He was meant to be getting an early night for school on Thursday morning, but 11-year-old Aran had an evening to remember as he led the teams out at Stamford Bridge before watching Chelsea secure a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur last week.
As part of his involvement in the Premier League Primary Stars programme, Aran who attends Cranmere Primary School, was selected to be a Premier League referee mascot for the Blues league fixture against Spurs last Wednesday.
EA Sports provide money-can’t-buy incentives like Aran’s mascot experience, match tickets and signed shirts to pupils that demonstrate of the Premier League Primary Stars values of being ambitious, connected, fair and inspiring.
Aran was selected for the referee mascot experience after constantly demonstrating the core value of ‘Being Fair’ in Foundation-led PE lessons and lunchtime and after school football clubs.
Schools education manager Sam Gaskin-Kemp said: ‘Aran was a deserved winner of the referee mascot experience after showing great sportsmanship to all peers and being especially considerate to all abilities within his class and team.
‘This was shown through once again when representing his school football team – when Aran volunteered to go in goal when the schools regular goalkeeper was off school ill.’
On the night, Aran led the teams out alongside referee Andre Marriner and met the captains during the handshake prior to kick-off before taking his seat at the Bridge to watch an impressive 2-0 win for Maurizio Sarri’s side.
Aran added: ‘I felt ecstatic as I entered Stamford Bridge to see the outstanding atmosphere of thousands of people.
‘I was so excited to be featured at the start of a professional football match and was so anxious to meet all the famous players. My heart raced as I picked up the match ball.
‘At school the next day I entered the gates to see five or six people crowding me and asking lots of questions.
‘I had a great day and I’m so glad I was given this chance by my teachers and Sam.’
To learn more on the work the Foundation do through the Premier League Primary Stars programme, click here.