Sophia Paviour, aged 10 (front left) and Amelie Paviour, aged 12 (front right) with Eastbourne’s goalkeeper, Lee Worgan, Manager, Danny Bloor and presenter, Josh Denzel

Boro fans mascots at FA Cup Final

Two Eastbourne Borough fans will walk out at Wembley as mascots for the Emirates FA Cup Final!

There will be a very special Eastbourne dimension to this year’s Emirates FA Cup Final. Stepping out at Wembley on Saturday 3 June, as official mascots, will be two young Eastbourne sisters, Amelie and Sophia Paviour.

The girls’ story is inspirational as well as exciting. Working with The FA and non-league clubs, Emirates, the world’s largest airline and title sponsor of The FA’s flagship knockout competition, have travelled up and down the country to surprise unsuspecting fans including Eastbourne Borough supporters, Sophia, aged 10 and Amelie Paviour, aged 12 from Eastbourne.

The girls’ mum, Sarah, has been battling with cancer, a huge challenge for any family and the time spent at Eastbourne Borough for Emirates FA Cup games and league fixtures have been a great source of comfort for the family.

The sisters’ journey with the team began when Borough released free tickets to matches over the summer school holidays, to give something back to the local community.

Dad, Andrew, went along too, and they were as he put it “total converts from the very first kick!”

The family continued to support the team, and the girls were made matchday mascots for Borough’s Emirates FA Cup game with Uxbridge in September.

But it didn’t stop there. Andrew Paviour wrote to the club, thanking Borough for the tickets.

“Those afternoons at Priory Lane were a shaft of sunlight,” he explained, “and a little break, for the girls especially, from the difficult time we were experiencing at home.”

But Amelie and Sophia wanted to do more, and on a Saturday in October, on their own initiative, the girls took over the Langney Sports clubhouse for a coffee morning which raised a remarkable £1,200 for Macmillan Cancer Care and for St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

“Like so many local people, we all owe a huge debt to the wonderful St Wilfrid’s,” said Andrew.

And through the season, as a result, the bonds have grown stronger. When Emirates put out the call, for deserving young non-league supporters to be honoured at the Wembley Final, Borough commercial manager Sian Ansell was quick to nominate Amelie and Sophia.

“There couldn’t be better candidates,” said Sian. “They are lovely girls it’s been an honour to be involved with them.”

And so, on a rather damp and blustery afternoon in the Easter holidays, the Emirates media team arrived in force. Camera crews, directors, photographers and reporters - and the historic FA Cup trophy itself gracing Priory Lane. Sophia and Amelie arrived to where they were met by presenter, Josh Denzel for a sit-down to chat about their experiences and affiliation with the club.

With a whole lot of subterfuge before the big reveal, and with proud parents Sarah and Andrew looking on, Sophia and Amelie gasped to receive the news.

Out on the green 3G in front of Borough’s main stand, their favourite player, goalkeeper Lee Worgan, and manager Danny Bloor told them that on Saturday 3 June, they would be stepping out on probably the most famous football pitch in the world… and Emirates Cabin Crew presented Sophia and Amelie with the official Emirates FA Cup trophy, to hold it as if winning it themselves.

“This is a great, great story in every sense,” declared Danny. “We chuckle about how football is the most important thing in the world, but it isn’t. These amazing young ladies and their wonderful family matter more than any game of football. Every Borough supporter will be watching their screens on June 3rd and cheering Amelie and Sophia with pride.”

But wait, before their day in the Wembley sunlight, the girls had more work to do. Not content with that previous £1,200 fund-raiser, they staged an even bigger Coffee Lunch Date, on the lunchtime of the Sports’ final National South game of the season, against Concord Rangers on Saturday 29 April.

Again, St Wilfrid’s Hospice were the beneficiaries. The clubhouse was absolutely heaving, another £1,300 was raised, and everyone was beaming. Next on to Saturday at Wembley, when those two proud parents, Andrew and Sarah, will be permitted just a little tear in their eye…!

Along with Eastbourne Borough, Emirates and The FA have worked with three other clubs who have had incredible Emirates FA Cup journeys this year including Boreham Wood, Alvechurch and Wrexham. Each club nominated their own young fans who have gone above and beyond in their support for their local team where they too will also get to walk out as mascots during the Emirates FA Cup Final this June.

The Emirates FA Cup is the world’s oldest football tournament and it’s known for bringing together non-league and Premier League giants as they vie for their spot at Wembley Stadium.

Emirates connects fans to their teams both here in the UK and across the world and has been the title sponsor of the tournament since 2015.

For further information about the Emirates FA Cup please contact The FA:

The FA

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