A YOUNGSTER started Saturday afternoon as a ball boy but ended it as a masked superhero – and the envy of all his friends.
Cramlington Town Juniors player Callum Hobson had been excited at the prospect of being ball boy at St James’s Park for Newcastle United’s clash with Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup’s third round.
And it will go down as one of the 12-year-old season ticket holder’s favourite games.
As the match appeared to be heading towards a replay at Ewood Park, up stepped winger Jonas Gutierrez to score in the last minute of injury time and win the game 2-1.
The Argentinian international engaged in his customary celebration of pulling out his Spider-Man mask from his shorts, putting it on and simulating the firing of webs.
After the game, Gutierrez threw his mask, signed beforehand, towards the crowd, but it fell short and fellow magpies star Ryan Taylor picked it up and handed it to Callum.
The youngster, of Dudley, said: “I was happy and excited to get it. I didn’t know what to do when it landed on the pitch next to me until Ryan Taylor gave it to me.
“I’ve worn it and done Jonas’s celebrations. It smells a bit – a mix of Deep Heat and sweat. I want to put it on my wall.”
The football-mad youngster is also considering putting the mask in his sock for his next game and wearing it if he scores.
“I’m hoping it’ll give me some luck,” he said.
Callum was nominated to act as a ball boy by his club, courtesy of the links between the Pin Point Recruitment Junior Football League and the Newcastle United Foundation.
Cramlington Town had put Callum’s name forward as he has been with the club for five years and shown dedication and enthusiasm in that time.
A PPRJFL spokesperson said: “The league is keen to improve behaviour within football and is delighted with the success of this scheme in going some way in achieving its aim.
“The ball boys always have exciting and memorable experiences at the matches, and this was certainly the case for Callum.”