We all remember who our favourite footballer was when we were growing up. Whether Baggio or Beckham, Zidane or Zola, their actions and achievements defined our love for the game and are seared on our memories forever. To get to meet your favourite player though? Well that is another thing entirely, and an experience which for most of us is unlikely ever to happen.
Not so for young Reese Rhoden (pictured above in yellow tshirt), who attends our FBB Schools programme at Quest Academy in Croydon, South London. Due to his good behaviour and hard work both on and off the football pitch, Reese was invited to our recent fundraising evening with Santi Cazorla, giving him the wonderful opportunity to meet his footballing hero. Luckily for us, the magical moment Reese met Santi was caught on video as we were filming the event for our new youth-led media channel FBB TV (watch the video below this article!)
In the video, the two shake hands to greet one another and it’s quite literally a jaw-dropping and hilarious reaction from Reese, who cannot believe his idol is stood right in front of him! This wonderful interaction served as a reminder to us all of the sheer joy and excitement football can bring to people of all ages and backgrounds – as long as they are given the opportunities to enjoy it.
We wanted to share this beautiful moment over and over, and thanks to you – our supporters – the video soon spread far and wide! On our FBB TV YouTube Channel alone, it rapidly surpassed 70,000 views! The video achieved such popularity in fact, that it was picked up by online media outlets as wide ranging as The Telegraph, Bleacher Report UK, 101 Great Goals, Copa 90, The Mirror and The Metro – making Reese quite the viral sensation! The video has now been viewed nearly 200,000 times in aggregate across all these platforms, shared thousands of times on social networks and hosted on countless different news and football websites. This is a fantastic achievement for FBB TV and a real cause for celebration.
For many reasons, in modern football it can feel like the gap between the players and the fans is ever increasing. We are proud to be breaking down the barriers between the two, whilst providing life changing experiences for young people at the same time.
Thanks again to Santi for being so generous with his time – he is a huge asset to the FBB Family!