One of Portsmouth’s junior football teams got the surprise of their summer when Christian Burgess turned up to cheer them on.
The Pompey centre-back took time out from pre-season training to attend the second day of the Meon Milton youth tournament at Eastney Barracks last Sunday.
And while he spent time with all the budding young players at the event, he made a beeline for one team in particular.
Meon Milton’s newly-formed under-10 Burgess team were an obvious draw for the Blues star.
And he proved to be a lucky mascot, as they netted their maiden victory.
Meon Milton are known for naming their sides after Pompey players past and present.
Burgess had been invited to come down to the event by last season’s under-nines boss Darren Reading.
But it still came as a surprise to all involved when he turned up.
And Bob Beckett, the vice chairman of Meon Milton, reckons he is a credit to Pompey.
He said: ‘Christian came down around 10am on Sunday and stayed for a couple of hours.
‘He was absouloutely brilliant with the boys and must have signed about 500 shirts, boots and balls!
‘The kids were so happy to see him and he posed for so many photos.
‘It wasn’t just our team he was doing this for – he was doing it for everyone.
‘We had 12 young teams there and he spent time with them all.
‘It shows Pompey in a very good light indeed.’
It is not the first time Burgess has gone out of his way to support youth footballers in the city.
Back in January, when Pompey’s League Two clash with Crawley was postponed because of a frozen pitch, he answered a tweet and turned up to help out at an under-12s training session at Bransbury Park.
Beckett added: ‘All players got medals and Burgess was happy to hand them out.
‘Our team only formed recently to give all the boys a chance to play consistently.
‘And this tournament gave us our first win.
‘Christian actually arrived just as the boys were winning their first game.
‘It was a great incentive to see their hero on the sidelines and certainly helped them along the way.’