A youth football team in Hampshire received a surprise at a recent game thanks to Virgin Media when first team players from Southampton FC turned up as mascots.
Redbridge Wanderers Youth FC had been unable to invest in new kit and equipment for their seven-to-11-year-old players after running into financial difficulties. Upon hearing the news, Virgin Media – the main club sponsor of Southampton FC – wanted to help out. They invited the Redbridge Wanderers’ under 11 boys and girls to Southampton’s Staplewood training ground to play a match. But when they turned up they were in for a surprise…
Southampton’s Premier League stars Charlie Austin, Danny Ings and Jack Stephens are used to walking out to matches with mascots by their sides. But this time, the roles were reversed and Redbridge’s players got to walk out onto the pitch with the professional footballers accompanying them.
“When they [Austin, Ings and Stephens] walked in, I went completely red!” said Jasmine, aged 10, who plays for Redbridge Wanderers Lionesses.
As part of their Super Saints initiative, Virgin Media also supplied new kits for the teams – in addition to kits for the boys’ and girls’ under seven, eight, nine and 10 squads. Southampton FC donated 60 new footballs and an array of training equipment.
Virgin Media’s brand director, Cilesta Van Doorn, said: “When Virgin Media heard about Redbridge Wanderers recent troubles, we felt we had to do something to help them out. What better way to raise their spirits than to let them grace the same turf as their idols in a brand new kit, now proudly sponsored by our amazing Super Saints fans initiative. We had great fun with them on the day and can’t wait to see them shine on the pitch.”
Super Saints is Virgin Media's campaign to give back to Southampton fans for their dedication over the years. Find out more about Super Saints on the Virgin Media website.