A YOUNG boy from Bromsgrove will walk out with Liverpool Football Club ahead of its Champions League Semi-Final clash with Barcelona tonight.
Nine-year-old Orlando Boyce, who plays in goal for Catshill under 9s football team, will stand side by side with the players at Anfield moments before they attempt to overturn the 3-0 deficit inflicted by Barcelona in the first leg.
He was chosen to be a Liverpool mascot after his mum Karen entered him into Mastercard’s UEFA competition.
“When I applied I didn’t know what game it would be for,” said Karen, “but it didn’t really matter because Orlando is just generally football-mad despite actually being an Aston Villa fan.”
Karen received a call last week explaining that Orlando had been shortlisted for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“At 134cm tall he just about met the competition’s requirements – which is to be under 135cm,” said Karen.
“I was a bit taken back by how specific it was but in general we’re just really excited he has been selected.”
The reds put in a good performance in the first leg despite conceding goals from former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.
Speaking on Liverpool’s quest for redemption, the Fairfield First School pupil said: “They might be able to pull it off but it will be hard.
“I’m really excited to be standing next to the players, especially Messi who I think is better than Ronaldo and the best player in the world.”
Orlando is currently in Liverpool with his dad Gary, ahead of the 8pm kickoff.
Gary said: “I’m not sure what to expect tonight but we’re looking forward to having a tour of the city before the game.”