Prince William arranges once in a lifetime meeting with Clarets goalkeeper Nick Pope for star struck Burnley schoolboy (11)

A dream to meet his footballing hero came true for a Burnley schoolboy yesterday, thanks to Prince William.

By Susan Plunkett
Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 2:28 pm

Deacon Glover met with Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope before the Clarets' match against Liverpool at Turf Moor.

And Pope presented thrilled Deacon (11) with the shirt he wore for the match, which ended 1-0 to Liverpool, but not before he signed it with his name and the poignant message 'Never Give Up.' He also gave Deacon his goalie gloves as a cherished memento of the special day.

Deacon's great grandmother, Carole Ellis, described the moment which moved her to tears, saying: "It was such a wonderful moment for Deacon and seeing his face when he met Nick Pope was just wonderful. I had a real lump in my throat.

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The moment Deacon Gllover met his hero, Burnley FC goalie Nick Pope

"They had a good chat, Nick was absolutely lovely with him and really encouraging.

"Deacon said he feels rubbish if he lets a couple of goals in and Nick told him the same happened with him at school but he would let in nine or 10. He told Deacon to ignore people who called him and just carry on."

Deacon even got the chance to step into the hallowed turf with Pope who took him to the goal nets.

Carole added: "Deacon came back and said you don't realise how big the nets are until you up close to them."

Deacon with his grandmother, Samone Taylor and Clarets goalie Nick Pope

Deacon and his family, including his grandparents, Terry and Samone Taylor, watched the game from the comfort of the director's box where they enjoyed a meal and drinks and met with club chairman Alan Pace.

Carole said: "Everyone was so welcoming to us, they really couldn't do enough for us. It was a special day, one that we will always remember.

"We want to thank everyone at the club and also Prince William for making this happen for Deacon."

The VIP trip was arranged by Prince William who met Deacon when he and his wife, Kate Middleton, visited Church on the Street in Burnley last month. Founded by Pastor Mick Fleming, Deacon and Carole have received support from the hub since the death of the youngster's mum, Grace who was Carole's granddaughter.

Deacon with club chairman Alan Pace (left) mascot Bertie Bee and Russell Ball

During the visit Prince William chatted to Deacon about football and, spotting Deacon was wearing his own Pope strip, asked him if he would like to meet the Burnley goalkeeper. When Deacon said yes the Prince promised to see what he could do.

Pastor Fleming, who joined the family yesterday said: "Prince William was true to his word. What an amazing day it was."

A poignant image as Deacon steps onto Turf Moor with Nick Pope