Ashley, nine, steps out in front of Wembley crowd ahead of weekend’s Community Shield match

Ashley Clarke on the pitch at Wembley with player Francis Coquelin.
Ashley Clarke on the pitch at Wembley with player Francis Coquelin.

Young Ashley Clarke had the experience of a lifetime when he walked out at Wembley before The FA Community Shield on Sunday.

The nine year old football fan stepped on the hallowed turf alongside Arsenal defender Francis Coquelin at the home of English football in front of an 85,000 strong crowd at the curtain raiser of the new Premier League season.

The youngster said: “To walk out onto the Wembley pitch was brilliant. Seeing all the fans and hearing the cheers of the crowd made was amazing – all of my friends at school are really jealous.”

The match, where Premier League winners Chelsea took on FA Cup holders Arsenal ended in a 1-0 win for the Gunners thanks to a stunning strike from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Ashley won the chance to be a Macdonald’s player escort by winning the fast food’s Better Play website.

McDonald’s Director of Football Sir Geoff Hurst said: “Walking out at Wembley in front of a large crowd is something I’ve been lucky enough to do a few times now but it still remains an unforgettable experience that I will never forget and I’m sure Ashley won’t either. The Community Shield is a game that I always look forward to and it was great to see so many players put in superb performances.”