Young Arsenal fan from Highgate realises dream of meeting captain Per Mertesacker

It’s every young Arsenal fan’s dream to meet the captain of their favourite football team, star defender Per Mertesacker.

But for nine-year-old Joe Begg from Highgate, the dream became reality after he was chosen from more than 30,000 youngsters to be the mascot at the Gunners’ match against Aston Villa last week.

As mascot, Joe, walked the Premier League team onto the pitch and had his photo taken with Mertesacker, known as the “BFG” to fans.

Joe, a member of the Junior Gunners, Arsenal Football Club’s young fan club, said: “It was brilliant to have been chosen to be the mascot and to walk the team out onto the pitch. I got to meet loads of players, it was really exciting.”

Mertesacker said it was “great” to meet “such a passionate young supporter”.

For information on the Junior Gunners and becoming an Arsenal mascot, visit www.alwaysaheadofthegame.com/junior.