Brave Kieran Smith enjoys memorable day at Wembley
Fifteen-year-old Kieran Smith was Norwich City’s mascot for their Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final triumph against Middlesbrough in May.
The Club and Community Sports Foundation invited Kieran to join the team on the pitch at Wembley, after a difficult year that saw him lose his Dad in tragic circumstances.
Norwich City has been a big part of Kieran’s life and a source of strength for him and his family; Kieran spoke at his Dad’s funeral about his fond memories of attending games at Carrow Road as a season ticket holder.
As a player in the Foundation’s Elite Player Development Centre, Kieran has a strong bond with the coaching team and it was fitting that coach Adrian Forbes was present for the moment that director Ian Thornton invited Kieran and his mum Karen to be part of Norwich City’s big day.
An emotional Kieran gratefully accepted the invitation.
He reflected afterwards:
“Standing in the tunnel listening to the Canaries supporters chanting was overwhelming and unreal. When Russell and I walked towards the pitch, my heart was thumping with pride and excitement as I was living my dad’s dream too. He would have been so proud.”
Kieran walked out with the Norwich City team for what was described by his mum as a dream come true:
“To see Kieran stand tall and proud after everything he has been through was the best feeling a mother could experience. To see my son leading his football team out knowing that his dad was watching made me glow with pride - emotional didn't even hit it!”
Ian Thornton said:
“We’ve seen how brave this young man has been and how he has supported his family; we just wanted to give him a special experience to show that we are proud of him too.”
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This is how Norwich City FC broke the news that Kieran would lead the team out on to the pitch: