Junior Gunners camp on Emirates Pitch

St Albans football fans pitch up at Arsenal’s homeground

ST ALBANS Junior Gunners pitched up at Emirates Stadium to camp in the footsteps of their football heroes recently.

Lucky youngsters Sian Appleyard, nine, and Tom Blight, 12, joined 400 fellow members of Arsenal’s young supporters’ club, the Junior Gunners, to participate in “Camping on the Pitch” at the Gunners’ home.

Spokesman Tom Bennett said that Sian and Tom won the chance to attend the camp by entering a competition open to members only. They joined boys and girls aged seven to 12 to play on the pitch in matches organised by the club’s community coaches before dining on the exclusive club level at the Emirates Stadium.

The campers watched a DVD of the Gunners’ greatest goals and played a few games of table football before the large sleepover, in 200 two-person tents laid out on the award-winning pitch in a star formation, with mascot Gunnersaurus making sure everyone was tucked in.

Sue Campbell, head of events and supporter liaison, said: “The first camping on the pitch event last year was so popular we decided to double the number of children able to attend this year and I think it’s fair to say that the 400 boys and girls here had an absolutely brilliant time.”