A surprise was sprung on an Allesley boy during a visit to Wasps’ club shop.
Ollie Jackson, aged eight, who plays for Barkers Butts RFC juniors visited the Ricoh Arena with his dad, Steve Jackson, to purchase the club’s new replica shirt, and got more than he bargained for when he was presented with a signed Wasps replica shirt by first-team player Sam Jones.
The Allesley Primary School pupil received the personalised shirt as part of the club’s 150th anniversary celebrations after he was the 150th fan to enter the club shop during a player signing session.
Ollie said: “I really like the new kit, so this was the best surprise ever.
“Sam asked if I knew this was going to happen and I said no! He told me to enjoy the season and to wear the shirt as much as possible.
“I have supported Wasps since they came to the area and my favourite moment was when Jimmy Gopperth scored in the last minute against Exeter Chiefs in the Champions Cup.
“I think the team can do even better this season and win the play-off final.”
Ollie regularly visits the Ricoh Arena to watch Wasps with his dad, Steve, who revealed the signed shirt will take pride of place in the Jackson household.
Steve added: “Ollie is really over the moon with the signed shirt. It’s got all of the players’ signatures on, so we will definitely be framing it and putting it on his bedroom wall where it will sit for many years to come.
“Ollie loves coming to watch Wasps, and now he’s had this special treat I’m sure he’ll want to come even more often.
“We were really treated to some top-class, expansive rugby last year. It was gut-wrenching to lose in the play-off final, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we went all the way this time round.”
Wasps kick off their Aviva Premiership campaign against Sale Sharks on Saturday, September 2 at the Ricoh Arena (3pm kick-off).
Sam, who is making his comeback this season following a leg injury, added: “The fans played a big part in our success last season and we really need that to continue as we try to emulate what we achieved last year.
“We won late on in some key home games last year, when the crowd really did help to spur us on, and the boys wanted to show their appreciation by coming out to meet the fans today.
“It was great to see so many families out in force wishing us well for the season ahead and hopefully we’ll be able to make it one to remember.
“It’s important we get off to a good start to carry on the positive momentum from last season, so we’ll be doing our utmost to win the game.”
Tickets for Wasps v Sale Sharks can be purchased from wasps.co.uk/tickets and start from £21 for adults, while under-10s go free in certain categories.