Kobe, 10, walks out at Old Trafford with Rooney
Published on: 08 Jun 2015
WHEN 10-year-old Kobe Hill was selected as a mascot for a Manchester United game, he couldn’t believe his luck.
Then, when he discovered it would be the local derby against arch rivals Manchester City, he thought that things couldn’t get any better.
But just before the game at Old Trafford, it seemed the best news was still to come.
For Kobe had to pick the name of the player he would walk on to the pitch with out of a hat - and he drew out none other than his footballing hero, Wayne Rooney.
As well as getting a chance to natter to the Man U captain, it meant he was first out of the tunnel to the roar of a 75,000-strong crowd.
Kobe, a pupil at Bromley Heath Junior School, couldn’t take the smile off his face as footage of them was beamed out to millions of people across the world at the start of the game on April 12.
Mum Faye, who lives in Bromley Heath with husband Christian and Kobe’s seven-year-old brother Corey, said: “You don’t find out which player you come out with until you get there. The children were all given football strips to wear and then had to pick names out of a hat. Kobe pulled out Wayne Rooney so he was first out on the pitch with the captain!
“I was sat directly opposite the tunnel with my other son Corey and it was amazing to see Kobe come out with Wayne Rooney. I even had a little tear!
“Kobe was chuffed to bits and was chatting away to Wayne Rooney when they were in the tunnel.”
Kobe, who plays football at Mangotsfield, has become somewhat of a celebrity after his walk of fame was witnessed by scores of local football fans.
“It was such a massive game that so many people saw it,” said Faye.
“People kept Facebooking us and saying ‘We’ve just seen Kobe on the TV!’
“Before he picked Wayne Rooney out we told Kobe that regardless of who he selected it was going to be an amazing thing to walk out to 75,000 people. That’s something that hardly anyone will get to experience, apart from players. That opportunity was awesome enough so it didn’t matter who he got but picking Wayne Rooney was just the icing on the cake. We couldn’t have asked for the day to be any better.”
And in case you’re wondering, the day ended as good as it started for Kobe with United winning 4-2.