MORE than 1,500 junior footballers and their families helped showcase what makes Burton Albion ‘special’ by creating a “brilliant atmosphere” at the Pirelli Stadium.
It was a record-breaking turn out for the club’s third Junior Club Day, with youngsters taking over what is normally the away end as the Brewers took on Fleetwood in League One on Saturday.
The event, organised by Burton Albion Community Trust, with support from the Burton Junior Football League, was hailed a huge success both off and on the pitch – where a 2-1 victory kept the Brewers at the top of League One.
Andy Taylor, BACT head of community, said: “The whole day couldn’t have gone much better – the performance of the team, the result, an exciting game and the numbers coming from the junior clubs.
“It created a brilliant atmosphere. I think everyone enjoyed being here and then, at the end, to see the players coming out and spending so much time with the young children, signing autographs and posing for photos, was brilliant to see.
“It is things like that which make this football club unique. We have a special family, community-focussed atmosphere here at Burton Albion.
“All the staff from the football club and the community trust played a big part in making the day a huge success and they are helping make Burton Albion the first choice, not second choice, football club for more and more people.
“And, hopefully, if even 10 per cent of the youngsters come back to the Pirelli again then that helps us secure the long-term sustainability of the football club by engaging with the next generation of fans.”
As well as enjoying the game and meeting the players, the junior teams took part in a lap of honour at half-time.
Outwoods FC, who had the largest contingent of junior footballers, were the flagbearers and ball kids for the day and Barton Rovers were drawn out of the hat to take part in a half-time penalty shoot-out with club mascot Billy Brewer.
Burton Albion boss Nigel Clough said: “It was great to see all the kids here and enjoying what was a very exciting game – hopefully a few of them will want to come back.”
Enjoy our look at the day with photographs by Richard Holmes and video from Michael Ydlibi.