A YOUNG football fan who discovered he had been chosen as the mascot to lead the England team out at Wembley next Wednesday said: "It’s better than Christmas."
Little Lewis Garratty, nine, is a huge Blackburn Rovers fan whose favourite player is David Bentley.
His dad Peter, a member of the England fan club, had entered his son into the competition to be a mascot.
Lewis lives in Grizedale Close, Clayton-le-Moors, with his dad, mum Donna, brother Jonathan, 15, and sister Bethany, seven.
He will lead the team out onto the pitch before the friendly match against Switzerland which is Fabio Capello’s first game as England manager.
Lewis, who has already been to Wembley Stadium twice, will be given a commemorative football strip to wear and keep as a memento of the day.
The All Saints Primary School pupil told the Observer: "I am really excited but a bit nervous about walking out in front of all those people.
"I came home one day and my mum and dad told me I had won.
"My friends don’t believe me but they said they will look out for me on the television."
Lewis’s favourite England player is Steven Gerrard and the youngster said he is looking forward to meeting his sporting hero.
British Gas electrician Peter, 45, added: "He is so excited he couldn’t sleep properly for three days after we found out. He has really been on edge."