ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD Sarah Cross was smiling like a Cheshire cat after England’s 5-1 win over Kazakhstan at Wembley on Saturday.
The Rudheath High School pupil, of Alvingham Close, Northwich, led the Three Lions out in front of 90,000 fans before the World Cup qualifier, and watched as a VIP guest.
The Manchester City supporter was one of a handful of lucky youngsters to win her mascot spot via an online competition, and walked out onto the hallowed turf hand-in-hand with Chelsea star Ashley Cole.
And despite a dour first half, Sarah was up celebrating the late flurry of goals to round off a truly memorable day.
“It was brilliant. She had a wonderful day,” said stepdad Scott Cowan. “She’ll never forget it.”
Sarah was nervous waiting in the tunnel with the players but a friendly word from her favourite player Shaun Wright-Phillips, and 6ft 7in striker Peter Crouch, put her at ease.
“They came over and talked to us and shook hands,” she said. “The whole day was good but I loved walking out with the players. It was scary with all those people looking at you but I really enjoyed it.”
After the anthems, Sarah joined stepdad Scott, mum Sue and big sister Laura, 13, still clad in her replica kit and clutching a bag of England goodies.
“She got to keep the kit and she was still going round in it on Sunday. She loved every minute,” said Mr Cowan.