A secret weapon could have been unearthed for Doncaster Rovers as they battle to avoid relegation and the dreaded drop to league two.
There are only two games left, but some optimistic Rovers’ fans and, even the club, feel they have a saviour in the form of seven-year-old Liam Byrne.
Whenever the lucky charm is mascot for the day it seems to inspire the team to victory – well at least so far and many hope that winning streak continues.
It began with a surprising 3-1 win against division one table toppers Wigan. The Latics were on a 20-game unbeaten run and Rovers were on a 17-game sequence without a win – it looked bleak for the hoops.
But young super hero fan Liam and Rovers’ fans were in dreamland as the team put in an impressive winning performance. This was followed by a 2-0 win against rivals Coventry with Liam again on mascot duty.
As Rovers enter the last two games of the season and their battle for survival hots up they are hoping to secure Liam’s services for the away game at Crewe tomorrow, having already secured his services for the final game against current second placed team in the division, Burton Albion on Sunday, May 8.
Liam’s dad, Ryan, said: “For his seventh birthday, I booked Liam to be Rover’s commercial mascot for the day versus Wigan. He was invited into the players dressing room at 1pm, spoke with everyone, getting autographs and photos. There was a nice moment when he and Andy Butler spoke about their common ground in playing for Balby Juniors Football Team.”
He added: “Liam led the teams out with his favourite player, James Coppinger and witnessed a great second half comeback to beat Wigan 3-1, with his new friend, Andy Butler scoring two goals and putting in a superb man-of-the-match performance.
“After the game, in the hospitality suite, Liam was presented with a birthday card signed by the DRFC squad, and Andy Butler and Luke McCullough gave it to him on stage.
“Liam was offered to be mascot again for the Coventry game, and was told to wear the same kit, underpants and hairstyle the following week! He’ll be there for the Burton game, as mascot, again.”
Rovers’ club spokesman, Ryan Murrant, said: “It’s a great story. It’s remarkable we haven’t won for so long and as soon as Liam is mascot we win. Any advantage, however small, we’ll take.”