Wembley pitch gets helping hand from 10-year-old ahead of FA Cup semi-final clashes

Youngster Harry Kness was given a once in a lifetime opportunity when he was invited to join Head Groundsman Karl Standley in getting the pitch in pristine condtion.

A 10-year-old boy from Birmingham has played a major role in helping get the Wembley pitch ready for the two FA Cup semi-final showdowns this weekend.

The big guns are in town as Chelsea face a big London derby against title rivals Tottenham on Saturday, while Arsenal face Manchester City just 24 hours later.

The Wembley pitch will need to be in perfect condition and budding groundsman Harry Kness was given a once in a lifetime opportunity to work on the hallowed turf in the build-up to one of the biggest weekends in the football calendar.

Young Harry become something of a social media sensation when he was captured by his father Gerry, painting the white lines of his local pitch.

The Football Association spotted the video and invited him along to the national stadium to hold a master class with Wembley's Head Groundsman Karl Standley.

Harry has played his part alongside Karl and his permanent team in getting the pitch in pristine condition for the two big games this weekend.

Sporting his own Wembley Stadium groundsman jumper, the 10 year old helped to paint the pitch markings and was then given an extra treat as he got his hands on the Emirates FA Cup trophy.

Kness said: “It started with me painting the lines of my local pitch. My dad put it on Twitter and quite a few people seemed to like it.

“I couldn’t believe it when my dad told me I was invited to come to Wembley. It’s been such a cool day.”

Wembley's Head Groundsman was pleased to see Kness get his hands dirty and hopes he will become a big groundsman in the future.

Standley said: “The Emirates FA Cup Semi-Finals are two of the biggest events in our calendar and eyes from all over the world will be on our pitch this weekend.

“We were delighted to invite Harry to Wembley after noticing his diligence in painting his lines at his local pitch. It’s been great to introduce him to what we do and perhaps even inspire a groundsman of the future.”

Harry and dad Garry will return to Wembley on Saturday to watch the first of the Semi Finals, as Chelsea take on Tottenham Hotspur.

First published www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news, written by Marc Isaacs, 20 April 2017