A CHILD’S dream came true when he met his unlikely footballing hero.

George Henderson, from Little Leigh, is a Sunderland fan and loves watching highlights of legendary goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery who retired 31 years before he was born.

Northwich Guardian:

His parents got in contact with the club and arranged for George to go on a stadium tour, and the eight-year-old was shocked when he discovered the man taking him on his tour of the Stadium of Light was his hero Montgomery, albeit a little older than he recognised him to be.

George said: “He took me into a room and there was a big picture of him, and he said, 'who’s that?' and I said, ‘Jim Montgomery’. At the time I didn’t know who he was, but then he said, 'I’m Jim Montgomery'. It felt like I was in a dream.”

Northwich Guardian:

Montgomery made an incredible double save to guide the Mackems to victory against Leeds United in the 1973 FA Cup Final, and he’s inspired George to become a goalkeeper for Barnton Juniors under 9s.

George's mum Joanna Browne said: “George had seen all the previous pictures, but he hadn’t seen what he looked like recently.

Northwich Guardian:

“He was like his little assistant manager. They were both in suits and Jimmy was like ‘George, this way’, ‘George, you press the button’, and they both walked out of the tunnel together.

“They were pretty much inseparable.”

Northwich Guardian:

George got to meet his hero again the following day when he was picked to be a mascot for the home game against Wimbledon.

The two had a photo together on the pitch, which Jimmy signed and gave to George before he left that day – even getting the youngster to sign one for him.

Joanna added: “Jimmy is brilliant, what a lovely guy.

Northwich Guardian:

“He’s so humble and endearing, and we were like, ‘wow’, we didn’t expect him to be so attentive, and he really made it special.“

George’s interest in football began during the 2018 World Cup and since then he’s been mad about his family’s club from the north east.

He says he’s the only Sunderland fan at Little Leigh Primary School, but he’s sticking by his team despite their fall to the third division.

Northwich Guardian:

Joanna added: “He has a big fight on his hands, because there’s lots of City and United supporters.

“He stands tall and he’ll defend them until the end, even despite them being where they are.”

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George is already looking forward to his return to his second home after the Black Cats' legend Montgomery has arranged for the family to spend time in the Montgomery Suite with him in December.