Teenage sensation Adam Wharton Adam Wharton, who won the Utilita Kids Cup whilst representing Blackburn Rovers at Wembley eight years ago, has refereed Blackburn's area final.
The match saw St Paul’s from Feniscowles take on St Barnabas from Darwen.
At the end of a closely-contested first half, St Paul’s led 1-0 thanks to Charlie Gleeson’s eighth-minute opener from a corner.
The Blackburn school turned on the style in the second half, with man-of-the-match Bobby Briggs bagging a four-minute hat-trick, before Ollie Coogan sealed the 5-0 win late on.
🏆 "It's the experience of a lifetime and hopefully these kids get to experience @wembleystadium!"@Rovers star and @UtilitaFootball Kids Cup winner @AdamWharton10— EFL (@EFL) January 26, 2023
was referee as St Paul's Primary won the chance to represent Blackburn in the #UtilitaKidsCup!#EFL pic.twitter.com/MgcIsPxRKl
The teams then received their medals and trophy from Rovers head coach Jon Dahl Tomasson, who was joined by Rovers stars Ben Brereton and Bradley Dack for the presentations.
St Paul’s will now wear the blue-and-white halves when they represent Rovers in the regional final, which is scheduled to be held in Huddersfield in March, with the winners going on to play in the national final at Wembley ahead of the Championship play-off final in May.
Wharton, who lifted the coveted Kids Cup with Salesbury Primary School in May 2015, admits today’s event brought back some special memories for the talented teenager.
"I'll never forget that moment - 25th of May 2015. I might never play on Wembley again throughout my whole career - a lot of players don't. It's the experience of a lifetime and hopefully these kids now get to experience it.
“It was great to see the kids enjoying their football and having a good time.
“It’s a great opportunity for them to represent Blackburn Rovers and I’m sure some of them support the club, so I hope that gives them extra motivation to go on and do well in the next stage of the competition."