him at all times to meet his care needs (apart from on the pitch of course!)

Who got to go with Chase

For the actual mascot experience I felt it was only right for Chase’s Granddad to take him to the game.  The only reason Chase is a football fan is because of his Granddad and when they spend time together it’s usually to tune into whatever match is on that day! Chase wanted to go to the mascot experience wearing his Arsenal kit

The mascot experince

As I didn’t actually get to go to the mascot experience myself I can only tell you what I’ve been told from Chase’s Granddad about the experience so far!  All the mascots got a tour around Wembley as well as checking out the players changing rooms.  The mascots did two rehearsals walking out on to the pitch before stopping for a packed lunch. They then got changed into their special claret mascot kits.  As expected Chase’s kit was a tad on the large size for him.  I did previously warn the FA he was very tiny but the smallest size they made them in was 7-8.  Luckily Chase didn’t have to get out of his wheelchair or I think the shorts would have been down his ankles!

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 27: Player escort, mascots, tunnel during the Emirates FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

All the mascots got to watch the team warm up before taking their positions ready for the opening proceedings!

Opening Proceedings

Chase did amazingly well going out onto the pitch.  He was teamed with his favourite player Sanchez! He was initially to be pushed out by the FA representative but Sanchez decided he wanted to push him out himself.  I was so proud of watching Chase out on the pitch.  I think any mother would be but I have to say with his disability he has had to overcome so much.  To see him at Wembley in front of a massive crowd with all the noise and fireworks he did an amazing job.  Years ago I think he would have had a complete sensory meltdown in a situation like that. I’m so proud of everything Chase has overcome to be where he stood this weekend.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 27: Player escorts, mascots during the Emirates FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

I’ve made a compilation of all the videos I’ve found across social media detailing his experience which you am check out below.  I’m eagerly awaiting the official pictures hoping that someone’s managed to capture one of his beaming smiles (no mean feat!).

You can also check out some fabulous mascot footage from this extended tunnel camera video over on the FATV channel on You Tube.  The mascots feature just after 3:00 and 4:54 minutes in.

After the Mascot experience

Chase also got to stay to stay and watch the match afterwards.  This was Chase’s first ever live football match and he really enjoyed the atmosphere.  He was however getting extremely tried. Because of Chase’s condition he tired very easily.  Coupled with waking up at 3am that morning due to excitement this meant he was practically falling asleep on his wheelchair.  After half time Chase asked his Grandad if he could go home as he was just too tired.  Leaving early also meant it was easier to get out of the stadium with a wheelchair! He was super happy though to find out that his team won the FA Cup.  Chase did a fab job as Sanchez’s mascot and I’m so grateful for him receiving this amazing experience.  It’s something he won’t ever forget and will remain a much cherished memory for life 

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 27: Player escorts, mascots during the Emirates FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

You can read about one of the other fellow masoct’s experience here over at Di Coke’s SuperLucky blog, as well as see some more pictures of Chase!

Special Thank You’s

I would like to take this moment to say a few thank you’s!  First to Emirates for running such an amazing competition.  Emirate’s were fabulous at arranging the prize and making sure everything was covered for Chase’s needs.  Thank you to the FA for being extra flexible and allowing Chase to have his Granddad with him as his carer.  I’d also like to extend my thanks to Lucy, the FA representative who looked after all the mascots during their experience.  I’ve spoken to Chase and he really enjoyed spending time with Lucy during his experience.

 

13 Comments

  1. Lisa
    May 28, 2017 / 8:31 pm

    How brilliant!!! Great experience Nikki. How great will this be to look back on in years to come xx

    • May 28, 2017 / 8:57 pm

      Thanks Lisa, I’m just so amazed that he even got to do this. I didn’t even think they’d accommodate this type of experience for him 😊

  2. Becky
    May 28, 2017 / 10:03 pm

    It is indeed a precious memory that he will no doutedly look back on very fondly when he’s older, even if he doesn’t quite grasp the enormity of it now! We watched his moment on iPlayer​ and were well impressed!

  3. Jacqueline Roberts
    May 29, 2017 / 12:21 pm

    Made my whole family watch this, first FA cup I really watched because of chase and all the other kiddies.

    • May 29, 2017 / 12:50 pm

      A lot of my friends and family who don’t watch football also tuned into watch for the first time!

    • June 1, 2017 / 8:09 am

      Thanks Becky, he smiles every time i mention it to him 🙂

  4. emma gough
    May 29, 2017 / 11:37 pm

    Another wonderful post. I loved hearing about Chase’s experience. You must feel ready to burst with pride! – what a fantastic lad, who clearly deserved this AWESOME win and more 😀 xxx

    • May 30, 2017 / 7:49 am

      Thank you hun for your kind words! X

  5. Polly Powers
    June 1, 2017 / 11:29 am

    Hi Nikki, reading this brought a tear to my eye, I was lucky enough to meet Chase at the hotel with Zack who was also a mascot, the whole weekend was fabulous and will stay with me forever. The first moment we saw our kids on that pitch was emotional, but to top it off to see Chase being there on the pitch tipped me over the edge, I can’t actually remember when I stopped crying, sunglasses helped me not look to weird in the stands! It was an amazing experience with some really lovely people. Send my love to Chase xx Polly and Zack Xxx

    • June 1, 2017 / 11:32 am

      I’m so pleased Chase got to meet so many amazing people that day! Gutted I wasn’t also able to go with him that day but his Grandad deffo deserved to go with him (I have zero clues about football 😂) I hope both you and Zack also had a fantastic day

      • Polly Powers
        June 2, 2017 / 9:09 pm

        We did have an amazing time, and was great meeting up with a few others with the same hobbie. Xx

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