Dulwich Hamlet Football Club treated 40 FBB Schools participants to free tickets for their 4-0 win over Merstham on Tuesday.
Students from Chestnut Grove and Archbishop Lanfranc Academies were rewarded with the tickets for their hard work both on the pitch and in the classroom as part of FBB’s partnership with Dulwich Hamlet FC, and for some it was their first experience of live football.
“It’s exciting, this is my first game and I’ve never seen players play in real life,” said Ashley, Archbishop Lanfranc pupil, before the game.
“I can tell whether they’re any good or not!”
Jake, from Archbishop Lanfranc, told FBB before kick-off he was excited to be able to attend the game with his brother together with everyone at FBB.
“I can remember this as my first game and it’s nice meeting everyone at FBB,” he said.
Teacher Tom Bateman explained how coming to Dulwich can show young people a different side of the game.
“When the kids think about going to football matches, they always think about going to big stadiums and Premier League football, the good thing about Dulwich is they can get close to the action,” he said.
“Football is such a multi-faceted sport, there’s so many different avenues; grass roots up to the very top.
“The kids see the top stuff all the time, they play FIFA, they watch Match of the Day and don’t necessarily understand there are thousands of other people making a living in football and thousands of other people involved in football.”
Duncan Hart, Dulwich Hamlet Supporters Trust, was delighted so many kids were cheering Dulwich on.
“With it being half-term this week, to get some of the kids down here enjoying the game, it’s fantastic to hear,” said Hart.
“Football Beyond Borders do some fantastic work overseas, and really importantly in the last few years, in the community in Camberwell just down the road from here.”
Hart told FBB he wants more of the community to head to Dulwich Hamlet and experience football in a different way.
“It’s about being together as a community, enjoying the game, enjoying each other’s company, making everyone feel welcome. It’s more than just watching the game, it’s being part of the whole match day experience,” he added.
The home support rubbed off on Alfie, Chestnut Grove pupil. “This is a nice local crowd and it’s a good game because they’re raw footballers,” he said.
Thomas, 11, is one of Dulwich’s biggest fans and said it’s great FBB are bringing more football fans to Champion Hill.
Thomas gave a final reason for football fans to give them a try: “We’re top of the league!”
A huge thank you to Dulwich Hamlet FC for hosting us, and for helping us raise £350 at our football quiz on Thursday. Look out for the full report of the quiz out next week!
WATCH: FBB TV Away Days – Dulwich Hamlet FC (presented by FBB Schools participant Matthew Young)