Eleven-year-old West Ham fan and player Laura Fairey from Benfleet has won a “once in a lifetime opportunity” of walking out with Roy Hodgson’s England team when they face Slovakia in Euro 2016 on Monday 20th June after winning a competition run by Kia Motors and The Sun newspaper.
Laura was lucky enough to be chosen as one of two children from England to be an official match ball carrier at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium in Saint-Étienne, France, in front of millions of television viewers.
As part of the competition, Toni had to submit her child’s footballing story and state why she felt she deserved the opportunity. “Laura has been playing football since the age of five,” Toni recalled. “She tried other hobbies, but football is her passion and what she has stuck with. She is a real team player and enjoys challenging herself.”
“Last May, Laura was diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter Disease [a painful condition which affects the upper part of the shin bone]. She had a particularly bad bout of the condition and was referred to a specialist, undergoing months of physiotherapy. Laura was devastated.”
However, after signing for West Ham United Girls at the age of nine, she’s now been there for two seasons. “I’m pleased to say she is back to full fitness,” Toni revealed. “She has continued to play regular football this season and has learnt to manage the condition. She was determined she was not going to let this stop her from doing what she loves.”
Well done Laura, the only West Ham player in the England setup 🙂
Laura, you are living my dream. Go for it girl, you are brave and determined for not giving up in the face of adversity. I hope all your dreams come true. COYI x
here here Liddy