Baggies brothers receive VIP matchday experience for EFL's Week of Action campaign

James, Richard & Dad standing with Baggie Bird and Boiler Man pitch side.

Albion Foundation beneficiaries James and Richard enjoyed an unforgettable evening at The Hawthorns as part of EFL Week of Action.

The twin brothers were given the VIP treatment in B71 for Albion's Emirates FA Cup third-round replay against Chesterfield - a tie the Baggies won 4-0.

The EFL Week of Action is an annual campaign which highlights the impressive work by its 72 clubs in their respective communities, with James and Richard part of the Albion Foundation’s football pathway in the local area. 

The youngsters, who live just metres away from The Hawthorns and attend local primary school Eaton Valley, embarked on an all-access tour of the stadium, heading behind the scenes into the changing rooms, players’ tunnel, medical room and much more.

They were picked up from home by Foundation coaches Rich Henderson and Callum Storer who have worked closely with the boys in their school, providing first-hand support on a regular basis.

James and Richard meet Albion head coach Carlos Corberán
James and Richard meet Albion head coach Carlos Corberán

Albion head coach Carlos Corberán also invited James and Richard into his office prior to the game, taking time to chat and have pictures with the young Baggies fans, who later went on to give 'Jacko' the kit man a hand in the changing room, pumping up footballs and hanging up shirts. 

For the last three years, the students have been working with the Foundation in their Premier League Primary Stars programme, with the football sessions helping James and Richard to develop their confidence and physical capabilities after previously struggling with varying mental and physical challenges. 

Since starting their sessions with the Foundation coaches Rich and Callum, the brothers now feel confident in embracing different environments, facing new people, and taking on tough challenges – situations which were previously difficult for them.

James and Richard at the side of the pitch during the pre-match warm up

Following on from their pre-match kit man duties, James and Richard were also able to reunite with Jake Livermore and Conor Townsend, with the Albion duo having met the twins in a surprise visit at their school last year, in which the players handed out certificates and joined in with the pupils in their football session. 

After chatting to various other members of the Baggies squad in the changing rooms and having a kick around on The Hawthorns pitch during the warm-ups, James and Richard went on to walk out the tunnel with Livermore as mascots before watching on from the stands as the skipper scored the third goal in the 4-0 triumph.

James & Richard walking out of the tunnel with Livermore.
James & Richard walking out of the tunnel with Jake Livermore

The excellent experience for the boys was then rounded off with the duo receiving signed shirts from Jake and Conor after the game and having a final chat with their heroes.

Rob Lake, Albion Foundation Director said: “It was a wonderful evening. All the club staff and players were so kind and considerate making the boys' night so special. 

“It was so heart-warming to hear from their dad who spoke passionately about the positive difference the Foundation has had on his sons. 

“It is what we are about and to have a positive impact on a family who live so close to The Hawthorns is what we want to do more of.”

You can watch Jake Livermore and Conor Townsend's surprise visit below.

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